I toyed around with the idea of changing the weekly post to days instead of weeks for the title but talked myself out of doing so. Why? Because that requires math and I suck at math. Besides, seeing “Six” isn’t too bad, but seeing “42” would be seriously depressing. So, weeks it is.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad week. I got in my elastic order, with more on the way, and have now made over 200 masks. On the surface, that seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. They’ve all been given away and I’m making more. Family and friends are taken care of, and I gave a bunch to a nursing home where my stepdaughter works. That was fun, because we made a two-hour road trip to get the masks to Allison and take her elastic she needed. Four hours in the car was so much nicer than four hours inside the house, even if finding a restroom was a little challenging.
Throughout the mask-making process, I’ve learned several things. The biggie is that I’d rather write than sew. I have a whole new appreciation for “sweat shop” workers, because the a/c isn’t all that great in the craft room. It was yet another room addition and getting the vents in there was challenging, to say the least. How people spend hours hunched over a sewing machine without wigging out escapes me. It’s hard on the back and harder on your patience. So I have to keep reminding myself it’s for a good cause. That works for a while.
I also have a new appreciation for my mother. She was a seriously spectacular seamstress. She made most of our clothes when I was a kid and took in sewing to earn money so we could eat. And she never complained about doing it. Even though on more than one occasion she’d run the sewing machine needle right over a finger. I’m not positive how she did that, since I’m paranoid about doing so, but I figure my time will come.
Ed came in to model the latest face mask I made for him, and I told him my mother would faint if she saw it. Right now, I’m more into quantity than quality. I’m almost positive Meals on Wheels (who has put out a call for masks) won’t care how they look as long as they work. To save time, I use two colors of thread. Light or dark, and the seams aren’t perfect by any far stretch of the imagination.
If my mother was making them, every seam would be exact, or she’d rip it out and start over, and the thread color would match the material so perfectly you’d never see the seam. Perfection takes time. If she was still alive, she’d make five perfect masks for my 25 not-so-perfect ones. I wish she was here to help, even if I would probably get an eyeroll and headshake when she saw my hot mess compared to hers.
Another thing I’ve discovered is that everyone will help in making them. Ed cuts the fabric for me, splits the “pipe cleaners” for the bridge, and cuts elastic into 7” strips. Our daughter, Tamala, uses fabric paint to mark the backside of the mask and cuts off all the little pieces of thread so they’ll be pretty. It’s a team effort.
Unfortunately, Ed now knows how to cut fabric, so if I get on a sewing binge again, he won’t be able to play the “I don’t know how” card. And we have a million more masks to make. Poor Ed. A good friend of mine discovered exactly how great a cook her husband is, so Jen wants Nic to stay home and cook. She’ll bring in the bacon and he’ll fix it. I’m almost positive that won’t be Nic’s first choice for the rest of his life. Bottom line? Our spouses are in trouble because they’re spoiling us and we won’t want to go back to the old normal. That’s the huge downside of enforced isolation with an “all hands on deck” attitude.
The big upside is while we’re lamenting wearing face masks and doing social distancing, pollution is down, the oceans are cleaner, and the earth is healing itself. I would find that remarkable if I didn’t realize God was doing a little housecleaning, like the rest of us. Tamala’s garage is so clean she can get her car inside. I can walk into one of my storage closets without tripping over something. So everyone just hang in there and let God finish what He’s started. When we can venture out again and get a much-needed hug from someone, the world will be a better place to live.