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The Sewing Machine

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After my kids were safely back on the East Coast I loaded up a Ford and started across country.

I had the clothes, toys, clothes and the keepsakes all neatly packed in the back seat and in the trunk. Along with the small items I had cherished... was a singer portable sewing machine. It was from out of the 50's, my mom had given it to me when I left Virginia Beach.

There was a time when I took in sewing out in Seattle. That was natural instinct.... Nannie [grandmother Nance] was a seamstress. She was from Lexington, North Carolina. Actually, Nannie was French. She used perfumes instead of taking regular showers until she moved into a boarding house. She worked in the furniture factories in Lexington. They make a lot of towels and there a lot of mattress covers in that area.

Nannie had a treadle machine and she had a portable workhorse Singer that she used to do alterations in her spare time to help Mildred, her oldest daughter dressed in style. Mildred was a Southern Bell Telephone telephone operator.

Then when my mom had 2 daughters to clothe, she got a sewing machine and learned how to sew. She made some really magnificent dresses. I'll never forget the one she made me for my first teen dance. It was beautiful red and gold brocade.

While I lived with Nannie [Elsie Louse Davis Nance] I learned how to sew. I was a natural. I actually read directions well and follow patterns with ease. I learned to use all the attachments.

When I moved out to Copalis, Washington.... I took the old sewing machine, attachments, and my sewing box out with me. When I couldn't buy a job I started to take in sewing. I made some sweat suits for some of the local kids. I repaired torn shirts and jeans. I couldn't believe how many people would rather patch clothes rather than break in new clothes.

It's a weeks journey by car if everything goes good. I don't like Fords... I've never had one that didn't leave me out on the road broke down.... but when someone gives you a Ford.... hands you a clean pick slip.... you don't turn it down. That happened to me.... and I was on my way home.

I got into the pass.... I drove all the way to Idaho. The weather started to go bad on me. It was only May and stupid me had to pick then to go across country, alone. I had $200 cash and basically everything I owned in that Ford. I had a full tank of gas, a gallon of oil [the changing kit], a good spare, jack, and 2 gallons of water. I had a little emergency kits in the trunk too. Like I said.... I drove all the way to Idaho and then I had to make it across the Rockies.

I didn't make it. The car broke down. When I got back to the car.... everything was gone....

Then I met Gary.... Now I have 4 or 5 sewing machines.... I know I have at least 4... One is a good workhorse from Sears. I've had it since it was brand new. One is an antique from the years when people were just beginning to wire electric into the homes. I also have a toy sewing machine that works!

Let me know .... is there are story somewhere in this little tale that intrigues you? Let me know and I right the story out for you.



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