Hand Work and Dear Life

Enter the Fabric Nook in Granby, Colorado, on the 31st of any month that has thirty-one days and there’s sure to be a party going on. On those days Tina, the owner, offers a bag’s worth of twenty-five percent off, any merchandise in the store.

I opened the shop door to a couple of small circles of seamstresses, talking about their quilts, their skin problems, I don’t know what else! Ladies having fun in the middle of the day in a shop that is filled with color and light and life.

I, too, was excited to choose my fabrics, sewing projects for Christmas gifts. I didn’t have to wait in line—well, there really wasn’t a line. The customers were more than customers as they admired one of the finished quilts a lady had brought in. No line, just a gathering.

She became the focus of attention as one person said, “You’re going to be at your sewing machine until your dying day.” “Yes,” she answered with a chuckle, as she made fists with her hands as if she were holding onto cloth, “I’m at my machine holding on for dear life.”

So today as I take a break from my sewing, I am simply sharing that sweet moment: her words and happiness and perhaps hope, that was given to all of us in the shop. Holding on for dear life, whether we are holding on to a knitting needle or a paint brush, a jigsaw, or a piece of cloth. All of the tools that keep our hands busy as our minds work, seeking answers to life’s questions and problems.

I think of a character in a book I read this fall—I can’t remember the source—who shouted in his abject anguish, “I want to use my hands. I want something to do with my hands.” A universal thought it seems to me. Using our hands to find healing.   Using our hands to make something, and if it’s good we enter that spiritual realm that some call God.

Too much depth for a day that was mostly about sewing a jacket? Perhaps.


I turn to my computer, holding onto words, hoping they will bring a smile to my reader’s day, especially to the folks at sewing machines and fabric nooks all over the land.





About Linda H Spaet

New resident in Colorado: Wife, mother, cook, reader, homemaker, explorer of our new surroundings
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1 Response to Hand Work and Dear Life

  1. Elaine Chapman says:

    Another winner, Linda ! I’ve been spending lots of quality time with my sewing machine, too… Dennis refers to it as “going to my room.” 🙂 I finished a couple of reversible “church basement ladies” aprons– I bought the pattern several years ago in Grand Lake. I haven’t been to the Fabric Nook in Granby. That will have to wait for the next CO trip.

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