It wasn’t that big of a deal, really. Still, I felt a twinge of sadness whenever I thought about it because it’s something I really liked a lot.
I made the small zippered pouch, all by hand — every last stitch. I wouldn’t call it a work of art, although I was quite proud of the clever piecing and homespun appearance. I filled the little pouch with my most prized hand sewing supplies: Tiny gold scissors in the shape of a stork that were so sharp they cut perfectly all the way to the end of the beak. The only thimble I’ve ever found that fit perfectly. A small magnetic needle holder filled with the finest German stainless steel sharps in a variety of sizes. And a tiny container of applique pins and two spools of thread just the right size and shape filled the remaining space in the sewing kit.
It’s been years since my sewing kit went missing. I looked from time to time, always consoling myself that it would turn up. It had to. Sewing kits don’t get up and walk away. Soon, my casual attempts turned to all-out searches and eventually to excavations. I emptied drawers, and looked in nooks and crannies in every room of the house.
From time to time, I considered making a new pouch and refilling it with all the right items. I came this close to ordering a new pair of stork scissors. Wow, I didn’t remember them being that expensive. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to admit the originals were hopelessly lost.
I have considered that there is a lesson in all of this that I needed to learn. And I’m certain it has to do with the unimportance of things compared to people. It’s just a sewing kit, I kept telling myself — a tiny treasure that must have fallen into the wastebasket or somehow got scooped up into a donation bag. It’s not like I lost a child or a close friend. I still have my home, my family and so many things in my life that bring me so much joy.
Over the years, that little sewing kit has prompted lots of “going through” and cleaning out. I have pared down our closets, and given away furniture and household items we don’t need to others who do. And that felt good.
One day I was cleaning up a desk I no longer needed to give to a friend who would find it useful. At the last minute, I decided to check all the drawers just to make sure they were empty and clean.
Right there in the small drawer on the right was my little sewing kit — exactly where I put it so it would always be handy.
I got my sewing kit back. But more than that, I experienced something I don’t really understand but believe with all my heart: It is in giving that we receive.
Mary Hunt is founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com.
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.