Saturday, December 29, 2018

Chia recycles

A year ago, my daughter sent me a basket full of Christmas goodies. I'd barely taken the last item out when Chia the cat claimed the basket for a bed. A good idea; she'd been using the basket she used to fit in when she was a kitten, and she overhung the sides all around.

I fitted the basket out for her with the remains of a cushion my grandma (b. 1888) had made. It had been covered in burgundy velvet, which had by now disintegrated, but the inner portion was intact.

It was covered in the leftovers of an old grey wool Hudson's Bay blanket. I opened it up to wash it and found that the stuffing is made from the sweepings off her sewing room floor: shreds of fabric, bits of wool, and threads. Tiny ends of threads, the ones you cut off when you've finished sewing a seam, the last bit left in the eye of the needle. Altogether, it makes a soft, puffy filling. I closed up the cushion again and contented myself with vacuuming it thoroughly.

Chia loves it.

A perfect fit.

Half awake, because of the flash. Then turned herself around and went back to sleep.

I recycle everything carefully, separating and cleaning plastics, glass, cans, paper, dropping off styrofoam (mostly picked up on the beach) and batteries at the appropriate sites, sorting plastic bags, the ones that I can't substitute with my battered cloth shopping bags, or the ones that I find on the shore, into piles for the recyclers, piles to be donated to thrift shops, piles I can re-use.

But my grandmother, and the women of her generation, put me to shame. Nothing was wasted, nothing left to float off to sea or to clog up the wetlands. We should have kept it up. Life would be better, safer for all of us now, if we had.

(The blanket the basket rests on is a vintage Mexican men's wool serape, made in two sections on a waist loom.)


  1. Yes, we should all still live like this.
    (Chia looks so comfortable there!)

  2. I agree with you! What a fascinating find in that old pillow.


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