If I am a sewing machine…

If I’m a sewing machine, what are you?

While floating in the swimming pool with Alice (of the re-fashioned Kimono) and my cousin Abby (donor of the Kimono) we were talking about our extended family. Abby was describing people for Alice in Abby’s unique way.

Juki sewing machine


One of Alice’s 2nd cousins was described as, “ felted wool sweater and hard cover book.”

2 hard cover books on a table


A distant cousin was described as “organic herbs and felted wool hat.”

Sage with some bug eaten holes.

Alice and I thought this method of describing people was very funny, accurate and hard to do. We tried to describe other members of our large extended family using Abby’s object driven descriptions and ran into problems. How many adjectives can be used to describe the object? Does the order of objects matter?

As we floated in the pool, I decided I was sewing machine: lots of potential for doing all kinds of stitches, but I need to be plugged in and turned On. To translate that: I can sew, I can write, I can organize, etc. but I have trouble getting started. Most of the time the jolt of energy from my morning coffee gets me going, but sometimes even the coffee doesn’t work; I get plugged in but the switch isn’t turned On. I’ll find myself reading all three newspapers on the breakfast table and think longingly about the novel I’m reading, instead of the challenging sewing on my worktable. I know that if I can get to my workroom and get started on the current project I will become totally absorbed in the work.

Once I get turned On I have trouble stopping- the Off switch is elusive. I will be totally and happily absorbed in my work and the hours will fly by – until my husband (or my grumbling stomach) reminds me it’s time to eat. My reply, “Yes, thanks for the reminder, I’ll be there in 5 minutes” and mean that. Somehow the 5 minutes turns into 30 minutes and by then I’m totally out of energy. Luckily, my husband knows this about me and compensates for my totally absorbed state/tardiness. So hitting the Off switch is as hard as hitting the On switch for me.

What about you? Are you an elevator? Moving from one floor/task to another as the people around you demand your attention? A tractor plowing through your tasks? Or maybe a weed whacker: capable of cutting through the weeds to expose the hidden flowers?




4 thoughts on “If I am a sewing machine…

  1. Elaine says:

    Lol that’s brilliant! I used to describe some rather plebby cousins as ‘all black pudding and sliced bread’. You probably need to be a local to get that one though.
    I can’t describe myself as any kind of machine, I’ve always thought that I’m a cat- naturally lazy, with occasional bursts of vast energy. Playful but with claws.
    I cut out LOADS of things in energetic bursts [more than 20 currently ready to sew] and once I get sewing, I forget to eat and drink, I’m so focused. Totally impulsive, but I work well to deadlines when I have to.
    Gemini cat maybe…lol

    • Ellen says:

      The tendency to forget to eat and drink– so familiar. Remembering to eat & drink, knowing that if I don’t eat soon I’ll become a blithering, grump is what qualifies as “Grown Up behavior” in our house.

  2. Hana - Marmota says:

    You know, your description of yourself seems eerily relevant to me… 🙂
    It’s also like, sometimes the sewing machine doesn’t exactly work the way I wish it did, just like my Singer doesn’t (why can’t it have a back-tracking switch instead of a silly lever one has to keep holding down! etc. …), but, well, the trick is in learning how to work around that, I guess.

    It’s fun. In my family, sometimes some people are animals (that’s where I got my username, long story short). But there’s a lot more room for interpretation there… although I think there always is, because people are complex beings. I remember someone once referred to his wife as “torn-off pocket”, in a perfectly loving way; it took some explanation, but I think the intent was somewhere along the lines of “can deal with things (like torn-off pockets) without being ruffled by them, and all the more beautiful for it.”

    • Ellen says:

      The world is filled with all sorts of people and isn’t it amazing how diverse we are: from sewing machines to torn off pockets! Just imagine if we all need to be plugged and turned On every day- would anything get done? The torn pocket people remind me to step back and enjoy the sunset: Thank you for that reminder!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *