I’m not terribly good at this “Look at this thing I made– with pictures!” kind of blogging, but I am ok at coming up with ideas and writing them down for others to read. So I’m going to focus on that instead of the documenting things I make, since frankly it puts a lot of mental pressure on me and my family and then doesn’t get done.

As I write this, it’s probably the last warm day of the year. The windows are open and even though the air feels chilly, the sun is warm and the cat has arranged herself on the sill in such a way that the sun picks up every caramel colored sploch in her multi-colored coat. The gardeners are hard at work with some noisy tool outside so all I hear is the buzz of engines and the occasional bus passing by.

I’ve been thinking about charity and how people make such a big deal about it. Normally when an item reaches the end of its useful life for my family, we donate it to the Salvation Army or Good Will without much fanfare or thought the way that most people do. This year, one of my friends told me that she was collecting things for Syrian refugees and if I had winter clothes, please get them to her by a certain time. So, I got together the winter things my husband and I no longer wanted and the clothes that T outgrew and gave them to her instead of those other charities.

She took a picture of the haul and posted it on facebook with a shout out to me and my family. I don’t know why, but this really embarrassed me. It’s not that I don’t want to be seen as a charitable person, I do, but it felt disingenuous. I didn’t give all these things that I wasn’t using to get recognition, I just wanted to keep some people warm and get this stuff out of the house. Being cold is bad, being cold when you’ve never really felt cold before is the worst. I can’t imagine growing up somewhere warm, having to leave my home with only what I can carry and then ending up somewhere cold. That is the stuff that nightmares are made of!

I look at the excess that I’ve accumulated and I feel ashamed of myself for buying things I don’t really need and yarn and fabric with little or no plan for its use. I’m going to challenge myself for the next year to make one thing for charity every month from my stash. I’m going to take the next two months to finish projects I’ve already begun and I’ll be keeping you abreast of developments here.

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