Babies, Curtains, and Book Promotions…

I remember when my sister went into labor with her first child…she was young…she was scared…of course Mama went to her house for support…and took me with her…that was no surprise…that’s what Mamas do…

No sooner had we gotten there…Mama assessed the situation and determined she had a ways to go…Mamas can tell that kind of thing…now…you might think that Mama would have sat down on the sofa with her and patiently coached her through contractions…but…you’d be wrong…

Mama pulled out the sewing machine…and the new fabric…and curtain making began…and continued for several hours…yielding not only lovely curtains…but an expectant mother about forty-five minutes shy of delivery when we got to the hospital…where everyone was amazed at how calm and collected she was…you have to remember that this was in the days when women were heavily medicated for labor…curtain making wasn’t the norm

In fact…in the years that I taught Lamaze classes…curtain making didn’t appear in the curriculum…

So…why did Mama do it…and why was it so effective…well…she used it because it was something real…and something that needed to be done…it was something she knew and she could control…but…most importantly…it served as an effective distraction…keeping my sister’s focus off the fear of labor and delivery…and onto something tangible…essentially onto something she wanted…I’m not certain…but the curtains were probably for the nursery…

Bertha…brought this memory to me during our recent Olympic Free Book Toss…AKA…free days on Kindle…it was a particularly frantic morning…Tweeting and Facebooking back and forth with folks from all over the world…watching every hour to see how the rankings on Amazon had changed…glued to the computer…barely leaving to take a potty break…

And…then…it happened…

A new friend…from another country…who was also doing a promotion that day…had Twitter problems…she sent me a message on Facebook…we messaged back and forth for over an hour…talking not only about our books and the promotions…but about families…and just normal things…and a funny thing happened…we started laughing…or at least I did…and…the longer we chatted…the lower my anxiety level became…and I could tell hers was lessening as well…about that time…her husband came home…her Twitter straightened out…I had lunch…away from the computer…and although I continued to be at the computer the rest of the next two days…the anxiety of the morning never returned…

Bertha…said it was the same thing as the curtain making…and I can see that it was…the conversation took my attention away from the anxiety regarding the book promotion…and…it shifted my focus to something that I enjoyed…getting to know someone…making a connection…

So…how did the book promotion go…I’m extremely pleased with the results…you can read about them…here…if you’d like…

Anyway…back to Mama…her technique of…distract and redirect…worked like a charm for my sister…but…for some reason that I’ve never thought about until today…I didn’t call her until I my first baby was actually born…maybe it was because labor started in the middle of the night and she was a few hours away…and…I didn’t want her to drive it in the middle of the night…maybe it was because the baby came before daylight…or maybe…I just didn’t have any need for curtains…

Naww…that wasn’t it…surely…

Jane

What Goes Around…

I come from one of those families that never throw anything away…well…empty toilet paper rolls…but then again…I used to cut them into smaller rings…cover them with fabric and make pillbox hats for my Barbie…so…okay…I’ve digressed and proved my point…and also shown my age…anyway…we…repurpose…or we keep it…just in case we might need it later…waste not want not…you get the picture…

I’d like to say that we are environmentally conscious…and maybe we are…but…this practice started way before those words were ever strung together…

My first recollection of the practice was when we were moving my sister home from college…the car and truck were packed to the hilt…no room for another thing…when my Granny spied a plastic tea pitcher sitting on the counter…she hung it on the antenna…and away we drove…the Alabama Hillbillies…we should have made her ride in the rocker

From there…things got kind of interesting…my sisters and I all started housekeeping…and what I call the…Swap Meets…began…the rules were simple…I’m not using this…do you want it…I’m not giving it to you…but you can use it as long as you want to…unless I want it back…

With just Mama and the three of us girls participating…it was one thing…but things really got interesting when the grandkids started going away to college…

By this time…we were storing our…surplus…in an empty building Mama owned…and…many a dorm room or first apartment was furnished without ever going to a store…

Occasionally…items were transferred…title and all…AKA…sold to each other…as I did with my living room furniture after my divorce…I sold it to my sister for my niece…

Now…there is a point to this story…and it goes like this…

I’ve had the same chairs in my living room for a while…Mama’s…and while they are lovely…they just weren’t what I wanted anymore…for about a year…I’ve been threatening to have them reupholstered…but could never commit to the idea…I mean…they were in great shape…they were Mama’s…and…honestly…I hadn’t found exactly what I wanted to cover them in…until last week…I innocently went into a store…and…there it was…the perfect fabric…the most expensive piece they had…even on sale…undaunted…I bought a nice large sample to bring home…with Mama’s help and some careful calculations…I figured I could swing the project…by selling only one kidney…my mind was made up…I was gonna do it…

Until…

We all had lunch together…sister who’d purchased my chairs all those years ago…has had them in her living room for a long time…and was no longer going to use them…she’d bought new lazy boys…did I want to come and see…sure…I knew the chairs…but hadn’t realized they were once mine…

After lunch…we all went to her house to see her new chairs…and…low and behold…those old chairs of mine should look great in my living room…we loaded one up in my niece’s mini-van…a requirement to participate in swap meets…and brought it to my house…where it looked great…problem solved…except…what to do with Mama’s chairs…

Enter sister number two to the rescue…they might look good in her guest room…and there is actually a bedspread that matches them…hmmm…

You guessed it…by the next day…I had the matching chair from my sister’s house…and my other sister was delighted with Mama’s chairs at her house…don’t know what happened to the ones she was using…but I’m sure they’ll show up at somebody’s house in the near future…

‘Cause…we all know…what goes around…comes around

Jane

PS…

Mama came by…seems as though my sister had an antique sofa in her guestroom…which is now in Mama’s bedroom…further proving my point…