Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cleaning Out the Dust Bunnies

I started a little project yesterday that required getting out my sewing machine. I hadn't used it for several months and for some reason the thread kept breaking. Finally, I broke down and dug out the owner's manual for some help.

Hmmm, when was the last time I had cleaned and oiled the machinery? Apparently, if I couldn't remember, then it had been way too long. As I started to disassemble each component, I made mental note to be able to put it all back together - hopefully without any parts left over.

I have never seen so many fuzzy dust bunnies in such a small confined space. I grabbed my trusty old toothbrush (one that had been replaced recently) and brushed out all the lint I could find. Next, I dug out the good old 3-in-1 oil can to lubricate all the neglected moving parts.

Amazingly, it was immediately easier to manually run the sewing machine thru its paces. Using my photographic memory (and a few grumbling words to help), I reassembled the machine and closed the covers for each compartment. Uh oh, where did that spring come from? I retraced my steps and consulted the manual for the umpteenth time to find the location missing one itty bitty spring.

As I worked thru the process using the manual as well as trial and error, I thought of how my Mother regularly serviced her machines. I recalled how she always kept a very small can of machine oil strictly for that purpose, whereas I had to borrow my husband's.

I also thought with pride about how she never had to take her sewing machine in for service. She knew that machine inside and out and could tell by the sound and feel when something needed attention. Sort of like she did with our family. She seemed to hone in on someone who needed a bit of TLC before we were even aware of it.

As I considered her legacy, I resolved to be more attentive to my equipment and to the people in my life who matter. I felt contentment as I finally started my sewing project and enjoyed my newly smooth-running sewing machine.


Rachel Cornell said...

Lovely story Beth. Nice how our loved ones keep on nudging and teaching us even after they have passed. Did you figure out where that lil spring went?

I have a baby oil can, want it?

Elizabeth (Beth) LaMie said...

Yes, it took me a while and finally had to ask my husband for some help. That was worse than looking in the user's manual. ;-)

Hey, if you have a baby oil can, I'd love it. Especially now that I know what to do with it. Thanks!