Way in the back I found it – a cross-stitched apple stretched over a covered button frame edged with a piece of jute. The magnet that should have been glued to the back is long gone, but the memories surrounding this object are still there.
Back in the 80’s, when my kids were in elementary school, the PTO would have a Secret Santa sale of craft items that the kids could buy as gifts for their families or friends. They asked parents to donate 50 hand crafted or store-bought items of something that could be used for the sale. I had just taken up cross-stitching so I decided to make kitchen magnets. During the summer I would take my kids to the East Whiteland pool. There we would meet up with friends from all over the community. We moms would sit and chat, and there I would be with my squares of cross-stitch fabric creating images of apples, rainbows, and other small objects. In the fall, after all the squares were completed, I assembled the magnets in time for the sale. (The following year I made 50 ribbon barrettes, but that’s another story).
That little magnet reminded me of a time in my life when I dabbled in crafts and did lots of sewing, but it is the memories of sitting by the pool with my friends during those relaxing summers that it most vividly brought to mind. We would talk through problems, share ideas on child rearing, decide who were the best teachers in the school, and forge friendships, many of which last to this day.
Who would have thought a junk drawer could be such a rich source of writing ideas?