The evening sunset light is bright as it streams across my living room floor, carpeted and warm. Comfortable with the central air running, reminding me of a time the old four-inch wooden boards for a floor in the old farmhouse were never either carpeted or warm. They were often splintered, and mother always knew where a needle was to dig them out of our feet. All of this dims the reality of comfort as I see my mom stripping material of all kinds into about one-inch sizes, multi-length pieces. After many, many pieces had been cut and sewn into what was uncountable feet of strings, mom would choose three pieces of her strings. They were all different colors because of the many materials sewn together. Gathering her strings, she began to braid them together. The different colored material, some stripes, floral, plaid and solids began to make a color and pattern of their own. Her hands were small, slender and agile as she continued to plait the materials together. She was tedious with her work, making sure the braids were equally as tight as the next, sometimes taking them apart with her medium length sharp pointed fingernails to redo them. After braiding what she thought she would need, something beautiful began to appear. Mom would take the end of her braided material, bend it just a little until she had made a circle. I remember watching her knuckles bend as she used her needle and thread looping the material together, pushing the needle through with her thimble. Depending on what shape she wanted depended on the shape of the tight or elongated circle she chose to do. As the thread began to run short, she would run the thread through the same area several times and cut it off real close to her work. Un-threading the spool for more thread, I can see her stretch her slender arm out as long as she could get it, often biting the end of the thread from the spool. She would then put just the tip of the thread in her mouth, wetting it so it would be pointed, making it easier for her to thread it through the eye of her needle, pulling it the same length and magically spinning her finger until a knot was in the end of the thread. She is sitting in the floor, one knee bent behind her, the other leg out in front as she continues her work, berets holding her hair back. In goes the needle from one side, out through the other, over and over until the making of a rug appeared as she kept turning and sewing. Stretching and flattening the shape as it began to grow into a finished product that was both beautiful and useful, covering the splinters in the old wooden floor. Just a fleeting memory revived by the rays of sun peeking in my door reminding me of those one-inch strips of bright material.
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