Monday, February 20, 2012

Dear Saint Anthony

I am not a Catholic, though I was raised that way. Actually, I am not even a Christian. But I believe in Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. He is the favorite saint of my whole family - my mother, sisters, brother and I all take regular advantage of his services and I can say that he has (almost) never failed us.

I would have said never, except we recently lost one of my seventeen-month-old's shoes...just one...and after months of looking, we still have not found it. We thought Saint Anthony finally came through last month when my three-year-old admitted that he put it inside the wall when it had been open for some renovation projects last year. Luckily, we had a small section of wall screwed back on without being patched because it gives us access to water shut-off valves for our bathroom. So, we pulled the screws out, convinced that Saint Anthony had saved the day. But no luck, no shoe inside the wall. (Yes, I am really hoping that Evan did not mean a different wall!) I have not lost faith though. I know Saint Anthony will come through for me in the end, although I imagine Clayton will have long outgrown the shoes by then.

So, I was determined to get through a few projects tonight. I was moving along at a pleasingly productive pace when my bobbin thread ran out. Arghh!


I had been making such fine progress that the idea of stopping to wind a bobbin seemed unpleasant. Sloth, I know, one of the seven deadly sins and probably the karmic root of all that followed. Anyway, I was using off-white thread and was only sewing seams for a tote bag liner, so I figured it would not matter in the least if I used pure white bobbin thread. I grabbed one of the white bobbins that had come with the machine and put it into the bobbin case. I was winding it through when the thread broke and I had to pull the bobbin out of the case to relocate the end of the thread. That is when I discovered that, apparently, the bobbin that "came with the machine" maybe did not come with the machine after all. Or maybe it did. (My husband bought the machine well before I started sewing and I had nothing to do with its early days as a member of our family. I truly do not know where these bobbins came from.) Either way, it clearly did not fit in my machine's bobbin case. The bobbin was stuck - it would not budge when I shook it, or when I pulled at it with the tips of my embroidery scissors, or when I poked at it through the small hole on the back of the bobbin case.

The only way to get it out again was to loosen the screw on the side of the bobbin case - you know the tiny one that you turn to adjust the lower thread tension. I was actually feeling pretty good about myself that I had thought of that screw and, filled with pride (another deadly sin, I know), I turned it just a bit too much. Out it flew and the bobbin case popped apart, tumbling to the floor. When I went to retrieve the pieces, the screw was nowhere to be found.


I did not even wait a minute. I knew this was a lost cause without even starting to look for screw. I prayed immediately to Saint Anthony.

Dear Saint Anthony, please come around. There is something lost and it can't be found.

I got down on my hands and knees and looked. I lay down with my face pressed against the carpet and  looked again. I ran my hand and then my fingertips over the carpet. I looked in the cuffs of my pants and in my pockets. I went to the garage to get the flashlight and kept looking, hoping I would see the glint of a  minute piece of metal. Then, I repeated these steps. Still no screw.

I figured I would have to give in and buy a new bobbin case, thus abandoning my hopes of doing some sewing tonight. As a last effort, I decided to check to see if, perhaps, the machine had come with something like the repair kits for eyeglasses, including a teeny tiny screwdriver and extra teeny tiny screws. I started pulling things out of the machine's storage box and OH MY! the bobbin case screw was sitting right there in the bottom of the box.

Thank you, Saint Anthony! You did it again!

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