This week I was down in the basement, getting something or other, and noticed all the rolls of fabric.
The fabric has been here almost as long as we’ve been in this house (2001).
It came from my old neighbor, Susan. Susan is a Japanese. She met her husband, Ed, when he was in Japan serving in the military. Although she has lived here for years, she still had a heavy accent and it’s difficult to understand her. Nevertheless, I loved her as a neighbor and spent many happy times at her house, enjoying her beloved cat with her and watching tennis (which she loved) on TV and seeing her stacks of Japanese magazines.
She gave us gifts when the girls were born, and since they had no children, she passed along some dishes and bowls to us.
Ed is quite a character. He is a self-taught expert on various forms of Christianity, makes any kind of fishing fly you can imagine, and is a magician who used to perform magic shows at malls. Susan dressed up in a kimono and was his assistant.
Susan sewed really well. She had worked in the alterations department at Wolf and Dessauer, a famous department store back in the ’50s.
Later, she began a curtain-making business out of their house.
Around the time we moved, Ed and Susan’s cat that they had had for 15+ years died. Shortly after that, Susan had a severe stroke and has been in a nursing home since. She no longer recognizes Ed, and doesn’t speak at all.
Ed called me at the time and wondered if I would like her fabric. I wasn’t sure I did. It was a huge amount, and what would I do with so much drapery fabric, much of it out of style? But I did load up the van with it, and am glad. I have used several pieces for various things … a curtain in my dad’s kitchen, pillow backings, linings for various things, school projects … and it is nice to think that Susan’s fabrics are living again. I think Susan would enjoy that, too.