Recycler? Being Frugal? Saving for a Rainy Day?
Many times I find myself unable to throw something away. Yesterday I was cutting fabric. It was an old wool sweater that someone had obviously shrunk in the dryer. They must have added it to the goodwill bag. A friend who makes wonderful felted items found it, took it home to add to her stash of wonderful things. She moved.
Before she left she brought boxes of not moving with but still good stuff for our knitting/spinning group to rescue. Any already felted wool is coveted – less work (don’t have to shrink it first), frugal, (don’t have to buy it, it’s free) – ready for upcycling into something new. I took it home.
It wasn’t a rainy day, but snowing. One of the piles of “saved” materials fell over and there was that old felted sweater. I could make a sweater for one of my scrappy bears.
My grandmother lived through the big depression. She instilled in me the never-let-go-of-anything-because-you-just-might-need-it-someday attitude at a very young age. As I hovered over the trash can with the remaining scraps from my bear project my mind screamed no!, my heart started beating 90 miles,an hour. I couldn’t do it. They were perfectly good pieces of nicely felted wool in a deep navy color that should, could, would be used for something?
I backed away from the black hole. I don’t want to say the black hole of no return because many times I have dove back in – a bona fide trashcan diver. I beat myself up just a little for being so pathetic then sat down and proceeded to cut the small pieces into even littler pieces in shapes for noses and eyes.
Only tiny shreds remained. As I brushed them off the table and into my hand heading for the garbage with them, you guessed it, I still couldn’t do it. This was hard to find natural fibers. I bi-passed the blue bucket and added the bits to my bag of stuffing for the next projects.
I recycled, upcycled in my frugal way. Grandmother, are you smiling? I will always be ready for that rainy day you told me about. Unfortunately, in this new age, they call it hoarding.
Aside: My first husband did not break me of this habit despite the fact he was a nomad. If it didn’t fit in the truck, it didn’t go with. I learned to be an exceptional packer, filling every nook and cranny with things we might need just in case.
My new husband understands. He, too, is a hoarder in disguise, saving old tools, old machinery, and things to make things with.
These are more stories to be told another time. I must go now.