Today is my wife's birthday.
And for the weekend, I had offered to drive with her into Vinton County to visit a sewing machine repair shop. In fact, there's a little enclave of quilters and shops along Pumpkin Ridge Road on the far side of Vinton County, all within a few miles of each other.
While we drove the winding highway, we spotted several shocks of color as the leaves begin to turn. Orange and yellows were most common, among the many green trees. But on the return trip along Route 50, it seemed whole valleys and hollows had started to change.
They will be spectacular over the next two weeks.
But while we were driving, she reminded me that I had helped her pick up this old machine from Wards some 30 years earlier.
I have a slightly different memory of the trip, recalling that the bus system was involved. But she insists that I went along because I was the only person that she knew who had a car in college.
I owned a bright orange Dodge Colt with rally wheels only because my father had advanced me the money to purchase the car in the last two years of college because I was starting to get jobs at area radio stations for sign on and off, and needed my own transport to get there. He had spotted this lone used ORANGE car on a used lot in Detroit, and thought it might be snazzy for me. He was right, it was a good value and I recall wiring the car for my under-dash FM/stereo cassette unit and putting a strip of orange and black shag carpeting in the back window for some reason. It must have been the fashion.
Unfortunately, the sun bleached the orange to a bright yellow, and the black rubber foam backing adhered to the rear ledge, making it almost impossible to remove years later. I never made that same mistake again, choosing jute backed carpet for my next car. But I digress.
We had driven across the metropolitan area to the one Wards store to pick up her new Wards sewing machine. Now, though she owns two others, she wanted to have her sturdy old one re-tuned. She claims that the machine is stronger and sturdier and can handle thicker fabrics better.
Last night, she confirmed this as she whips off some jeans repairs in record time with the zig-zag feature that was new back then. She crowed that the machine was so much better than today's models.
I was pleased to help her go retrieve the machine, even if she told the clerk the tale of how we had purchased it for $238 years ago.
Now, she's making that extra money doing seamstress work on the side at home. And she's good at it. She's enjoying it. And she's continuing in the business.
Happy Birthday Honey.
Can I get my jeans fixed now?