Just pinned up…for about the 1000th time…

Why am I awake at half past midnight?


When I found my new home, I went right back to bed after the showing. However, I now had rooms to plan out, and I could think of exactly which pair of curtains or what fabric would make curtains. My bedrest boredom went way down!

I loved the apartment. Except for one, tiny thing.

The living room’s oversized glass sliding windows.

Dear God! I thought. There is nothing. Nothing in the vast storehouse of family heirloom curtains and fabrics that even comes close to being enough to cover this monster!

I was wrong of course, because the burgundy and green paisley custom designed swag scarves that my biological parents had over the custom blinds in the living room of the house they brought from my Grandfather were still there. For more, see my post “Why We Keep Things”

But I refuse to use the fabric that was covering the head table the day Brian and I attempted to get married that also matched one of the over-skirts on my Steampunk/Victorian style wedding dress for something as mundane as curtains.

I hit my knees. Not literally of course, because by this point I was only out of the wheelchair or the bed for short little periods no longer than 48 hours arranged by the pain clinic that I called “Cinderella Hours”.

I prayed and prayed.

“God, I have nothing that I can use as curtains. I have no money to buy blinds. I also have a clause in my lease that says I am not allowed to use blankets, newspaper, or – strangely – aluminum foil to cover any windows. God, why did they need to add that?”

Every night, I prayed.

“God, I love the way the sun shines down and the view when I look out, but I am really not sure ‘live on display in a fishbowl’ was part of my Franciscan vows. Help me God. I don’t even have enough money to buy the fabric I would need! What should I do God?”

When I moved in I took the largest curtain I had (the deep blue satin and polyester Victorian knockoff in the photo) and put it up. Fully stretched, with pushpins holding it to one wall, and a string pinned on and stretched to another tack on the opposite wall, it covered about 2/3 of the slider. I couldn’t keep it that way, as the sliders are the fire escape, so for most of the time I have been here there has been only half the glass covered. Guests learned quickly that they had to put on a bathrobe if they stayed over and wanted to get to the bathroom.

God, of course, takes an immeasurable amount of pity on me, if only for the simple fact that I screw up more things just from the hand tremors than most ordinary humans.  If you close your eyes and imagine a kindly old Jewish guy who once in a while likes to pull your leg, you have a pretty clear idea about how God sometimes is with me.

I went this month to the community food pantry, having exhausted most of the stuff I had gotten at the one run by my adopted parent’s church. The community pantry has big tables set up, and whatever fresh or not-so-fresh but still edible vegetables, bread, and such they get is put out in boxes that you can take as much as you like.

This month, I was able to get 3 white, only a little bit soft, White Eggplants. I am hoping you can cook them in spaghetti sauce anyway.

As I was wheeling around the big square made by all these 8 foot tables, I saw a box that was filled with fabric, and that is when God answered my prayer with his typical sense of humor.

Brown, dark, thick, and striped almost like a corduroy but not so heavy and stiff. And there was a LOT of it, one great big gargantuan piece. It took my attendant and I standing about 6 feet apart to untangle it. Surely, there was enough here to make curtains.

“Ok, God. Brown? Yeah, I know I have ALSO been praying and talking with you about making my profession vows and stepping up from third class to straight Franciscan, but really?! This is how you tell me?!”

I am still waiting on God to get back to me on the vows thing. The fabric was, of course, not enough. I needed to add at least 15” to the top or bottom or something.

“OK God, now what?”

God answered my prayer about that today when my doctor appointment got canceled at the last minute and I decided to steal away on the bus and go to Joanne’s Fabircs. Thanks to 50% off solids and a clearance find, in the photo you can see a pinned mock up of what the finished curtains will look like.

I think.

I sat in my armchair (early 1980’s, bought by my bio parents for the house where I spent my childhood.) and just stared at the print squares and solid blue, got up, unpinned, rearranged, and re-pinned for what Booker was sure was two hours tonight.

This is a huge decision. God picked the fabrics, but I came up with the design. This is unnerving because I realized as I ate dinner that these will probably be the very last pair of living room curtains I will ever have.

My great grandchildren might be one day using these curtains.

So, now you can understand why I am up past midnight, with my measuring tape around my neck like a priest’s stole, pins and bits of fabric scattered around on the floor, and Booker sitting on the couch in his sweater wondering if Mommy is ever going to bed.

This is huge. Is the spacing right? Is the decision to place the color at eye level for the walking humans right? Is it too little of the lighter fabrics? Should I add a stripe of blue along the top of the print?

Are they too modern for me? I mean it is true that I now wear skinny jeans, a little black dress by that Itzach whatever guy, and have an entirely different sense of style, but…can these curtains coexist in the same home with a dining room awash in Victorian roses, porcelain dolls, and a gold edged framed museum print?

What would my daughter Trina think if she someday moved and had a huge fishbowl slider and the only curtains that were on hand were these? Would they be ok for her to hang up that first day to hide all the boxes and furniture that just got unloaded?

And so, I went back and forth from the rocking chair to the curtain for hours tonight. In the end, I realized that the best thing to do was to engage in the same pastime as a lot of my friends who sew and craft.

So…what do you think of my new “living room curtains” idea?

woman_victorian_web*holding her breath*…Brenda

©10/26/2015, Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC