Holey Week, Part One

"How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gather her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." --Jesus, speaking to Jerusalem, Matthew 23:37

Darning-a sewing technique for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric....in its simplest form, darning consists of anchoring the thread in the fabric on the edge of the hole and carrying it across the gap. It is then anchored on the other side, usually with a running stitch or two. If enough threads are criss-crossed over the hole, the hole will eventually be covered with a mass of thread. -- Wikipedia 

(Kind of changes the phrase, "I'll be darned!" doesn't it?)

It is Holy Week, the holiest of times for Christians all over the world. It is a time for reflection, for pondering the deeper meanings of our faith, to prepare for Easter and a risen Christ, a Lord who is no longer the infant Jesus but one who has come into His own, the Divine Son of God who calls us to leave our worldly things behind, take up our cross and follow Him. No pressure there.

On a more secular level, this is a time to do away with the burdens of winter and to once again welcome spring into our lives. A time to purge, to clean out and clean up so that on Sunday we can relax and fill ourselves with chocolatey Easter goodness, nibbling ears off of candy rabbits, cracking into beautifully dyed hard-boiled eggs and reveling in the delights of sugar-high, egg-hunting children. Yes, these are the days that memories are made of and where traditions are born anew.

Whether you are the loyal church-going type, one who only makes it there a couple times a year, someone who has found no place for the holy or religious in your life, or anywhere else on the spectrum, it's hard to miss Easter quickly sneaking up on us. Aisles upon aisles in store after store are dedicated to supplying us with every possible chicken, bunny, basket, egg, chocolate, candy combination. And we jump on it like a gymnast on a trampoline. Yes, it is nearly here with all its implications and fattening gooeyness. You can't miss it. Are you ready?

I have to admit, I sometimes wish Kurt and I had not gone along with the whole "Easter Bunny leaving eggs and treats to find" thing. I can hardly wait for the day when Aidan comes home and (WARNING: Season Spoiler coming) announces there is no Easter Bunny/Santa/Tooth Fairy/Leprechaun.... (Well, duh! Sometimes I do wonder how intelligent these kids of ours can really be if they truly think there is a furry rabbit who hides bunches of candy filled plastic eggs for them in our house once a year....I mean COME ON! And how are they not aware that a fat guy in a red suit can't really....well, I digress....) While I don't anticipate with great excitement the ensuing broken hearts of two little girls, whom I imagine will argue the bunny's existence until they are out of breath, or at least until Kurt gives in to buying them a live one, I do look forward to the burden of secrecy being lifted. But then again that innocence lasts for just a moment and will be gone before we know it. And I do not wish that away. Plus, there is something so special and pure about the heart and mind of a child....pure enough that even J.C. himself told his disciples to, "“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he went along, gathering the children in his arms (apparently like a hen gathers her brood) blessing them....and possibly filling their baskets with chocolate eggs and bunnies, who knows.

For me, Holy Week is a time to tackle some personal projects. Each year during Lent, I prepare myself to play violin for an extremely somber and moving Good Friday service. And this year, since the piece I'm playing (Albinoni's Adagio) isn't as difficult as those of past years, I decided to tackle some other hole-y projects as well: patching my jeans and hemming some pants. Now, a seamstress I am not. My ability to sew up the holes in the knees of my pants is about as good as my ability to sew someone's arm back onto their body. So, I had my friend Kim (think rooster shoes) come over to teach me basic knee-patching technique. She got me started on one side and then left the darning and the other side for me.

How did that work out for me? I'm so glad you asked.

I got a lot of practice threading and re-threading the sewing machine. Over and over and over and over (that went on for the better part of an hour at which point I decided knee holes were not so bad after all....)

Here is Kim's patched knee (I still haven't darned it, unless by darning you are politely referring to the words coming from my mouth in the process.) Notice the nice straight lines and rectangular shape.

Here is my version.....also not darned, except verbally. Actually, it's just barely sewn on as far as I can tell. There's even random strings hanging down from it.....hmmm, scissors anyone? (Or blowtorch?)

And here is why we pay $13 per pair of pants for someone ELSE to do the hemming:

I'm guessing no one is going to call to have me sew there arm back on now....OK, truth be told, this was the practice pair. Kim cut off one of my abysmal hem jobs (now the much shorter side) to show me a wonderful trick. You see, there is this thing called an iron....I actually do own one and after digging out my ironing board from beneath the piles of laundry and stray socks, she showed me how, if you actually USE the iron, you can flatten the ends of the jeans to make it look more professional. Novel idea Kim (but I'm just aiming for even)! Now, if I can just figure out how to cut straight, sew straighter and perhaps get both sides the SAME length, I won't have to pay someone else to fix what I have spent so much time screwing up.

And so, dear reader, I pray your week has sided far closer to the holy than my jeans....and that any holes you may have experienced are filled with Chocolate Eggs left by the Easter Bunny and/or with the love and grace of God, brought to all who are willing by the one and only risen Hen. (Ok, ok, I might be pushing it with the chicken bit here!)

But, in the event I don't get back for Holy Week Part Two: Happy Easter.

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