…everything changed.

In the past few weeks society has come to a halt as the battle with Covid-19 wages. The Sewing Machine Project is affected, as are most businesses and nonprofits, communities and individuals across the country, across the globe, by the necessary restrictions now in place. We watch. We wait. We adapt.

I look back over recent photos of volunteers working closely together. A wistful sigh escapes me. I will never again take the ability to work physically closely with others for granted.

Last week’s and this week’s (and many to come, I’m sure!) Machinist’s Union gatherings were cancelled. We can’t be crowding around a table in a little Sunday School classroom, working on machines. I emailed the team to let them know about the cancellation.

“Well, how about if we come and pick up machines?” was the response. So that’s what we did. Volunteers, one by one, arrived at the church, where I’d pulled the waiting machines down to the parking lot. Little tool boxes at the ready, a check sheet to register which machine went with whom, and off they went. Smiling, chatting at a distance, blowing kisses to one another, accepting what is and looking for a way to help. It’s no surprise that these women found a new way to jump in. I will never again take the generous hugs we share upon meeting and departing for granted.

Our April board meeting will be virtual, something new to us. We’ve already established that it’s ok to show up in your pajamas. For now, anyway, we’ll meet from our homes, missing that closeness that comes from sitting together. I will never again take the intensity of feeling that comes from discussions in close proximity with one another. 

Local sewing classes and mending sites are on hold for now.

Volunteers have picked up sewing kits to work on at home.

And life goes on, in some augmented sort of way. We continue to receive inquiries and applications, machines and donations. The wait time for machines will, no doubt, be a little longer, as our process is a little slower. But they’ll get done and they’ll go out.

I will never take these things for granted that have been graciously given all of my life. The world is changing. Let us make note of those things we miss and never take them for granted again.

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