The Work Ethic – Friday Fictioneers, September 2016

 

Copyright Sandra Crook

Copyright Sandra Crook

 

It was all she had to leave me, she said, unaware she’d left me so much more.

I blow the dust from the spindle and test the treadle with my foot.  It still works.  As did she, right up to a few months before her death.

Hers was a different era.  A time when the needy were truly needy, and not just needing more; when aid was for times of crisis, and not a way of life.

In the bobbin-box I find a roll of bank-notes, carefully labelled.

For my funeral.”

You paid your way, even on your way out.

Thank you to Rochelle for using my photo  to rally the Friday Fictioneers into action.  This brought back some memories for me.  And I was pleased that inspiration came quickly and easily this week.

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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to The Work Ethic – Friday Fictioneers, September 2016

  1. Rainee says:

    Quite a moving piece. My mum had one of those sewing machines 🙂

    Like

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Just lovely, Sandra

    Like

  3. Dear Sandra,

    Work ethic indeed. Makes me sorry I didn’t get to know her. You painted a rich portrait of a different time.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  4. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers -Sewing The Seeds Of The Past | A Mixed Bag

  5. Al says:

    Awesome story Sandra. Thanks for the image this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Graham Lawrence says:

    Moving. I adored the paragraph “Hers was a different era. A time when the needy were truly needy, and not just needing more; when aid was for times of crisis, and not a way of life.”
    Very true …

    Like

  7. Graham Lawrence says:

    Oh and thanks for the image!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I must say that this is fantastic.. such a moving story, a sense of duty… having grown up with strong Lutheran values I can see this still happening. Duty or work ethics…

    Like

  9. Really lovely, and moving. I feel like I would have liked to know this woman.

    Like

  10. ceayr says:

    Superb as ever, and with a serious message.
    You probably know all about this but just in case:
    http://www.singersewinginfo.co.uk/kilbowie/
    Just a few miles from Glasgow’s west end where I lived for many years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Really interesting link that CE. I loved my old Singer, but the new electric model that replaced it wasn’t a patch on it. I see they closed in 1980. Probably about the time I gave up on the Singer and switched to the Japanese models. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  11. Iain Kelly says:

    Love the first line. A touching portrait.

    Like

  12. michael1148humphris says:

    That was such a different time. 🙂

    Like

  13. Very nice. Reminded me a bit of the bill glued into the accordion bellows in Accordion Crimes, though nobody knew about those.

    Like

  14. gahlearner says:

    Beautifully written and very thought provoking. I have conflicting thoughts on the theme of work ethics and neediness. And I still have an old machine like that in working order. 🙂

    Like

  15. Morgan says:

    A beautifully expressed piece 🙂

    Like

  16. Often times, things are just things, but sometimes they evoke the most precious memories. Wonderful story.

    Like

  17. I love the message behind this and appreciate the subtlety. We do live in a different time for sure.
    Thanks for the photo inspiration today and the writing inspiration every week.
    Tracey

    Like

  18. You might have written this story about my grandmother and mother. Sometimes I think those work ethics have gone up in a puff of rudeness and undeserved expectation.

    Like

  19. Wise words.
    We have become so spoiled and there are so few of us now who actually remember first-hand stories like these. We’ve lost our humility.

    Like

  20. paulmclem says:

    Is it wrong of me to think that in reality she’ll blow the money on the crap tables at Vegas? Lol.

    Like

  21. Brilliantly told.
    With a strong message of how self serving the world has become.

    Like

  22. rgayer55 says:

    Shortly after her ninetieth birthday, I interview my mother for https://storycorps.org/. One memory that stood out in her mind was regarding an aunt who was particularly good at making button holes. Shiloh Museum used that clip the following year when they did a special exhibit on the StoryCorp interviews. Fond memories.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I made my first buttonhole when I was eleven, and I cut out a circle in the cloth and hemmed the edges beautifully. It’s true to say I was never of an engineering bent, and it took me a while to work out why the buttons kept on coming undone!

      Like

  23. I love the last sentence and the deeper meaning of this post. Thank you.

    Like

  24. Pingback: The Singer and the Song | MJL Stories

  25. mjlstories says:

    Inspiring photo. Great story – on and below its surface. Sewing is coming back (a little) but probably much that goes with those skills is lost.

    Like

  26. Laurie Bell says:

    Ooooo so sad Sandra, well told

    Like

  27. draliman says:

    Lovely piece and I enjoyed your social commentary. Times have indeed changed, or at least people’s perception of what “truly needy” actually is. It does not, in fact, mean that your phone is two years old and you can’t afford a new one.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ansumani says:

    A very beautiful and strong first line. We all owe our lives to such strong souls.

    Like

  29. oh my what a tense write! I love the way you close the story. What a memorable way to end the tale!

    Like

  30. I like this quiet piece–a moment of characterization for us to step into as the narrator mourns.

    Like

  31. Pingback: A Day in the Life of a Ballet Seamstress – Friday Fictioneers – The Bumble Files

  32. Amy Reese says:

    Great, Sandra! You captured not only her whole life in this story, but also that era of the sewing machine. People made things and hung on to them, didn’t waste or take things for granted. It really made me think. Thanks for the photo!

    Like

  33. Dahlia says:

    Very nicely penned Sandra – especially loved “when the needy were truly needy, and not just needing more; when aid was for times of crisis, and not a way of life” So very well said. Great photo prompt too.

    Like

  34. Michael Wynn says:

    This is so well told and does remind me of my parents generation where they did work hard and valued things in such a different way to nowadays, where everything seems so disposable. Nicely done, Sandra

    Like

  35. wmqcolby says:

    Amazing, Sandra! The thought behind all that is truly remarkable and so insightful. People, like my grandmothers, really DID live lives like that. My mom passed on to me those values and I hope I can pass them on to others.

    Superb! Five out of five bobbins.

    Like

  36. Indira says:

    You are so right about that era, dear Sandra. Beautiful, moving. It reminded me of my mother always spending her afternoon on sewing machine.

    Like

  37. I enjoyed your story, Sandra. Thanks for the great picture. My grandmother must have kept her mother’s old machine as she sewed clothes for me when I was young. Her mother died long before I was born. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  38. Liz Young says:

    ‘When the needy were truly needy’ – that struck a chord. The only way I could clothe my children was by making their dresses and trousers myself.

    Like

  39. Perfectly written, as always, Sandra. The work ethic has sadly gone to the wayside.
    My grandmother left a money labeled for her funeral too. I wonder if that was something traditional from the past. I enjoyed this very much.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  40. i b arora says:

    you truly excel when you say “a time when the needy were truly needy….” wish i could write like that

    http://obliqview.blogspot.in/2016/09/superstition-dont-ever-dispose-ofthis.html

    Like

  41. landofimages says:

    Superb and poignant. Evoked some cherished memories, thank you.

    Like

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