Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Quick Sweet Story

My Uncle died recently.  He was a brilliant man, fascinating and engaging, adored for his passion to share.  When I say brilliant, I mean MIT professor of 50 years.  Inventor of a heart valve.  A cryogenic scientist and decorated engineer.  Determined to teach the second law of thermodynamics to fifth graders.

He was a builder and a maker, too.  He and my father built our camp: They peeled logs for the barn, engineered a dam for the pond, repaired tractors, built roads, fashioned an outhouse from treasures my Uncle collected at the dump.

We were looking at slides my cousin's daughter had collected and came across a photo of my Uncle sewing white draperies.  I looked behind me.  Running the length of his living room were exquisite pinch pleated draperies, floor to ceiling.  I gasped.  I never knew.

And then my mother said, "Oh yeah, when Lou was pregnant he sewed her maternity clothes."

And there it is.  Discovery and the joy of making.  Sewing, heart valve, new outhouse.  All worthwhile.  So worthwhile.

My Uncle and my Dad, one log of many for a barn,
and a snowy scene to cool you on a hot day 


Tracey said...

what a lovely story of a brilliant man. he sounds wonderful.

Ellen Mason said...

Thank you Tracey. I forgot to mention he wore magnifying goggles on his forehead for the last 5 yrs - another person in my family with commitment to personal style.

Mary Lou said...

My uncle did formica counters and laid vinyl floors. During a bout of unemployment, he decided that sewing clothes couldn't be any harder. He made a chiffon dress for his wife to wear to a wedding and wouldn't let her tell anyone he made it. Eventually he became proud of his hobby. Sadly he now has macular degeneration, so goggles won't help. Sounds like a lovely man to know, your uncle.

Ellen Mason said...

Imagine how wonderful it would feel to wear that secretly made chiffon dress. <3