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MARY’S MEANDERINGS: Oct. 2 — A Rag Bag

You never know when, where or how you might “come up” with an idea for a story. As soon as she spoke the words..rag bag, the idea popped in my mind. I thought about my grandma.

Let me explain.

The years I operated an antique shop on Main Street in Greenwood was very enjoyable. I met many new friends, and from time to time former schoolmates and teachers dropped by. I miss that and sometime…for no reason…someone will pop in my mind, and I’ll remember their visits, what they liked and collected and what they sometime purchased and the next thing you know…I just might give them a telephone call. Sometime, receive a surprise call “Hello,” she said.

She and I are about the same age. I haven’t seen her in a long time, just her photograph ever once-in-awhile, in the Key magazine of which she is an exceptional member and volunteer in the South Sebastian County Historical Society I see in her picture, she hasn’t changed much, but I think all schoolteachers age gracefully.

“Are you doing any antiquing? “ she asked.

“No,” I replied.

We didn’t linger on why.

But, I did ask…”How about you?”

And, that’s how the subject “Rag Bag” came up.

She used to come by my shop with the prettiest linens, pillow cases, dresser scarves and doilies, all starched and ironed. “All done up” as my mama would say, and I just couldn’t resist buying them most of the time. Sometime we swapped and traded if there was something in the shop she really liked.

Back to our telephone conversation.

“You know, I’ve always liked sewing, but don’t do much of it any more, but I continue to-keep some antique linens in the mall.”

“I can just see them… ironed slick as a button,” I said.

She laughs.

“Sometime, when I’m washing and ironing my delicate old linens, I think of my mother,” she said wistfully.

“My mother had a rag bag,” she said.

“Really?” I replied.

Then my friend goes into detail talking about her mother’s rag bag…how she sewed patches on patches until the article was unfit for wear, then put into the rag bag.

We’re both at the age…we remember and discussed the subject of “years ago” when people didn’t throw away much.

“I wonder if anyone still has a rag bag?” she asked.

I kept quiet for awhile, with a smile on my face and a pause in our conversation.

Finally, I spoke up.

“You might not believe this.” I said. “But, I have a rag bag. A trait I learned from my grandmother. She had a rag bag and was always prepared to “doctor” mine and my brothers and my sister’s stumped toes and skinned and bruised knees.”

Course, we talked about other things. I hope she enjoyed our conversation as much as I did.

I suddenly remembered I had cornbread baking in the oven and before hanging up…asked her to call me sometime. I hope she will.

I plan to tell her…not only do I have a rag bag, but I also “have on hand” a bottle of Mercurochrome with a glass applicator.

(As kids, we called it Red Medicine.) Just like my grandma.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t throw away much of anything.

She’ll understand.

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