What do Mother Goose, Niagara Spray Sizing, my dear grandma, and a patchwork pocket have in common? They are all childhood memories so inexorably entwined that I can’t think of one without the others.
Whenever I hear nursery rhymes, I recall snuggling up to my grandmother. She smelled of freshly pressed cotton sheets which she ironed by day and tucked around me at night. Grandma had endless patience for reading aloud and my favorite bedtime book was The Real Mother Goose. Although some of the poems made little sense to my toddler brain, their sing-song rhythm was like a lullaby.
Lucy Locket was a particularly puzzling verse. Just how did she manage to lose a pocket? How careless would you have to be to lose something that’s sewn right into your clothes? The illustration by Blanche Fisher Wright just reinforced my notion that this was a morality lesson for absentminded children. Lose your pocket, or anything else for that matter, and you’ll end up crying!
Fast forward almost fifty years to a hospital visit from my friend, Mary. She made me a patchwork pocket, designed to tie around the waist and keep sewing essentials near at hand. For the time being, I can tie it to my walker to hold a cell phone, tissues and lip balm.
When I opened the gift, the first thing I thought of was Lucy Locket. As I started to recite the verse, Mary chimed right in: