Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things in my House: The Fluffy Pillows



Right on the comfy couch sit these two fluffy pillows (are you comfy, old lady?) The pillows are just standard issue; the covers are what make them special. The fabric was a gift, sent to me by a close friend who was in the Peace Corps in Ghana. I had this fabric folded in a drawer for several years, then one day, I was looking for something else, and found it and remembered how much I loved it. Rather than wait around for ten more years figuring out what to do with it, I just took it to my mother-in-law (some day, there will be a separate post on how immigrant women can do EVERYTHING...cook, grow their own food from seed, make their own clothing and curtains...my mother-in-law can make something out of ANYTHING) and she whipped up these pillow covers for me in about 10 minutes...she even put in zippers so I can easily wash them.

Aesthetically, I love the color and design of this fabric. I love red and yellow (they sit on the yellow comfy couch, and there's also a red comfy couch in this room) and I love the simple, graphic, circle design.

I loved hearing Regina's stories about Ghana and its beautiful, friendly people (during my retail years, I worked with many Ghanaians, and there must be something in the water.) She'd spent several years teaching in public school in Philadelphia...imagine a 5'0" woman teaching HIGH SCHOOL in one of the toughest school systems in America. Then imagine her shock on her first day teaching at the Achimota School in Accra. She enters a classroom full of adolescents, who are behaving the way adolescents do in any country...until she entered the room, at which point every student stood at attention, total silence fell, and no one moved or even breathed until she greeted them...then they said "good morning" in unison, bowed, and sat down. The culture shock continued when she learned that as a teacher at Achimota, she was expected to have household help, since this is such an exalted position (as respected as a surgeon or judge) that it would shock the community if they were to see her lowering herself by doing her own laundry.

She and I used to exchange letters and I remember how happy she was when I sent her a care package containing some towels. There were other items, too, but the towels were what she treasured. I'd had a letter from her telling me about her move from her host family in the country to Accra, and how she couldn't find American-style towels anywhere. She was getting over the homesickness, the anti-malarial drugs, the unfamiliar food, but she couldn't get over not having a decent absorbent towel after she bathed. She's the most adventurous person I know, but even the adventurous need some home comfort once in a while. I was happy to have given that to her, and she gave it back to me in the fabric that became these pillows.

9 comments:

Sauntering Soul said...

That is one sweet story! Thanks for sharing....she sounds like an amazing friend.

Suze said...

Very nice story and pillows.

CDP said...

Thank you! I like things that remind me of people. I'm going to do a post soon on a jar that started my husband on his belief that he has turned me into a Korean person, appearances to the contrary.

Worker Mommy said...

Totally diggin those pillows and it's all the more special that they have great memories attached to them.

Iheartfashion said...

I knew I'd like you as soon as I spotted the George Bush countdown!

CDP said...

WM--hope you had a fabulous bday
IHeart--:). I just visited your blog (fabulous!), and it so happens that the person who gave me the fabric also lives in RI now, after having been all over the world. Which is apparently small.

FranIAm said...

I love your stuff in your house posts and this one is a beauty.

The pillows are gorgeous, but it is your gift with words that appeals most.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Those are cool pillows and you've got a cool friend. I love for items in my home to have some story or a meaning. I've got some Kinte cloth a friend of ours brought back from Africa that I intended for the same purpose.

DCup said...

Very cool pillows. Way better than anything we could get at Target. And such meaning which makes them just that much more interesting.

I like your things around my house posts. I think there's plenty of beauty in every day things.

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