Thursday, August 29, 2013
I have known Janet Ecord for almost 15 years. We crossed paths a few times beginning over a decade ago when I lived in Lavina and she in Melstone.
I helped her get started in Medical Transcription and Janet did the hard part of finishing my one and only quilt. Janet and I also traded services on another occasion. She sewed some curtains for (Ginger Arnold and) me. I painted the inside of her sewing shoppe which sits next to her house on Highway 12.
Those seemed like the right things to do some years ago. And, another course of action seemed right when I presented myself at her door several days into my current Walking Venture.
It was late morning when I appeared at her house on the east edge of little Melstone. It had been several years since I had last visited Janet while passing through on a trip to South Dakota. Janet was away from town and I missed her when Walking through in 2002.
This time when I knocked at her door, she appeared immediately with her two dogs behind her. We talked for a few moments while I filled her in about my latest adventure. When she invited me into her home, it was clear that Janet was working on a new venture of her own: remodeling the interior of her house.
Much of the floor was bare as Janet had pulled up the old shag rug. She had been busy scraping the old popcorn ceilings clear of their period texture. Janet was also planning to tear down a number of kitchen cabinets which jutted out into her present work area. She was in definite need of help on the latter operation.
I thought, “Wow! This is a big project. Maybe I should lend a hand.”
I made those thoughts audible within a few minutes and I joined in Janet’s remodeling effort.
I stayed with Janet and her dogs J.D. and Sam for 9 days. During that time, I got to know the grocery and cafe, senior center and church. As well as a number of Melstone's citizens.
But, the main object was to help Janet get her house in order. We got much of her ceilings scraped and cleaned and painted. A couple living room walls got covered with paint as well. The kitchen cabinets were removed from their posts of the last 20 years.
When those tasks were done, Janet put her sewing machine to use and repaired my tattered flag. (She has just now finished a replacement flag as the original Fannie got mauled in a hailstorm outside of Ashland and needs to be retired.)
Janet Ecord spends up to 12 hours a day at her computer keyboard transcribing dictated medical records. In years past, she taught at the Melstone High School.
But, it is clear that her favorite work and talent is with a sewing machine. Janet told me that her mother explained sewing to her when she was a little girl. But, Janet really taught herself and became a seamstress from an early age. She could and did sew practically anything during much of her life.
Alas, Janet has hardly touched any one of her several sewing machines for the last five years. My little projects gave her an excuse to sit again at her Bernina.
It also gave us a chance to visit the building next door to her house. Once upon a time, it was a grocery store. For a short period, it was her sewing shoppe called Seams Right. While the shoppe has been quiet for some years, it still holds many of Janet's creations some of which I induced her to let me photograph.
Along with her children and sewing, Janet is most fond of her two dogs J.D. (Janet’s Dog) and Sam who go with her most everywhere.
Recently, she purchased a Scamp trailer to take her home and pups with her. She can visit her two daughters (Carol and Jamie) and son (Will) most anytime, carry space for her and dogs, and set up her transcription equipment for work while on the road.
Some day, more opportunities will arise for Janet to get back to her first talent. If you ever need help with a sewing project, I’m sure Janet Ecord would be happy to help make your Seams Right. Contact her at email@example.com.
Amity and Unity to you.
Comments always welcome at theportableschool at gmail dot com.