We’ve reached the day in the quarantine when I pulled out the 1956 Singer sewing machine I inherited.

No, I don’t sew. I’m barely crafty at all, I prefer writing and performance art to visual. I appreciate the work of others, I just didn’t get that particular pull for me. Honestly, I glue myself to myself.

I’m the mother of two boys, 12 & 8. An old sewing machine was pretty confusing to them both and me. The 12-year-old wandered off to do other things after surveying the situation, but the 8 year old stuck by me out of curiosity and for the entertainment factor. He’s a lot like me.

“So what are you going to make?” he asked, innocently assuming I would be doing that today. I told him my general idea of masks for our entire family to protect from germs, but that I needed to figure out the machine first.

I told him how I used one in 8th grade, probably 30 years ago, in a home economic class. He chuckled in his much older, wise man way and said “I don’t know what that even means.” He pointed out again the LONG time period that has passed and my obviously rusty skills (at best), which was very helpful as I struggled to make sense of the users manual.

The manual, also from 1956, is funny in the wording for 2020 eyes. I looked at numbered figures, numbered instructions, and tried to figure out what goes where.

“This is a bobbin!” I exclaimed proudly. I realized I remembered all of 4 or 5 terms total, but that was certainly one of them. I pulled it out and it immediately popped out of my fingers, rolling across the floor, unwinding the thread wound many decades before.

After making sure I had it safely in hand again, mini me excused himself, calling back, “Let me know when the masks are done! Can’t wait to see!” His vote of confidence in me is truly astounding. Or is it sarcasm? I’m not really sure.

I rewound the bobbin absentmindedly, still looking at the manual drawings and numbers. I started talking to myself, so I’m glad the kids had left. My husband, Craig, had sat down though and he grinned as I learned to thread the machine.

“Ok, says here that there are twelve guides and then the needle itself. TWELVE? That’s a ridiculous amount of guides, isn’t it? One….two…oh man… where is three? We’ve lost three.”

Mini Me returns. “How’s it going in here?” “We’ve lost three.” My husband drily replies.

“I found it! Three….four… oh dear what is even happening with 5?” I make my way through the figure, the entire twelve step program, and finally the needle! “It works! I can do this!” I prematurely declare.

After making a mess sewing a straight line, I have decided to make one (1) mask if its the last thing I do. It just might be.

Staff writer Miles Layton can be reached at mlayton@ncweeklies.com