Text/Qin Yuling

When I came home a few days ago, when my eighty-year-old mother saw me, she said anxiously: “Tian Tian broke the sewing machine, you should come and take a look.” She said as she pulled me to see the sewing machine, her heart aching like a child whose beloved toy had been broken.

I comforted her and said, “It’s okay, find someone to repair it, if it really doesn’t work, I’ll give you a new one.” ”

My mother said, “What new do you want, I’m almost in the soil, what do I want a new sewing machine for!” ”

I hurriedly said: “Don’t you dare to enter the soil, you have entered the soil, who will roll the insoles of this old and young man!” ”

The mother smiled, her expression was a little complicated, and her topic still returned to the sewing machine: “This thief woman doesn’t know how to make it, I removed the shuttle, cleaned the thread of the clamp, and anointed the back and forth, but still didn’t move.” For decades, I don’t know how much work this machine has done, and I have never played marijuana, and this time it seems that it is completely impossible…”

In the sound of my mother’s nagging, I suddenly felt a little sad, and the bits and pieces between my mother and this sewing machine flooded my heart…

In my childhood memories, I have always been proud that my mother was a tailor, because my clothes, whether new or old, even if they were remade from adults’ old clothes, were always neat and fitting, and blue pants often had a thin red edge at the seam and a red bow sewn on the pocket, which attracted the envy of the surrounding friends. Relatives, friends, and neighbors often come to the house to ask their mother to help make clothes, and her mother has always refused to come. She worked in the production team during the day, and these sewing and mending tasks could only be left at night, gathering the orange light from a forty-watt incandescent light bulb, and stepping on the sewing machine until late at night.

My mother was a tailor, and when I was young, I always seemed to take it for granted, until I became an adult, when I had nothing to do, I asked my mother, “Who did you learn your tailoring craft from?” The words stirred up a thousand waves, and my mother immediately opened the chatterbox, and her eyes were full of excitement to tell me again about her and her family’s past.

My mother’s mother’s mother-in-law and grandfather had a total of seven children, two sons and five daughters. One of his sons was a battalion commander in the Kuomintang troops, and the other was a second treasurer in Lanzhou Tobacco Factory, and after the five daughters were married, the family was all high-content during the land reform. The female dependents in the family, whether they are housekeeping, cooking or needlework, are all well-known hands, and their mother has been familiar with it since childhood, and naturally she has also done a good job as a good female worker.

On the 16th day of the 10th lunar month in 1956, my mother married into my family. At that time, shortly after joining the cooperative (agricultural cooperative), my mother, who had graduated from high school, participated in collective labor during the day and taught literacy classes at night. The commune later set up a collective sewing club, and her mother, with her well-known needlework skills, was transferred from the field to work in the sewing club. My grandfather and my grandmother, who had become rich through hard work before liberation, were proud to have such a capable daughter-in-law in the family, and they bought their mother a brand new Shanghai-made “Flying Man” brand sewing machine – in the countryside of that era, this was enough to be regarded as a luxury! Since then, my mother no longer has to go to the field to bask in the sun, and she can still get high work points.

Later, the sewing club was disbanded, and my mother was assigned to the credit union. After the “flying man” returned home, he was still busy with all kinds of sewing work every night, marrying daughters from the owner, marrying relatives from the West family, and making birthday clothes and hats for the elderly, and the mother would be invited to help sew clothes and quilts, busy all year round. The main family’s thank-you gift will naturally be much heavier than ordinary people: dim sum candy, eight white-faced steamed buns with fatty meat slices. When we were young, we often ate these things that other children rarely eat, so we would often exclaim while eating: “Fortunately, we have a sewing machine at home!” ”

In 1981, Xiaomei was born, and because she violated the family planning policy at that time, she was given an extra birth, so she was fined a lot. At that time, family planning work was really vigorous, lifting doors and twisting locks, jumping off walls, pulling away grain and furniture, etc. were commonplace, in short, there was no mercy for overborn households. In this situation, my family’s “flying man” was also pulled to a warehouse in the brigade headquarters that had been idle for many years, and it was left for more than a year. When the movement was slightly loosened and pulled back, I saw that the former shiny “flying man” was now covered in dust, the machine board was scratched mottled, the edge was bitten off by a mouse, the belt had long since disappeared, and there were a few fewer screws connecting the board and the rack… This can hurt the mother’s heart, she stroked the scratches over and over again, carefully wiped it, oiled it, went into the city to buy a new belt to put on, threaded the needle and picked up a cloth silk to try, and it turned out to be good! We all praised the quality of the “flying man”, and my mother was naturally very happy, and since then, the “flying man” can be with my mother all day long.

After the reform and opening up, the market economy has been unprecedentedly prosperous, and people’s food and clothing have gradually entered the market, coupled with the package production to the household, our family has more land and less labor, so my mother has rarely done sewing work except for making clothes for the family. Despite this, under the influence of our mother, the four brothers and sisters all learned to step on the sewing machine, and some of the work of rolling straight lines on the sewing machine was difficult for us, especially me, who was placed on my mother with high hopes of “being a good tailor without going to school”! Although I didn’t become a tailor, I didn’t live up to my mother’s expectations, in addition to not being able to cut, I was able to sew the clothes and pants cut by the new tailor outside, and use the “flying man” at home to sew it in a good way, and it was not a problem to sew zippers and other work!

Since the beginning of the nineties, all four of us brothers and sisters have joined the work, and even our parents’ clothes have long been bought, but my mother will still sit in front of the sewing machine, roll the upper and sew cotton clothes for the little grandchildren, or take away the old clothes we took home and make a pair of large and small insoles, which are rolled with “flying men” and covered with a small box.

Now that the “flying man” is broken, it seems to be a small blow to the mother. In order to make up for my mother’s regret, I walked around the county for several days, and I couldn’t find anyone to repair this old thing, so I had no choice but to turn to the almighty “Du Niang”, and I knew that there were such old-fashioned sewing machine heads sold on the Internet, and carefully inquired about the pre-sale, saying that it could be matched with the old rack, but the paint and steel were definitely not comparable to the previous ones, which made me reluctant to my mother’s old “flying man”. Speaking with his mother, the old man said: “No need to change, wait for the winter to see if there is a sewing machine to repair the sewing machine, if not, put it there, it should be a thought!” ”

I had nothing to say, and what I thought was exactly the same as my mother!

At this moment, the mother’s old “flying man” is quietly placed in the corner, it is the same as the father’s old “flying pigeon”, not only records the historical changes of our family for decades, but also is the witness of the prosperity of New China, they will be left as a spiritual wealth to future generations, endless, from generation to generation!

About the author:

Qin Yuling, a technical cadre of the Dali County Forest Defense Station, a lover of words who deals with insects and insects in trees all day. In my spare time, I like to write my heart with my pen and many articles in “Shayuan”.

(Source: Tongzhou Net)

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