That basket in the middle has had a long, busy life. It has sat with me in trucks and cars while waiting on many things. It has been my faithful companion during doctor appointments. It has sat at my feet during radiation treatments. It has visited family and friends. It has even been patiently forbearing while a kitten fished items out and sat in it.
It has carried thread and yarn and hooks. It has doubled as a purse and held keys and rocks and CPR supplies. This basket carried the thread for this tablecloth for the year it took me to make it. That’s still one of my favorite patterns.
You might think that it’s starting to show its age. That it’s getting rather knocked around.
But here’s the thing. Other than the colors having slightly faded, it looks just like when I bought it.
There it sat on a shelf, in a fair trade store, lopsided and all alone. No one even bothered to give it a second glance.
Have you been to those fair trade craft stores? They have cards showing the women who make the crafts, full of smiles.
I felt sorry for that basket that no one wanted. I imagined the woman who made it, and the conversation whispered between her supervisors.
Inspector: ‘But it’s lopsided. No one will buy it.’
Supervisor: ‘Send it in any way. It will hurt her feelings if you don’t, and it’s her first basket.’
Yes, I’m one of those who buys things because they feel sorry for them. Plants half-dead on back shelves. Baked goods with failed frosting designs. Lopsided baskets.
And I love my basket. It’s held up well with all the wear and tear.
I like to imagine the conversation now.
Inspector: ‘Can you believe someone bought that basket?’
Supervisor: ‘I know! What are we going to do now? She’s making them all that way!’
Every time I go back to that store I look for more. But they must now be quite popular because I’ve never been able to find another lopsided basket.
People must by buying them as soon as they show up.