In my opinion, gifts that take arrangement and planning are usually the best ones. This year, I got my mom the Best Gift Ever. If you listen to the podcast, you know that she has wanted a vintage treadle Singer sewing machine for YEARS. As in, ever since they left the one they had in Germany. Every time a vintage machine is mentioned, or at a yard/estate sale, we stop, and for some reason or another, the machines fail to impress.
Fast forward to Oregon Flock and Fiber 2010. I was chatting with a listener (Elaine, who is AWESOME), who collects and repairs vintage sewing machines. She mentioned that she was looking to unload a few of them (to good homes) and I may have mentioned that Mom has always wanted a vintage treadle Singer. Elaine said she had just the one, and let me know that she would get back to me with pictures.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Elaine sent pictures, stats, and a price, and I was a little lost. It looked really, really good, but I wasn't sure if it was exactly right. So, I blew the surprise and let Mom know that I was going to make this sewing machine happen for her, if it's the right one. I just didn't know enough about a) sewing machines and b) what she was looking for, specifically, to make this decision with confidence. Mom loved it, so I set things in motion.
Here's the tough part. The machine was north of Seattle, and for those of you playing the home game, I live in Silicon Valley. 13 1/2 hours each direction, by car (according to Mapquest). You betcha that this puppy can't be shipped.
"It's ok, Mom," I said, "It's totally worth it. Merry Christmas!"
In a fit of shock, enthusiasm, and perhaps a little self-pity, I posted to Facebook that I might be taking an impromtu road trip Seattle-ward to see a lady about a vintage Singer. A friend of mine (through my BFF Miss Kalendar) generously offered to do the pickup for me. It turns out that she was *already* going to be driving up and back to Seattle, and she didn't mind being one of Santa's non-Unionized elves.
She arranged the pickup details with Elaine, and we made plans for me to pick up the machine from her place (in Santa Rosa) on Wednesday. Joined by my partner in adventuring (Laura), we ran errands all the way up to Santa Rosa and picked up this beauty from Delightful Lila:
|I should have told you to brace yourself. Sorry. (Picture courtesy of Elaine, the Singer fairy)|
|Have you ever seen anything more perfect? (Picture courtesy of Elaine, the Singer fairy)|
I love a good Syrah, and along with having a staggeringly awesome wine selection, the food was incredible! We had the world's best waitress (sever? Is "waitress" still PC?), and enjoyed a leisurely meal while we waited out traffic. We got home just after 10 PM, and the guys cheerfully unloaded it into Mom's house.
Mom had seen the pictures, and it's even more beautiful in person. The gasp of delight as we walked through the door with the cabinet and the machine was amazing. (For the record, historically when Mom has gasped, it's Not a Good Thing.) Andrew still has to mount the machine on the cabinet, but it's on the docket for today so that Mom can start enjoying the machine now.
Thanks to Elaine the Singer Fairy and Delightful Lila, Andrew and I have managed to make this the best Christmas ever for Mom. The best gifts are the ones that require Ocean's 11 type planning and precision, don't you think?