The Quilting Bee

photo by Cherry Coley

Every childhood has ups and downs.  Too many times we remember the downs and let the good times just fade away.  Take time to walk down your own memory lane now and then and remember the good things that helped to shape who you are. 

 I can remember being about 4 years old and being at the church / daycare where my mom was the principal.  I had asthma as a child and there were many days when I could not go outside.  Those days I went up to the quilting room on the second floor of the building.  It was at the end of the hallway.  In that room there was a large quilt hanging on a frame that was parallel to the floor.  When the ladies were there they lowered the quilt to work on it.  In that room there were 6-8 little ladies that would sit and chat all day long.  They were my flock of grandma’s and I loved each and every one of them. 

Every Tuesday and Thursday I would go up to that room and lay on the pillows and blanket they had on the floor underneath the framed quilt they were working on.  There I would draw and color happily for the 4 hours or so until lunch time.  I learned a lot about life, about people, about how important it is to stop and listen to the people in our lives. 

On that floor I could lay down and look up through the colored cloth and see the lights shining down.  I thought about how they stitched the quilt and how it looked like a giant puzzle.  Sometimes, before they put the backing on, it looked like a giant stained glass window with tiny dots of sunlight shining through.  Many times I would become mesmerized and take naps right there. 

Those women watched out for me, talked to me like a person and not a child.  They watched over me and made sure I didn’t get cold and was listening when they thought they were saying something  I might need to know.  Each day they would talk about their families, their friends, their children, the struggles with losing their spouses, and one lady always talked about her cats.  Sometimes they would ask me what I was thinking about and then spend the day answering my question.  I learned to love stories and tall tales.  I learned that no matter what age you are, imagination is important.   I am thankful for this memory and the experience.  All the little things throughout our childhood help to shape who we are.  I still love to hear about life stories.  I still love to go and spend time sitting and listening to both young and old tell their stories.  What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, or a morning cup of coffee, just sharing and trading stories. 

In all of life’s busyness, take time to remember the things that made you who you grew up to be and don’t lose sight of who you are.  I did.  Temporarily, too much stress and trying to please too many people, but these memories remind me that each of us have our own experiences and memories of home and childhood.  Take time to write them down, get out the photo albums and write the places and dates.  You’ll be glad you did. 

Cherry Coley (c)