Post Christmas – PreChristmas

I’m only a year late posting last Christmas’ quilt and realizing it is time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas projects.  This fabric was another find I couldn’t leave behind.  It was a layer cake I bought at the IQS in Gimli, MB.  The result was a lap quilt to donate to the church’s annual bazaar.

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Alas, it did not sell.  I gifted it to a wonderful and faithful member of the congregation.  She does not get out to Sunday morning worship any longer.  She has type of dementia that she handles fairly well by leaving post-in notes everywhere as a reminder.  She would call me Mondays after she had attended church with appreciative words for the sermon.  Not long after she would call again, same reason.  And then again, and again, until she remembered to throw out the post-in note reminding her to call me to tell me she appreciated my sermon.  It was a blessing.

I gave her this quilt at the end of the bazaar, just as she was preparing to leave.  During her ride home she mentioned to the driver someone had given her a lovely quilt.  The driver answered, “Yes, I know, the minister gave it to you.”

“Did she?!  How thoughtful of her.  A good preacher and generous too!  Too bad I won’t remember to thank her.”

Psalm 119:49  Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.

For the Love of Fabric

As much as I try to convince myself otherwise, I am way beyond being a fabric collector.  I see something I like and I buy it, without thought of what it might become, or when I might get around to using it.

Here is another case in point.  I really, really, liked this fabric.  It was the combinations of colours that caught my eye.  They spoke Christmas to me.  Luckily, I belonged to a small gift exchange in the congregation and I made a table runner and four place mats for the church secretary.  She greatly dislikes birds, but assured me these were ‘okay.’

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Luke 12:24  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

The Beauty of Wood

2 Timothy 2:20
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

The flesh of trees captivates my imagination.  All my life the original farm-house has stood at the north end of the garden.  A half century later, I uncover details I never noticed before.  The last discovery was the shadow of paint on the window casements.  It changes the imagined memory of the building’s appearance, a house with lovely blue windows.

I am awed by the beauty of its whorls and knots and grain and colour gradations.  I love how weather bleaches and dims the fibres of growth rings as sure as time increases the number of grey hairs on mortal heads.

The textures and patterns appeal viscerally to my sense of order and beauty.  Even the gradual release of moisture results in splits and fissures that leave character, wisdom in the lines and wrinkles of a beloved elder.

I wonder about the hands that crafted the dove tailed corners.  They are engineered and crafted in such a way that when it rains the water always flows to the outside.

Who was the one that swung the awl or axe that made this.  It still stands, almost a century later, secure on a stone foundation of boulders, a huge flat stone acting as the stairs up to the entryway.

So beautiful!

The old lady has served many purposes. She began, of course as the family home, my great grandparents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, my father and his sister.  My dad has lived his whole life, 90 years, on the farm.  It is steeped in a memory that transcends experience.  My memories are my father’s stories, an oral tradition infused in my bones and sinew, that catches my breath in my chest and makes it hard to swallow.  I love this place of growing and leaving and returning and longing.

In the '70's as a cattle shed.

In a second life she was a barn, housing a milk cow, a pair of ponies, a few beef cattle.  Four puppies were born in the manger on Christmas Eve.  The closest we came to an irreverent name was Prince, and although no one said it out loud, I always added ‘of Peace‘ in my mind when I was reminded of his borning day.

The old girl back in the day.  (left to right) My great uncle Bill Kostick, ?, my great grandfather William Busco

The old girl back in the day. (left to right) My great uncle Bill Kostick, ?, my great grandfather William Busco.

These images are beyond expression, beyond the limit of words, burned permanently in dreams.