Its that time of year. Everyone is going a bit crazy shopping and putting up decorations and trying to decide if it is worth sending out holiday cards. And then here in Montana we are also thinking about winter tires and having emergency supplies in the car in case something happens on the road. And why do children seem to lose at least one glove or mitten every single week?
The quilters prepare for the annual bazaar. There are beautiful hats and scarves made by the women, embroidered pillow cases, pine needle baskets, lovely potholders, aprons that Cathryn sewed, handwarmers knitted by Carmen. Sally made a tied quilt that will cover a lucky bed with forest scenes (and matching pillow cases). Dianne created the cutest Advent calendars although no one knows how she managed to cut out so many numbers. There are scrubbies, tree decorations, mittens and of course baby quilts in every conceivable color. And even while everyone is busy preparing for the bazaar (starts December 2 and runs December 3 and every Friday til Christmas), we still quilt. We have one set up Joan made. As we just began sewing on it a few weeks ago, quite a number of women can fit around it still. But really with preparing for the bazaar and various ones off doing other midwinter activities, there are usually only three or four quilting at a time.
But it feels right – as though things are where they need to be in the old school house. The new handmade items are displayed for the bazaar and Joan’s imaginative quilt is set up. The women do any required task and then break for lunch. Sally made delicious blueberry bread. Carmen brought cookies. Mary Louise shares the applesauce she made. Renata updates us on the house she is building with her husband. Of course there are concerns. A friend is ill. There is a question about getting a driveway plowed when the snow gets going. No one talks about finances but it hovers in the background. Medical care, housing, the price of everything going up. What about taxes and what about savings? But these women are a breed who don’t whine. They fashion leftover fabric into quilts, make tree ornaments from bits of this and that, laugh as someone tells a bawdy story. And they are strong. They will do what needs to be done. They will speak up when words are required.