Late winter in this part of Montana can be gray. And once we move from constant snow to snow with mud, that grayness feels even more difficult to endure. Which is why the Historical Village volunteers had the great idea to have a late winter community event that promises to rock your socks and raise some funds for maintaining the Village.
On March 3rd, The Wardens play at the Trego Hall starting at 4pm. An easy time of day to drive out and catch this great band from Canmore, Canada. Up in those parts, a ranger is called a warden. These three musicians/wardens have worked in the back country around Banff for a lot of years so know mountains and horses as well as music. Admission for the concert is $8/per with tickets on sale at the door.
We figured once folks come out to Trego to hear good music, they might just want to stay and enjoy themselves a bit longer. There will be a potluck after the concert (starting around 5:30) and then a music jam. Ray and Shirley Jacobs met The Wardens recently and encouraged us to bring them to Eureka. They will be there. Hope you are too. If you want a preview of The Wardens, check out their website here.
So mark March 3rd on your calendar and come out for a good time. Bring a dish to pass if you want to stay for the potluck, and if you play music then please bring your instrument along. Otherwise come to listen and enjoy this late winter treat. Oh, and there will be beautiful handmade quilts for sale as well.
The holidays are happening. Snow is starting to pile up. Sidewalks are slippery. Bazaar sales at the Historical Village have gone well although of course we hope there will be last minute shoppers on December 22nd. Last Friday the quilters had their annual party – a potluck and then gift exchange. The delicious food put everyone in a sleepy mood but we continued sewing until our usual closing time. Lynda and Sally even set up a second quilt that we will tie next week, a colorful cotton one Cathryn pieced. Although I am often content to sit and talk rather than sew, the pace is such that I feel compelled to be as productive as the others (no easy task with this group of women).
As usual we are sewing, talking with any visitors who stop by to drop off something or to buy some lovely handmade item, and discussing how to raise money to cover the Village’s costs, and how to get all the things done from archiving to replacing broken pieces of the boardwalk. It often feels there isn’t enough time for all we need to accomplish but somehow we still manage to listen to stories about families and friends, laugh at Bev’s jokes and grumble if the needle is not going through as easily as we might like.
Amidst the talk, different quilters talk about other volunteer work they are doing – helping with the Winter Bird Count, the library, the thrift store, the church. Its amazing how these individuals find time to do all this to make our community as good as possible. There might be a concern when we don’t see younger people stepping up to help with these projects and really in this case, younger is broad. We not only think about high school students but adults in their twenties to fifties. Of course there are volunteers but there never seems to be quite enough. So we hope some folks out there will put volunteering down as a New Year’s resolution. Once a week for a few hours surely would mean a lot.
Warmth. Isn’t that what quilts are mostly about? Of course there are summer ones or those incredible intricately constructed one that individuals hang on walls or keep in boxes, but for the most part we have quilts to use, to keep us and those whom we love warm. So yes, the warmth factor. Yet some patterns and colors seem to increase the warmth factor exponentially. Like the one we are working on now. We believe Judy brought the fabric from Hawaii (Judy is out with a bad wrist so we couldn’t ask). Joan pieced it. The quilting design along the edge is a new one that we haven’t sewn before.
Some would say though that the fabric is a bit of challenge to sew. Actually a lot of the women say this, even Bonnie who tends never to complain. At the same time I appreciate the strong colors when everything outside is white or a pale shade of gray. It is winter in Montana after all. The mountains are white, the fields are white, even most roads are white. The sky here in the Tobacco Valley is often overcast. Thus to walk into the old school house out of the whiteness on Fridays and see this beautiful tropical design is a treat. It reminds me my eyes are still working, that there are places where flowers bloom and where people sit in light cotton clothes, where the smell isn’t one of cold crystallized air, but soft scents of verdant vegetation and the sea.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” This is a useful concept to have on many occasions whether it is quilting Hawaiian fabric during a Montana winter or deciding how to go productively into 2017. We can be upset with the way the fabric grabs the needle but we can appreciate the colors and design of this quilt, doing our best to sew well. We can look at the world around us wondering how any progress will be made and yet still keep focused on our efforts in the community, with our families and friends, and with strangers we meet along the way.