As I continue clearing out to move in a few weeks, there is some trepidation as I decide on which pile and how much to save. I know that anything I place in storage will go unheeded for perhaps years so I try to throw more away.
As we age, however, there are some things one needs to have a true home. My husband appears to be quite nonchalant about things in general. My “I might need that” is tempered sometimes by his “we can always get another.” Some things, however, are not easily replaceable. He has no problem with the thought of getting rid of everything and going to live on the road. Not me. I’ve been collecting for forty years, since graduating college, and these things mean a great deal to me. We did pick up once and live overseas for a few months, but kept our home as it was and moved right back in after we picked up our dog from a friend.
When we got married, his mother gave us three quilts. I never learned to even sew, having failed that, my first and only badge attempt, in Girl Scouts. One she started when she got married, a crazy 70’s geometric quilt with every color in the rainbow. A second quilt, small and dainty with little flowers, had been in her family for a couple of generations and is made of flour sacks. It’s about a 5′ hexagon that she backed and bordered and it hangs in our guest room.
Another has never been on a wall, it’s of little boys in overalls with sun hats that she made to put on my husband’s bed when he was a child. I’ve never asked but I’ll bet his little brother has one as well.
I have framed photos that I’ve taken of the places we’ve lived and I’ve visited over the years, and artwork that my father has painted, and a beautiful drawing of a pas de deux from an American art museum that Dad bought at auction for me. Neither of us have a childhood home to visit, anymore, so I’d like to make sure that as we take this next step toward a “forever home” we bring our pasts with us into our future.
For him, I chose a shabby chic Texas flag quilt for his new office. We’ve asked the artist to place a sleeve on the back so it can be hung, so that should be done next week and shipped to us before we move. I’ve chosen a country sampler quilt, from Canadian artists. That is on its way here as I write this, and the artist will be happy to know it is going to a good home.
I love the story of the quilters meeting every month for lunch for a year, until they finished their twelve blocks each. That they’re Canadian makes the story even better as it makes me think of three infamous sisters from Montreal, who are no longer with us. My mother and my two aunts loved Canada. Her eldest sister lived in Montreal and Toronto all her life, and the youngest moved to the States, near our family, became an English teacher and in the 1970’s became a U.S. citizen. Mom lived in the United States for fifty years and remained proud of her Canadian citizenship until the day she died.
So, to our new home, far from family and childhood memories, we will take a version of them. Perhaps as we gently age, gracefully I hope, looking at our walls will stir memories and stories of days gone by. My mother-in-law introduced me to quilts as an art form. Thanks, M. Cheers! Dee