Last month, during a relaxing visit with Most Wonderful/Loving Friend, she gifted me with precious vintage items from her mother in law. The amount of elderly fabrics positively overwhelmed me as I eagerly plowed through the two large shopping bags. It might as well have been gold, I was that excited. Then midway through the second bag, my hands lifted out this amazing piece:A 20x20 inch pillow cover, made long ago by creative hands and obviously stored away for that special time which clearly never arrived. This nearly 50+ year old creation was intricately fashioned from an abundance of feed sacks, bits and pieces probably squirreled away by some prudent mama. The little postage stamp bits of fabric, brilliantly sewn neatly and accurately, are of such variety, one marvels at how many sacks were collected. The colors are still vivid and the design of the pillow is unique.
Then, today, I hosted my gathering of Fleur de Lis Club. As I have posted before, this group is in it's 127th year, and I've had the privilege of being it's president for three of them. Our group is an eclectic bunch; currently we have three ninety year olds, several octogenarians, and some seventy and sixty somethings to balance it out and then there is the young cub, me, at a spring chickeny fifty seven. As usual, the tangents that these ladies can take us on provides incredible entertainment for a Monday afternoon. One of our detours took us to talking about growing up in the depression and all that was demanded of their mothers. The day to day hard work, the unceasing chores and the endless laundry. The ladies then discussed that most of them had never owned store bought dresses till their teen years. Do you know what kind of work that involved in light of the other daily chores? The thought of outfitting nine or more children for their every day needs? No store bought patterns, no vast assortment of fabrics, just making frocks and shirts with whatever the current flour/feed sack wrapping was offering that week. Listening to them share their stories of the hard work done without complaint, awed and amazed me. And they ALWAYS encourage me without any of them addressing me directly. Their lives are pieces of living positively despite tragedies and trials and always making the best of what they have.
Now, when I look at my special pillow cover, I will picture these ladies in their younger years, looking fresh and innocent in their best frocks, created by their mama's hands with what she had, intent on making the best for her children.
This pillow is now a symbol for me, representing the best in those that have been honored with years and serve the rest of us well by their testimony of endurance and joy.
May I do the same....