The phone rang. It was Mary, program chairman for the quilt guild.
Bring your favorite two quilts.
Come to the meeting.
We want to see you again.
We will have show and tell and lunch.
How can I resist when an old friend begs me to rejoin the quilt guild? I joined this guild when I moved back to Bellingham 11 years ago. I had been a member of a guild in Florida and another when we lived on Cape Cod. In fact, I was so involved in that one, I acted as president for a year.
I knew when I returned to Washington, I would not find my friends from when I lived here before. I could not pick up where I left off. I had been teaching first grade and left in the middle of the school year. Now I was retired and many of the people I knew had moved on to other things, or they, too had retired. I had been gone for almost 20 years. I knew this from my experience as a child. During WW ll we moved from a town in Mass. to Penn. for the years my dad was in the Navy. Three years later we returned to Mass., the same house, the same neighbors but new schools and a new routines. I guess, my mother thought we would return to where we left off but I can recall my mother saying, “you can never move back” . You cannot pick up where you left off.
So here we were returning to the same town we had lived in before. My mother’s comment rang through my mind as we packed up and prepared to go back to Bellingham. It would be a different house in another part of town. My kids were grown and we would be near two of them and their families. But I needed more that that. I found another quilt guild.
I walked into the meeting one morning… cold turkey. I did not know one person there. I sat down in a chair and Hazel came to greet me. She welcomed me, asked my name, how I found out about the group and then introduced me to the people there. I had never been greeted with such open arms. I joined that day and went to their meetings for a number of years until health issues made me stop. Now I was being asked to come again.
I thought about which quilt was my favorite. What would I take? Would I remember people’s names? I had stopped by several weeks ago and found out I had forgotten the names of so many, and I saw a lot of new people. (But I had my new ears. What a great place to test them!)