The things that matter.

Since Mike battled cancer and I lost my mom I have felt the need to purge my house of so many unnecessary things. To keep and use the things that have a story and add value to my soul. Not let them sit in a box waiting for some day. When is some day? Does it ever arrive?

Moving from a large home to a small two bedroom forced me to put that into action and even after emptying all the boxes I continue to find items that need to go.

Getting to the heart of this post. I have a quilt that was made by my Great Aunt Jo, quilted by my Grandma Goldie and given to my mom. My mom is a labeler, if something has a story she will find a way to somehow document it and make sure it stays with the object. After Mom passed away and we were going through her stuff I ran across this quilt. I knew it’s story the moment I read the permanent marker label in one corner.

I asked my dad if I could have it. He is thrilled anytime anyone asks for a memento that reminds them of mom so he gladly said yes. I planned to use it on the queen bed in our guest room but it is a little too small. It was made before queen and king sized beds were the norm. Laid out one direction it is too narrow and turned the other way your feet stick out.

I was scrolling through the bedspreads on Amazon and it just bothered me. This quilt is gorgeous. It was made with love and collaboration by two spitfire women whose blood I share. Then it was given to my mom who placed high value on those hand crafted items.

You see, there is more to the story, this quilt and I have a history. A memory of spending time at my Great Aunt Jo’s.

In 1975, when I was 12, my mom, grandma and I drove back to Rock Springs Wyoming so my grandma could spend some time with her sister. Jo never had any children and it made her nervous that I was coming. She fretted that I would be bored. She didn’t know how she would keep a pre-teen entertained. Little did she know that as an introvert, and so much younger than my three siblings that I was basically an only child, I need very little entertaining. Give me a book or a puzzle and I’m good for hours on end!

Aunt Jo and Grandma Goldie 1975

She had a very small one bedroom house with a sofa bed couch that filled the entire living room when pulled out. Where would I sleep? No worries Great Aunt Jo – I’ll sleep under Mom and Grandma!

Yes, I am in a sleeping bag under the sofa bed!

I remember late nights, massive amounts of second hand cigarette smoke, ice cream every night and lots of laughter. Aunt Jo relaxed and we hit it off. She sent Grandma Goldie home with several of her quilt tops to finish with backing, batting and hand quilting. One was designated for me and one for my mom.

My quilt – either on the bed or on the wall in my room.

Aunt Jo died not long after our visit. Shortly after that Grandma Goldie finished my quilt and gave it to me. It has been somewhere in my bedroom ever since. When I look at it I remember that summer trip spent with my mom, grandma and great aunt.

Back to the quilt that inspired this story. I just couldn’t buy a bedspread for the guest room. I had to find a way to make this quilt work. I don’t want something purchased online. I want this quilt.

So after puzzling and puzzling until my puzzler was sore I found a solution that I am very pleased with and finished it off this weekend. Ta-da!!

I added a ruffle to the foot of the quilt. It keeps the integrity of the original quilt and highlights the small touches of aqua. I am pleased with the outcome.

Every time I walk in the room I will think of those three strong, ahead of their time, talented women. It will make me smile. They are all gone now. I could write pages and pages about their quirky personalities and phenomenal talent. I guess that is the real point of this rambling post. I want to surround myself with things that make me smile. That help me remember the people who have influenced my life.

Life is short. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. Burn the beautiful scented candles. Eat off the special dishes every day. Use the time softened comfy quilts. Use them. Love them. Yes, they will burn down, wear out, get broken, but until then they will give you joy. They will brighten your day. Don’t pack them away in a box. Enjoy them now, today, and smile.

I think Great Aunt Jo would approve.

Aunt Jo and I 1975

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