Tonight I am longing for a Quilting Circle. All day long, it’s been in the back of my mind, the question from a friend wondering if she had given the impression that she didn’t want to meet with me. No. She hadn’t. I had just suggested that perhaps we do a Google Hangout to chat since we live about 45 minutes away from one another. We have kids nearly the same age, so it makes sense for us to get together for a Play Date, except that I don’t know where I will get the time to go play.

Already I barely got through half of my to-do list for the day. I got some office work done, I got some work scheduled for Scott for next week, and we are finalizing a really cool advertising/sponsorship deal that will be fun for the whole family. We have another event next week where we can meet lots of potential clients.

Yet, I didn’t get a loaf of bread made, or the granola bars for lunches, or the strawberry jam done. At 9:30 this evening, I finished the dinner dishes. I love our way of life, making everything from scratch as much as we can, but it takes longer. In the taking longer, we are supposed to learn patience, or how to move more slowly and enjoy everything more. I get that, but we also have the microwave, and the car to get us to the store for a forgotten recipe item, the cell phone to be in contact with people anywhere and everywhere. I just don’t have the time to sit down and do nothing but visit.

We met the most delightful woman at Costco today. (We generally meet the most delightful people while having a treat after our shopping trips at Costco. Something about sitting with a darling little redheaded boy, who is sharp and savvy and very well-spoken tends to bring out the friendly in the people around us.) I couldn’t take my eyes off the woman sitting across the aisle in the picnic table area from us. She was wearing a fantastic hat, and a purple scarf. She had delicate hands and a pointer finger ring on her right hand. I thought that must be a little bit of a rebellious streak in her as everything else about her was so traditional. She was eating her pizza with a plastic knife and fork, cutting tiny pieces to eat one at a time. Her husband was wearing a Navy hat, and looked very dapper sitting across from her.

At one point, I caught his eye and said that she was absolutely elegant – I meant to say that, what actually came out of my mouth was “Precious,” but she didn’t seem to mind. She turned around and smiled at me and the chatting began. I admired her outfit, and said that my nana always dressed to the nines to go grocery shopping. She said that when she was going to Fashion School in New York City (a long, long time ago), you weren’t allowed in New York without gloves and a hat. You just were not allowed out in public without them. Of course, Bean and I had been doing morning chores, and then raced to Costco without a first glance in the mirror. I doubt either one of us were wearing anything that remotely matched. But she was too refined to mention that.

We had so much fun talking with her and her husband. We laughed and had a truly lovely time. Several times I wanted to ask her name, and I don’t know why I didn’t, to be honest, except that I doubt we’ll ever see her again. She doesn’t seem like the kind of person who owns a pair of muck boots, and those are rather required out here on our farm. If I were in a different place in my life, I would want to meet her for tea. But I’m where I am and I love it, and I don’t have time for those sorts of visits.

We said goodbye and what a pleasure it had been to make her acquaintance, although we never exchanged names. Tonight I am looking back and missing that little formality.

And I understand why farm wives of yesteryear started getting together to do quilts. It was something that needed to be done, it went faster with help, and they could visit and still be productive. I want a quilting circle of the people I adore and want to know better, so that we can get together once a week or once a month and hammer out huge portions of a very big job together, while sitting neatly around a table and telling our tales and catching up on the goings on of our friends and their farms.

photo from here

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