Children of Cloth


Strong storms moving into the area.  What else is new, I thought.  Well, actually, we had had record rainfall, but no really, crazy storms.  My son and husband held their iPhones up, showing the red cells moving across the Doppler.  We were right in the path, and the weather man on the television stated, “These storms will multiply and increase in size as the time passes.”

Well, I hate storms.  I feel so vulnerable and out of control.  So I did the only thing I could to comfort myself.  I went to the basement and made sure the battery operated lantern worked, the battery operated radio was tuned in, and a couple jugs of water were available in case we got thirsty.  I made a couple beds on the floor with the foam mattress rolls we use for camping, and as I covered them with old comforters, I was reminded of the quilts that I have made.

My quilts are like my children.  Precious to my heart, springing (I swear) straight from my womb.  I couldn’t leave them upstairs to be blown across the countryside in 75mph winds, possibly catching on tree branches and tearing, or flying away never to be found, or buried in the rubble of my house – if a tornado should hit!  So I gathered them up and carried them to the basement.

I once told someone that if my house caught on fire, I wouldn’t grab pictures, I’d grab quilts.  My quilts are stories that illustrate our lives.  Each one I make holds images and feelings.  And if they were made for a specific person, you can see that person in the quilt.  So I guess I would be saving the stories of my love.

I didn’t tell my husband or my son what I was doing.  They were engrossed in their phones and the TV.  This was one time I was glad they were distracted, so they didn’t ask questions.

The night passed with more anticipation of violent weather than actually transpired.  We didn’t go to the basement.  I was glad that the night was quieter than we had thought it was going to be, and we got better sleep than we would have, had we been on the foam covered, concrete basement floor.

This morning, after cleaning up breakfast messes, I went down and gathered the quilts and put them back in their prospective places, so they wouldn’t draw damp and get musty.  As I did so, I caressed each one.  I’ve been thinking it is a bit silly for me to just collect them.  I should give them away.  Share their beauty, love and function with the world.  I mean, how many quilts does a person need?  I don’t want to be like a hoarder or a miser.  (Ever notice how miser is part of the word, “misery”?)  Yet the thought of them leaving my fingertips leaves me feeling panicky – Will they be loved? taken care of? washed properly? treasured? cherished?

I have given a few quilted wall hangings away, and I have made my children and grandchildren their own quilts.  It was easy to give those away, though, because as I made them, I knew their destination.  Maybe I detached myself from them in preparation of the separation.  It’s the other quilts that I have made just for the love of quilting that I have such a hard time thinking of letting go of.

So for now, I will continue on – creating and loving, folding and refolding, displaying and using, protecting and cherishing – until when?  I don’t know.  But I think I will probably know when the time is right to say good-bye to my children of cloth.


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