Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Patchwork of Memories

Sometimes you just need to get away to recharge your batteries and take time to do what you love...that is what "Fiber College" is all about. Every year, on the weekend after Labor Day, a diverse group of women come together for an incredible few days of camping, crafting and weaving memories on the shores of Penobscot Bay in Searsport, Maine. This year my old friend Barbara (Ekeland) Smith drove up from Connecticut to share the experience with me. Barbara and I first met as new teachers at North High School in Worcester, Mass. in the fall of 1969. We have remained friends through four decades, four children and an equal number of marriages. Over the past ten years though, life got in the way and we rarely saw each other, only keeping in touch through our annual Christmas cards. Until Fiber College...and our decision to spend three days reconnecting with each other and the common interests that originally brought us together.

At Fiber College, we learned to appreciate the frugality of our grandmothers, who saved scraps of wool to create beautiful penny rugs and crazy quilts. We wove cat tails and sunflowers into outdoor art. We survived the remnants of hurricane Gustave together in a tiny camper just feet from the ocean. We petted goats, picked basil, and hitched a trailer. We drank wine by a campfire and shared 40 years of memories. And from these experiences, we managed to add a bright new patch to our forty-year-old quilt of friendship. If something good has come out of sharing Nancy's cancer journey, it is the reminder that life is short and it's never too late to reconnect with the special people who have woven their lives with ours.

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