It's time to go "over the river and through the woods," to grandmother's house. At Thanksgiving, our hearts go home, whether we can physically make it home or not.
My thoughts, these past days, have gone father back, to my great-great-grandmother's house.
After all, it was my Grandpa Johnson's grandma who carefully stitched together the Dunkard's Path quilt that passed on to me. While faded a bit from use, the blue, red and white quilt is as much a piece of art as it is a means of keeping warm.
And, the Feathered Star quilt that my Great-Grandma Citurs painstakingly hand-pieced in her family's humble home in the Ozarks of southern Missouri has a story that spans generations. When I look at that quilt, I see my Grandma Mary, and her mother Bessie; the two strong women whose hands lovingly created a family gem. Today, its home is in Nebraska, with my older sister Wendy, the oldest of the great-granddaughters of Bessie.
You have to excuse me if my thoughts of family seem to come around to quilts. After all, I've been spending a lot of time immersed in the history and family stories of the 30-plus vintage quilts that will be on display starting this Saturday, at the Clay County Heritage Center. Area residents answered our call for quilts at least 50 years old. We asked for the stories behind the stitches, and those tales will be the basis of a "bed-turning" program, which will held on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. From Depression-era patchwork to turn-of-the-century patterns, there is such a beautiful array of handiwork on display.
The quilts will be on exhibit at the Heritage Center through Dec. 2. In addition, the center will be a stop on the Grand Meander, to be held Monday, Dec. 3. Folks can take a gander at our holiday-theme window, kids can come on inside for a hands-on craft, and they all can take one last look at our beautiful display of quilts.
Tickets to the Saturday morning program, which includes light morning refreshments, are $5 for members of the Parker Historical Society, and $10 for non-members. Space is limited, so you can reserve a seat by calling the Heritage Center at (712) 262-3304.
The Thanksgiving holiday also marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. As you make your list and check it twice, think about making your purchases here at home. You'll find you can check off everyone on your list without spending extra time and money out of town. In addition, you'll be doing business with your friends and neighbors - folks who know the meaning of customer service.
The way to ensure a large and diverse local shopping district is to frequent your local businesses.
You'll find shopping at home makes for a very Merry Christmas, for us all.