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Short Stories


During a recent creative writing class, each day we spent time on a Five-Minute Free Write. To help keep the creative energy flowing, we wrote about a random word or a topic for 5-minutes. Today, I am challenging myself to write something short about four pictures I took. These items were found at a local antique shop and their history is unknown.

EAST COAST / WEST COAST HEXIES

The antique dealer said they were only worth $15 and "you'll have to find someone to piece them all together."

Connie didn't even barter, she purchased the hexie blocks and was determined to find some way to complete the project that someone started years earlier. There were enough blocks to make a tablecloth for her small kitchen table.

Later that night, she called Dalton to remind him of their quilting agreement. They were each to find an unfinished project. They would travel from both coasts to meet in Montana and take a quilting class to complete their found unfinished projects.

Months later Connie was flying into Bozeman with her yellow and blue hexie blocks, sewing notions and Singer Featherweight sewing machine. The excitement was overwhelming - to be spending a week with her best friend quilting together was something they had been discussing for months.

Her flight was running late so she had no time to check into the hotel first. She drove directly to the quilt shop. She walked into the large classroom as students were introducing themselves. Quietly, she slipped into the seat next to Dalton's table and he gave her a big grin.

After introductions, students were asked to pull out their unfinished projects to share with others. Connie and Dalton quickly hugged each other then pulled out their projects. As stacks of blocks were placed on the table in front of them, Connie and Dalton stood frozen in place. Staring at the blocks, everyone silently gathered around them. What precisely were the chances that they would have matching quilt block projects?!


GARAGE SALE

Paula's parents announced at Christmas that in the spring, they would hold a Garage Sale. Family was invited to bring items from their homes to sell, too. They could use the help and encouraged everyone to attend.

Today was the big day! Paula couldn't believe all of the items that her parents displayed on tables and in boxes, all with price tags and ready to find new homes. That's what spring cleaning was all about, wasn't it?

They opened the garage doors at 7:30am and were surprised to see several cars already at the curb and a dozen treasure hunters standing in the driveway. As family members moved tables onto the lawn and out to the driveway, Paula picked up a basket and saw a pillow she embroidered - her first craft project, ever! She picked it up and clutched it to her chest - a treasured memento celebrating a special wedding anniversary.

"Mom, how could you part with this?!" she asked as her mother held firm to a price on a stack of cookie sheets with a shopper.

Her mother collected cash on the transaction, then smiled and looked at Paula. "Oh, honey, let it go. We've been married 62 years. Make us a new one!"

GRANNY'S NINE PATCH

From the time I was a small child, the canopy bed in Granny's basement was my special place. I played in that room for hours, read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books. My favorite game was lying on my back, propped up on the feather pillows, counting the squares in Granny's un-quilted quilt.

The colorful squares were the underside of the canopy. On top of the quilt, a lacy coverlet lay and hung over all of the sides. Getting into the bed, I could almost reach the feathery edging. I loved looking up at that beautiful quilt.

When Granny passed away, Uncle Ray inherited the canopy bed. He has had it all of these years and called me the other day. He's giving the canopy bed to his daughter, Anna. She wants to make it a four poster bed and suggested that he check with me on the other parts.

The brown UPS truck just pulled up to the house! I am dancing with joy to receive the package with Granny's Nine Patch quilt.

TIES TO THE PAST

Monica found the quilt at the bottom of the old cedar chest. She carefully picked it up, felt the silky textures and examined the hand stitching. The backing was velvet and the quilt was quite heavy.

She unfolded the quilt, noting that it was about the size of a lap quilt. The binding was frayed in spots but it was in remarkable condition. She searched for a signature stitched onto a square but there was nothing.

Shifting her attention back to the cedar chest, she found a bundle of fancy hankies, some crochet sample work and a stack of letters tied with a braided cord. Carefully, she untied the cord and opened the envelope on top.

The first letter began:

Our Dearest Iris,

We know that you are grieving, as we are, to lose our beloved Clifford in the war.

It is hard to part with his things but we share his ties with you. He was particular about what he wore when he took you dancing, dear . . .

Monica wiped away a tear and leaned into the cedar chest. Pulling a hankie from the bundle, she then placed the quilt over her lap and sat back to read the entire stack of letters.

Have you ever imagined the history of an item? For something fun, I encourage you to take the Five-Minute Free Write challenge.

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