Tuesday, January 10, 2012


 Eccles. 3:7

Christmas 2014

The Christmas Shirt Quilt is not just sitting on a shelf, lest it get worn or frayed
 from being used.
The fabric in the quilt was already faded and well used when each piece was cut into squares ... the buttons loosely, held on to this or that shirt, were removed and set aside,
a splash of paint or stain ...a blob of something unrecogizable ,
some faded, other thin patches of denim intricately sewn into place
 alongside flannel once worn for warmth by a hardworking, tractor-driving ex-sailor.
The Christmas Shirt Quilt
spreads over the top of the guest bed awaiting the next friend or relative who comes to visit. The story of the Christmas Shirt Quilt never grows old...
how Jill carried her Daddy's shirts home in a plastic bag,
washed and ironed each one .... but finding it too difficult when it came time to
cut each one to be pieced together into a quilt. She enlisted others to begin the cutting.
Friends and relatives helped ... some with tears but always with enthusiasm
that this small part of the man
would be preserved
to provide
memories...... for those he loved  .......
after all  ......... this quilt is only a part of what we have left,
tucked away in our hearts
of a
deeply loved
funny .... sensitive .... complicated and strong
If you come for a visit the quilt will be there
and you'll sleep comfy and warm beneath it.
Merry Christmas, 2014

Christmas gift, 2011!
What can it be?

"A quilt ..... a handmade quilt!"
"It's made out of Daddy's shirts ..
flannel and denim,
the shirts you gave me when you......
cleaned out his side of the closet."

"I remember this one .... I have a picture of him wearing it ......and Melissa beside him
helping to build the barn ....and this one driving the tractor ..... and he wore this one so many times - it has paint on it!   And the buttons ....?"
"They were from all of his shirts, Mom."

"Oh Jill ......

"Do you remember this shirt, Mom?"
"Mmmm ..... "

"I couldn't cut the first shirt into pieces for the quilt .... my
friends helped with that ...."

"Thank you, sweetheart!"

"I can almost feel his arms around me ....!"

Thank you
my wonderful children,
and Jill's friends and family
for helping to make this beautiful memory,
"Eldon's Shirt Quilt"

Memories are made
from swatches of
our lives,
gathered together,
some painfully cut,
but pieced back together
to create
a covering
to hug us
when we're sad,
or fold across our lap
when content,
or to stroke
the patterns
and rest a hand
on one very special moment.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven ......

Monday, January 9, 2012


Happy New Year

The passing of time ......
a moment
a day ... a month,

almost three years since we trekked down the hill
and left Eldon's ashes at the base of the Pine Tree
on our property.
It was the only Pine Tree on the entire 10.5 acres when we first moved here in 2002.

I wonder how much a Pine Tree grows in the three years
since .....that sad day.
We had planted 10 pine saplings after making this our home ....
and in the passing of seasons,
 4 of them closest to the house are now over 8 feet tall.




Eldon's ashes weren't the first laid to rest at
the Pine Tree.
His Uncle Ben and Aunt Laverne's ashes
were the first to be scattered at the base of the tree a few years earlier,
and Eldon's followed in Feb. 2009.
It's as if this spot was determined even
before the universe was created to
be sacred ground for our loved one's final remains.

Each spring there are delicate flowers dotting the
hillside surrounding the Pine Tree,
and a gentle spring creek flows by,
 fed from melting snow from surrounding meadows.
In time each year, the creek dries up
the flowers fade and die,
and the grass and wild onions
wither and rest until the following spring 
when all becomes alive and new again.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven .......
a time to be born
and a time to die,
a time to plant
and a time to uproot,

a time to kill
and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate
a time for war
and a time for peace.

The Wisdom of Ecclesiastes
in the Bible.
How beautifully these words of Wisdom apply
to our lives.
In the 52 years we were married
we experienced
"the time for every purpose..... and a season for
every activity under heaven."

Christmas 2011
What a joyous time of year!
A time to give and a time to
receive presents.
I can't wait to tell you about this gift ......
Next post.