Sorry, I didn't have a Sunday Sundry post this week. I thought I might get to it later, but now it's later and I've decided to just skip it this week. Or maybe this is it?
I spent several hours working today. In between jobs, I sewed on a quilt top I'm making for a former next-door neighbor lady who has cancer. My sister and I visited her last week and I so wished I had a lap quilt to give her. So I'm working on one for her now, trying to keep moving forward on it rather than my usual start-and-stall pace. It's all from stash, and I'm using some large florals and a couple vintage fabrics. Not a modern-looking quilt, by any means, but I like it and I think she will too. There are elements of earth and sky, sunshine and flowers, and good times remembered.
As I worked on it today, I thought about the time these neighbors got a fondue pot and invited our family to come over and fondue. We all crowded around the kitchen table with those goofy long forks in hand and, well, fondued stuff. I must have been maybe 10 or 11, and it was loads of fun, mostly because of such great company. As a kid, everything seemed more lively and interesting at the neighbors' house.
They were like extended family. We kids would wander over during the day (I doubt we knocked) and just hang out, maybe have a bottle of Coke, play Yahtzee, watch TV, and talk about whatever was on our mind. They liked to tease and laugh that infectious kind of laugh that teaches one not to take things too seriously. The husband was a talented hobby artist who painted incredible wildlife and nature scenes. We'd watch him with his brushes and pallet there in the knotty pine paneled room that served as his studio, and pester him with 20 questions. I bet he loved that.
Their two daughters were several years older than my sister and I, and we wanted to grow up to be just like them. I remember the older daughter had a poster of Paul Revere and the Raiders on her bedroom wall, and I thought that was just so cool, like, she must know Mark Lindsay (ha!). They gave us their hand-me-downs (and we loved it), everything from jeans and penny loafers to Trixie Belden mysteries.
One hot summer day, we packed a big cooler, piled into their woody station wagon, and road-tripped to the Milwaukee Zoo. It was the first time any of us kids had been to the zoo, and we made a big day of it. I still remember the ride home (pre-air conditioning and seat belt laws), lying in the back of the station wagon, my bare feet propped up on the open rear crank-down window, catching the breeze.