Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

A Social Dichotomy

A Social Dichotomy

I’ve got a Twitter account; I’ve had that account for several years and I’ve tweeted a grand total of 52 times. Of all my social media accounts, I find that one the most frustrating. The format is not conducive to deep thought (obviously—how deep can you get in 150 characters?), but I’ve managed to curate my Twitter feed so that it is mostly people who are interested in engaging with each other respectfully rather than just screaming at each other as they drive by. Someone told me once to treat Twitter as an anthropological experiment. That perspective has been a lifesaver. Still, I am reminded every day that life is not Twitter and Twitter is not life, and that applies to most social media. Some people seem to have forgotten that.

The memorial service for the dear former member of our church was held yesterday evening. We had well over 200 people in our church. Ruth was part of a large family, and as I mentioned before, that family holds a reunion here in Montana every two years. Much of the extended family was here and came to the service. One of the nephews, Steve, who is a member of our church and one of our regular song leaders, was song leader last night. Our pastor gave the meditation. Margaret’s eldest son read the obituary, and when the time came for family members to offer stories and memories, Margaret was the first one to walk up to the podium. I told her afterward that seeing her—because I hadn’t seen her before the service started and it’s been almost two years since she moved away—made me tear up. These people are all so dear to me and we have lost so many of them. I said to the husband that I tried counting up the number of funerals and memorial services I’ve played for in this church in the past 20 years and it is upwards of three dozen.

And then we sang. Oh. My. I can’t adequately describe the sound that came forth when 200+ people, most of them accomplished singers, started into “It Is Well With My Soul.” The head elder and I were talking after the service and I said that they really didn’t need the piano accompaniment. Steve knows how to direct a large group of singers. (He is also the easiest of all our song leaders for me to accompany.) Our church has a wooden floor and wooden pews and the acoustics are amazing. When I finished the recessional, I looked up and saw Susan standing in the balcony watching me. The baby grand in our church belonged to her mother and she tells me often how much she loves to hear me play it.

I had told the husband that I didn’t know when I would be home, because I had a lot of visiting to do after the service. Margaret will be here for the week and we talked about maybe quilting at the church. I had a baby gift to deliver to another member of the family who is due in a few weeks. My girls’ first grade teacher was there and asked me how they were doing and to tell them she said hello. Susan just got back from visiting her daughter in Texas and meeting her new grandson for the first time (he was born while she was there). And while I was standing in line waiting to make my ice cream sundae, a woman came up to me and introduced herself. I know her sisters because they live here in Kalispell, but this lady lives on the east coast and I hadn’t met her yet. She wanted me to know that she reads my blog because her sisters told her about it. She likes to hear about familiar places and people and what the weather is doing and whether the huckleberry crop is good or not.

I had such a good time talking to her. And I came away from that memorial service thinking first, that Ruth would have been delighted and second, that I am so fortunate to live where I do. The whole concept of community is something that has been degraded and lost over the past half-century or so. And because of that, we get Twitter. As an introvert, I don’t go looking for a lot of social interaction, but I love love love all the little tendrils that extend into lots of different places—even across the country and around the world!—and hold everything together. I wish we could do a better job of strengthening that kind of social fabric. Social media has a place in our lives, but I fear it does more to rip us apart than to bring us together.

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The first fair apron is done:

FairApronDone.jpg

Seeing it all put together gives me a better idea of how to make an apron that will fit me perfectly by grading between the Medium and Large pattern pieces.

I’ve pulled some other fabrics for possible second (third?) versions, although I do love that blue print with the cherries. While I was stash diving, I pulled out bits and pieces to add to the Drunkard’s Path blocks. I started with the pink, apple green, black, and white print. To that, I have added more prints in those colors. All of the quarter circles will be white. I think it needs a pop of something—a bright yellow, perhaps?

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The husband powered through and got most of the metal roofing on the shop. It looks great and now he has plenty of space to park equipment and trucks out of the weather.

Reverse Engineering Grandma's Apron

Reverse Engineering Grandma's Apron

Installing the Metal Roofing

Installing the Metal Roofing