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The best intentions often lead to memories

September 23, 2012
Messenger News

With the best of intentions, I sat in my recliner, quilt on my lap and a threaded needle in my hand.

That thing isn't going to bind itself, you know.

But, two hours later, there I sat in my recliner, quilt on my lap and a threaded needle in my hand. IN my hand. Not in my fingers, ready to work, but IN my hand. Lucky for me, I'm not so strong when sleeping, and the needle just lifted the skin, as if digging for an errant sliver.

I didn't even cry. Yelped a little, jumped around some, but not a single tear slid down my reddened cheek.

The big Fort Dodge Area Quilters biennial show is coming up Saturday and Sunday at the college. Newspaper style says to say Saturday and Sept. 30, but, it's Saturday and Sunday. And I've got nothing to show.

Well, I do have a baby quilt finished, but this quilt I'm working on now has been wanting a binding for four, maybe five years. That's when it was finished, but when I made the binding, I stuck it in that spot I have for saving things - you've heard me speak of it before - and the darned thing went missing. Still is missing, but I found the fabric and made new binding.

Now I've just got to get it on. Without falling asleep. Without sewing myself to it.

A few nights ago, after an afternoon of sewing at my sister's shop, I decided to treat myself to Chinese food. As I'm waiting to be seated, I watch Peggy Dowd gathering a plate of food, and a few minutes later, there was Irene Porter.

Both headed to a back room, where the Fort Dodge High School - which it was back then - class of 1945 was holding its 67-year class dinner. If I hadn't staked claim to my own little table by then, I'd have trailed after them. Why not - I look like Mom, and the class of 1945 was mom's class.

I feel an affinity to that group. My first feature after starting work at The Messenger was its monthly morning coffee out at Hickory House. I've done stories on many of the class members, and not just because they were classmates of my mother.

Del Lott, for instance, has so much flying history it would take 10 stories to get all that covered. Hugh Carroll collects and shows rocks - rocks of all kinds - at the Rockhounds annual gem and mineral show. I love rocks; I really like talking to Hugh. Neither made it to the dinner - probably forgot.

But I did see Marian and Lloyd Messerly. They named my daughter, though they probably don't know that. Their son was named Dana. I loved the name and gave it to my baby girl.

Speaking of my Dana, you should have heard her scream the first time she realized getting a sliver out of her hand meant sticking a needle into it. And we weren't quilting.

But that's another story.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson, former lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at



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