Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memorial Day

Last week was Memorial Day. Actually, for me, it was memorial all right. All week, for life just keeps on happen'nin.

It was 'my year' to go to Comstock. I actually looked forward to it. Last time it was my turn, we went to the services for the first time in many many years, and afterward to the community dinner. (One of the 2 events that take place in the town every year). I had an enjoyable time seeing old classmates and neighbors for the first time in a very long time, and learned a good deal of some missing family history. So we did the same this year.

Some things were the same. Like the wind. I don't recall ever being on top of that hill when the wind wasn't blowing, but it was stronger than usual. Standing was difficult, and standing still impossible, even for the color guard, who were surprisingly young. As I listened to the service, I could'nt help but scan the scattering of bodies swaying in the wind. And, to note the tell tale signs of being back in the rural community I once called home. The lady in the battered long ago reclaimed lawn chair, which sported a carefully woven replacement seat back featuring a bucking horse. The bare legs of the girls, respectfully dressed in cotton skirts and flip flops - not plain, but decorated. One leg bravely bore a nasty burn, obvious evidence of a close encounter of the ATV sort. And, when I found myself a bit offended by the ultra -conservative Christian biased message of the local Pastor, I was reminded once more that while this was where I came from, I must have come a very long way. You can go home again, but for some, a visit is long enough.

Three years did make a difference. Some of the names I recognized were not put to faces, but rather now engraved on the stones. My parents generation are once more in community there on the windy hill overlooking the valley where they raised cattle and corn and kids.

I did discover another piece of family history which I find quite interesting. I had remembered from 3 years ago reading my Great Uncle's Obituary, and that it said something about him being a member of the Woodmen. I found a metal marker by his gravestone, and it did not appear to be military, so I wondered if it could be from the Woodmen. I asked my 'source' at dinner, but she knew nothing. But, it turns out, it was. She brought back a book of history of the town just as we were leaving, and there was the story of the Woodmen's Wescott Camp in Comstock. The story of the building they built there, and the businesses it housed, and the fire that burned it to the ground in an hour and a half in 1915. But, the interesting part of the story is that my son now works for the same Modern Woodmen. 105 years and 3 generations later, there are a number of Woodmen in the family.

I had a request earlier this year for a felting class. Since I was getting one ready for Iowa, I decided a 'run through' wouldn't hurt, so I lined it up, and put out the word to a couple places.

On Wed, the 4 ladies came. the morning was filled with wool talk and wet felting. Then the afternoon was spent in the sunroom needle felting.

The ladies seemed to have enjoyable day, and had some nice things done (or almost) to take home with them. And, they have already requested another class.

To complete the week, Sat morning I packed up the 'guys' and took them to the post office. The 'guys' being this years entries to the Black Sheep Gathering Show in Oregon.

The Boy and the lamb was an experiment in larger pieces using heavier armature. It worked. He stands 16 in. tall, and actually stands!

The picture was also somewhat of an adventure. The background is hand painted wool flannel, needle felted over the top, and I made the frame from wool fabric. Will be interesting to see the comments.

I got a little over enthused with size this year. I had even PURCHASED a box to send them in, as I had nothing that was big enough. That should have been a clue. Much to my surprise, the clerk looked a bit scared when she gave me the cost to send it Priority. $48.00. I declined, and after a few more exchanges split the box, adjusted the packaging, and sent it parcel, which I could afford. I was encouraged when the gal that takes the mail in entries remembered me from last year and was 'excited' that I was sending entries. Now waiting for it to get there.

And, in the meantime, I'm frantically needling and tagging and packing for Iowa. Which will be next weeks report. Plus, next Thurs is the first Farmers market of the season. Till then, hope you can all stay on the green side of the fence.

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