25 September 2011

Continuity

There was a church festival today. I love festivals - especially small local ones. When I was young, our church, Saint Charles, which no longer exists, had a yearly bazaar. How I loved that word - bazaar. I loved working at the bazaar and I loved playing the games, eating the food, meeting friends and more.

I don't like parties much anymore, so festivals have replaced them. I had a wonderful hot sausage sandwich and my favorite funnel cake dessert. Because it was nearing the end of the 2-day event, they marked down the baked goods. I bought some pizzelles and wanted to pay the original price and bargained to $4.00 per bag (right in the middle).

I looked at the flea market table (how could I resist?) I'm a fool for vintage linens - especially hand-embroidered ones and lace-edged ones. I even like the ones with machine lace that has been added by hand. As soon as I approached another woman let me know that I was not to look at the linens because she was there first.

Those of you who know me well, know that I am very polite, so I said I'd be back when she was finished. Well this took a long, long time for her. She had an armful of gorgeous pieces that grandmothers and great-grandmothers had made. They were freshly laundered and pressed by hand. Some were very old Belgian lace and worth quite a bit.

It saddens me how inexpensively embroidered tablecloths, pillowcases, dresser scarves and doilies are sold. Someone put so much love and time into them that they should be treasured. But, sometimes there is no one left to treasure these things. So, selling them is a good thing. Someone who can feel the stitches and know the person who sewed them just might come along and buy a few. I particularly love the ones that have broken threads and worn patches and even a stain or two, so those are the ones I chose. Imagine the stories behind the threads and blemishes!

I bought the bunch above. When I asked the price, I was told that it was a donation for the church, what ever I thought - 6 pieces for $6.00. I thought this was not enough to pay, but the woman behind the counter thought it generous.

My turn was last and I guess I'm glad that it was. I would have wanted all of the other pieces that were bought just before I was able to look, but they were all sold for only $4.00. The woman behind the counter was gracious about the purchase before mine.

I am delighted with the stitches from other families that were shared with me today. And, I am fortunate to care about the pieces and the hard work that people put into these pieces so long ago. And it is good to know that there are people who put hard work into keeping their communities strong with these festival.

It's not about the bargain or any transaction. It is about the continuity and connection. That's why I love festivals. And, that's why we'll continue to go to as many as we can.


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