I know it’s not polite to go through other people’s closets. However, it’s a practice you may want to adopt.
A few years ago, I visited a friend over Memorial Day weekend. We were invited to dinner by his golfing buddy and his wife, named Ann. Ann is a quilter, so we had lots to talk about. She gave me a tour of her fabric stash, machines, equipment, and books. Her quilting supplies were housed in the spare bedroom, 1/2 the sun porch and part of the living room. Ann’s number one complaint– not enough room for quilting. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
We were just about done with the tour when her husband suggested that she show me the “postcards.” Ann rummaged around in a closet for a while and came out with a bundle wrapped in an old tablecloth. When she unfolded the contents. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Inside was what appeared to be a patchwork quilt — but it was actually 144 picture postcards, crocheted together and bound with delicate silk tassels.
The postcards had been written to Ann’s mother by her father during WWI. Ann’s parents both lived in Italy and her father sent the cards while he was in the army–until he was captured by the Austrians and put in a prisoner-of-war camp. The pictures were fascinating and in pristine condition. On the back of every card was a message to her mother from her father. After, we viewed the postcard “quilt”, Ann carefully wrapped it up and put it back into the closet, someday to go to her daughter.
When we returned to my friends house, I happened to glance at the top shelf of his closet. There, wrapped in an old sheet, was what appeared to be a crazy quilt. He brought it out for me and again, I was astounded. The old family quilt was dated 1874. It had suffered the fate of many old crazy quilts. The silk was shattered and it had obviously been well used over the years. However, the embroidery was still intact and the quiltmaker’s story was still there to decipher. We carefully wrapped the quilt in its sheet and put it back into the closet.
The moral of this story? While some people may keep skeletons in their closets, I bet far more of us keep precious memories.