As sure as green
pastures of wheat rests between Osage Hills Dee found her thoughts going
to the little quilting shop in Fairfax, Oklahoma. Babies were being born
and, of course, their arrival called for a hand-made quilt. The little
quilts with their prairie points around the edges were unique and one of a
kind, creations. Pastel colors sometimes were in fabrics of muted blue of
finest silk. Other quilts held sunny, yellow, gingham daffodils on a
plain yellow background. Larger quilts for a child's bed hung on the wall.
The pattern was cut from hundreds and hundreds of diamond shaped pieces by
hand and then fitted into a Texas star quilt design. All these works of
art were waiting in the town of Fairfax, Oklahoma.
over the ribbon like road Dee had time to admire the beauty of the
countryside. There were calves resting in the pasture. The streams and
ponds were full from recent rains. Flashes of purple color doted the banks
of those rocky bottomed creeks. The purple of the Red Bud trees the
pioneers loved so much. They bravely bloomed when only a short while
before everything had been dull and gray. It was like a triumph of some
sort. The old timers had encouragement from the bright little tree. They
felt this strong spring color was letting them know they had survived one
more bitter winter on the prairie. Rich purple against the bright green
wheat looked like a color scheme planned by a gifted landscape artist.
nestling between rock covered hills was where someone years ago had
planted a pecan grove. The early leaves just coming out were the brightest
of yellow green. Green wheat growing on the ground beneath them was a
striking difference in that color.
pushed the door open to the quilting shop, she was greeted with all the
same things to remind her of the stores of her youth. Fairfax and Pawhuska
were the two towns on the prairie where her family did most of their
shopping. Occasionally the bigger town of Ponca City had their business.
For the most part, it was the other two towns, who catered to the
ranching families. The old-fashioned glass cases were identical to the
ones she knew as a child. Of course, the cases were probably one and the
same. The owner of this store had gone to quite a lot of trouble in order
to save antiques from different old stores that had gone out of business.
was there just as Dee had remembered. The quilts were different but
somehow the same. If there was artwork any more meticulous than this she
couldn't think of any. The great number of tiny pieces put together so
lovingly spoke of a strength of emotion beyond any description. There
always seemed to be a greater message in the work. As life tears us down
and apart we in our quiet ways try to place these small shards of fabric
into a design more beautiful than in the beginning. We women started out
with all the beauty of love and joy in our lives. Along the way so much of
life, tore our most precious things apart. Like soldiers who never wish
to leave the fallen ones behind we struggle to still pull them to a safe
place. As we become older the war does not end but continues until we can
expect any and every circumstance. Some of us have the sorrows softened as
we lose the
memories. Other's memories become more brilliant and we of those must find
a way to still stand. It is my belief that these are the women who bring
these quilts of such rare beauty up from a stack remnants of fabric to a
brilliant, accomplishment such as these quilts. If they are called
comforters, so much the better.
The two women
had known each other for years and for this reason always took more time
visiting than either one of them had. This seemed to be okay though since
they hardly ever got to see each other. The telephone was one way to order
a quilt for a special occasion. It never had to be selected in person, but
did limit the time they had to share little bits of information about
their families while they visited face to face.
When Dee walked
in her front door with her selections, Sam smiled and asked, “Enjoy your
certainly. And, guess what? You will be proud to know I didn't blow the
budget, although it would have been so easy to do.” The price of the
quilts wouldn't have paid for one hour with a therapist, and she wouldn't
have complained about that either. It was just that these bright spots of
color for wrapping some beautiful baby while keeping them snug and warm
was just more to her liking.