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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 36

           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.

           While driving 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.

             Another valley 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.

             When Dee 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.

              Everything 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 trip?”

            “Oh most 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.

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