Friday, August 29, 2008

Making Time

My Scottish grandmother (and grandfather) raised seven children with no outside help and very little money. Each week day morning at 10 a.m. (undoubtedly with a good half day's work done by then), Grandma put the teapot on, placed a platter of cookies or some other homemade goodie on the table, and took time to sit and visit for a half hour or so with a neighbor or two and anyone else who dropped in. Grandma was always sure to grab her knitting before sitting down for this morning ritual. This time was important to her and not much got in the way of it.

Yesterday morning a good friend and I took a ride down the road to a coffee shop at the other end of our county to meet with two other gals for a couple of hours of handwork, camaraderie and conversation. We make this jaunt twice a month and it's something I always look forward to.

There are usually no more than four to six of us that gather around the big table in one of the coffee shop's small meeting rooms. Occasionally only two or three are able to make it of a particular Thursday morning. The conversation is casual and flows easily, most of the time we laugh a lot. Once in a while our talk is interspersed with a poignant sharing of personal feelings or a touching anecdote from an individual's life. Although there has never been an ultimatum issued, I think it's understood that what is said around the table stays around the table.

All the while we're visiting, each of us is doing one type of handwork or another. Hand quilting, embroidery, hardanger, doll making, applique work, knitting, tatting, it matters not what we choose to do. It's always something we enjoy but can rarely find adequate time to do.

These few hours of a Thursday morning a couple times a month certainly aren't the same as my grandma's daily time with her friends and handwork but continuing to make time now and then for reconnecting with friends, infrequent though it may be, is sometimes all we can manage in our jam-packed, too fast moving lives. For me, these times are calming and up-lifting, relaxing and stimulating, bonding and centering. And important.

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