Many years ago, one of my mentors gave me some very sound advice about age, long before I even gave much thought to the subject. He told me to remember A.H.I.P. “Age Has Its Privileges,”
He explained that we could become eccentric, could behave more strangely with each passing year, and could speak our minds without let or hindrance. Now, I have decided to add the privilege of being able to look back through the years to enjoy a vast collection of memories. The article about the Ima-Hassell Quilters in Sunday’s Albuquerque Journal sent me on a life-time trip into the past as I look at the picture of those seven women: Betty Upton, Marva Northcutt, Iris Morgan, Hilda Sparks, Wanda Page, Delores Blackburn and Rachel Sparks. This woman from Ima felt right at home while reading about their day of quilting in the Blackburn home and savored each word of the story while thinking how long I have known most of those people.
While reading about Iris Morgan, I was much aware that she has known me all of my 70 years and is still going strong. She and her husband, Thomas, were frequent visitors in our little house in the canyon as well as at Grandmother’s house. They were a very handsome young couple when I can first remember, and I can also recall the parents of both of them – the Morgans and the Wilsons. Actually, I thought their parents were rather old when I knew them but realize they might not have been as old as I am now. I also knew the parents of Rachel and Hilda Sparks – Mr. and Mrs. Dee Locklear, and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Block, their father-in-law, Frank Sparks – as well as Betty Upton’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Whit Wharton, her mother-in-law, Mrs. Tom Upton, and Delores Blackburn’s father and mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Blackburn.
Remembering quilting sessions at the Home Extension Club meetings was another special treat. About once a month, the women of the community gathered at one of the homes to quilt, visit and eat. Sometimes, the home extension agent would be present to talk about the latest news in homemaking, to provide new recipes, and to bring the latest patterns for clothing. The county health nurse might also show up to talk about health problems and to explain the use of some of the latest medicines. Those gatherings were always a treat for the women because they provided a most necessary break from their daily chores and gave them a chance to relax and to visit about community events. Often, the hostess prepared the main dish for the noon meal, and each member brought side dishes or desserts. Young children were usually present and were often sent outdoors to play so we would be out from under foot. Babies were placed on pallets or in beds while the women quilted, sewed, embroidered, knit, canned the latest crop, or simply enjoyed each other’s company for a few hours.
Yes, A.H.I.P! I hope some of you have taken a few trips into the past as you have read this and have come away with many pleasant memories of earlier, quieter times. We shouldn’t lose sight of those times and should pass along a few of the stories so later generations will have some idea of life in another era.