|It is a wonderful organization.|
When my brothers and sister and I were young, we were members of 4-H. Which is kind of like boy scouts and girls scouts rolled up together for all ages at once. In my mind, as a mother often attempting to get four kids to four different locations simultaneously, this sounds pretty appealing. All of us belonged to the same chapter, the older members assisted the younger members and together we learned some new skill.
I loved 4-H. It was one of the happiest memories of my childhood. We met once a month in the winter and twice a month in the summer. We learned things like leathercraft, sewing, cooking, canning, embroidery, farm skills (by which I mean; how to candle eggs, curry horses, raise a calf...), and drama.
Not that we needed anyone to teach us about drama, we had plenty of that all on our own, it was channeling that in to production of a play. One year we did a skit with Dave Brubeck's Take 5 as the soundtrack and the actors pantomimed the actions. Much to our surprise, we place first for our region. Then we went on to county, which is where our stage fright got to us and our winning streak ended.
|Love the colors, though my floss was|
seldom this tidy.
So when the County Fair rolled around, I was ready with my sampler. I had designed and worked on it all winter and was ready for the fair. It was pressed, mounted (thank you mom), framed and entered to into the competition. I thought it was very lovely, but was a bit concerned when I saw the other entries when we were dropping it off for the for the judging.
The week or two prior to the fair seemed to go on forever. Of course, just when I had stopped thinking
(read fixating) about the judging and where I had placed, my mother called me into the kitchen (where she was canning, whatever vegetable that had been harvested from the garden in abundance), and said: " I got a phone call today."
(Now that may seem like nothing, getting phone call, but in those days, using the phone was expensive and was not used frivolously, it was almost an event, think: messages from the outside world.)
"Your sampler won first prize for your age group and you get five dollars in prize money."my mother said as she deftly lifted the jars out of the boiler bath.
"Five dollars? I didn't know they would give me any money! I thought I just got a ribbon, do I get a ribbon, and the five dollars? What else did they say, anything else..." my questions coming out faster then my mother could respond.
|My mother had embroidered this image |
on my pillowcases for me when I was little.
Five dollars was more money than I had ever had previously in my life. It was riches and I spent more time thinking of how to spend it, than any other five dollars in my entire life.
For me, there is much joy in the creative process, sometimes more than the actual completion of the project.
Those days in 4-H were a gift to me. I may have learned embroidery or many other skills, but what I really learned was: the joy in doing, is what makes the endeavor have value.