Tuesday, October 18, 2011

And All I Got was a Crummy T-Shirt

My ______ went to ________, and ALL I got was this Crummy T-Shirt!
Sunbonnet Sue quilt my Grandma Grace made from my Mom's childhood dresses for my crib

I have mentioned before that I come from a long line of pack-rats and one of the problems is that we are a close, and busy family with a connection maintained between extended family in many parts of the world, and the firm belief that some of the best memories might be lost, FOREVER, if we lose the physical thing that triggers the memory.
I grew up in a time when t-shirts were the normal prize for participating in something and the standard souvenir of any trip, and I have a bunch of t-shirts, of course.  My favorites, unfortunately, are the ones which become worn to shreds, the arm pits get thin and then give out, the belly picks up coffee and spaghetti stains.  The ones with no memories attached stay safely in the back of my closet.

I thought I had the perfect solution.  My maternal grandmother, Grace Slack, made beautiful quilts that I still cherish, from my dresses and her dresses and my brothers pearl snapped cowboy shirts.  I wanted to make a quilt of 18 inch t-shirt blocks with a border from old denim.

On minor issue.  I do not sew.  Oh, I can thread a needle and replace a button, but when I got into weaving, I ended up with yards of material I had to pay someone else to hem.  My bathroom curtain is still a beach towel, push-pinned to the wall.  So the squares piled up and eventually I had enough I could have sewn quilts for India, if I could have sewn.
This DQ was only open in summer, and my brother, Lance, with Down's syndrome, talked them into staying open through his Oct. 24th birthday each year.  The MTNs, are Cedar and Rattlesnake and the statue of Buffalo Bill is on Main Street.
I love the DQ because eery day of summer, my Mom, Grandma, brothers and I would go there in the afternoon and get a milkshake to take to where my grandpa sold Antlers and Jack-a-lope to tourists by the hot Yellowstone Highway
 What can I do?  I write, and I take pictures and sometimes paint.  Now, if I weave, I make tapestries.  I will never sew a quilt.  So I am sharing some of the stories behind the T-shirts.  And then the pile will be gone, well diminished anyway.
My Mother-In-Law was really sick, for 6 weeks we stayed in a travelodge in Rochester, by the Mayo Clinic and spent the days in the Hospital, thinking we'd lose her.  The one fun day, we took our sons to the Mississippi and to Cabela's to see the dioramas ad eat elk sandwiches.
I also smile because that was 2006 and we STILL have her.

We went to Disneyland when the boys were 9 and 10 and to medieval times for a chance to watch jousting and tear at chicken with our teeth and fingers and feel like royalty.  Our yellow knight was the best!

My husband is a Music Teacher, and he started a Community Children's Choir.  Both my boys were in it and the shows were awesome and I was so proud of my guys.

Being a Cody Bronc was partly torture, but also there were great moments.  I'm glad I don't have to relive those years but I am who I am, and that is partly because I survived the bad and good of high school.

Nothing was more fun than watching the Broadway version of the Lion King, but after we came home, my youngest son wanted to sleep in on a Sunday, and I made him get up and go to church.  He was 5 and made his opinion clear by stomping out to the car wearing this.

My husband taught here, I subbed in every grade level, and both boys attended.  There are a lot of good schools but Pine Grove was FAMILY!

Ahh, Keiko.  Loved the "Free Willie" Whale and spent many times standing face to face cross a glass pane, watching the gentle whale move his flipper when I moved my hand

The incredible, lion faced Golden Tamarins are the creatures which inspired my favorite characters in my novels.  

Growing up in Cody, I loved the Rodeo clowns, and this t-shirt was illustrated by my brother's Mother-in-law

My husband grew up near the Flintstones of Custer, South Dakota, and I had loved to stop there when we were on road trips, so now we still stop for a sherbet twist cone when we are in the neighborhood.  Plus, I was born, a redheaded baby girl, the season Pebbles was born, and my mom dressed me in fake leopard print too long.

I wasn't a Trek fan until I was married and it was long into re-runs, but sharing them with my husband, led to sharing AL the novels and games and finally being in a movie one day at universal studios.

Just married, 1984, we spent the summer as counselors at a wheelchair Camp outside Susanville, CA where only jeeps could haul the campers from the inner city.  Easter Seals Rocks!

We bought 14 parrots and I painted this to wear while teaching art to preschoolers.

Powell Wyoming Junior College where I met the Man I have loved these last 30 years.

Enough said!

This on-line community jump started me and led me to write both my published novels and start a couple more still "In Progress"

The best school for kindergarten in out county, I do believe, largely thanks to Mrs. LaFazio

Where I attended the second half of my college years and learned to love the coastal redwoods on spring break.

We went to Copenhagen as part of a choir tour.  It was strange to see the sun set and come back up in one smooth movement at 3 AM.  Tivoli Gardens and the City were beautiful and a couple redheads felt right at home there.

Pittsburgh!  My Dad Grew up going here on school field trips, and one of my best days ever was when it poured rain, most people went home and we rode all day, with no lines and a lot of soaked laughter.

This just says, "Home" plus my Sister-in-law was a mail carrier when it was issued.

Thyme began in a garden, the Gardening Angel

My husband loves his Tie dye and my birds
and I love him

Judy, the toy I told all my secrets too, sports a t-shirt my baby brother wore which was a gift from a pen-pal I had in London when he was born.

OK, that is all I am up to for now.  Nostalgia is exhausting and there is much to do in the here and now.


  1. I love these! Can't you find someone with sewing skills who would trade for tutoring or something? I know, I'm enabling, sorry. Make a photo quilt with them, that would work too! The stories are what really make them special. Several of them brought back memories for me, thanks.

  2. Lynn, I did get someone to sew my grandmas quilt tops into a finished product and to turn my handwoven into a tablecloth and skirt, but that was 20 years ago and I've been saving t-shirts since high school, this summer was my 30th anniversary of hoarding t-shirts, you know!

  3. You are so not alone. I have a pack rat or two or three in my family, but none had a great idea such as this. Good job.

  4. Following you by GFC from the Finding New Friends Blog Hop. I'd love if you stopped by my blog.


  5. I don't sew either but I have a neighbor that does, I usually get her to do my projects while we visit and I fix lunch.

    I bet you could ask at a local fabric store if they knew someone that might help you. They often have sewing clubs that work on one big project. Perhaps they would find your idea a worthy cause.

    Thanks for hopping with us this weekend, if you haven't already please make sure you are following your hostesses and co-host.