Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Gift of Joy

I suppose you could call this a "Christmas Ohio Star," since it's red and green. But for me, it's so much more.

What may seem a somewhat humble barn quilt is by far the most precious.

This was the first quilt square, painted in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio. It was the starting point for the quilt trails from which so many have derived great pleasure--whether in creating or in admiring others' work.

It is the gift that Donna Sue Groves gave to her community and to all of us.

For me, this quilt square represents the greatest gift I have been given in my adult life--the privilege of working with Donna Sue to tell the story of the quilt trail--of the amazing people who paint the blocks and of those who have inspired them to do so. My gifts are many--the stories I have heard, the wealth of history I discovered, the warm hospitality of farmhouses across the country. I have made new friends whom I will treasure forever.

At the end of it all, I will be a published author--a dream of a lifetime and a gift whose price is beyond measure. All of these gifts have been heaped upon me, and it all began with this one quilt barn.

Life brings us all many challenges, and at this holiday season, I don't see a lot of sparkling packages under the tree. But a wealth of gifts, none able to be wrapped and tied with a bow, have come my way.

The greatest of those will always be the joy of friendship with Donna Sue and Maxine Groves.

I hope that you all have an abundance of gifts to celebrate--not just during the holidays but throughout the year.

Happy holidays,