Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Friend Flora!

Sometimes ... the stars are just in alignment ... and things happen that have nothing much to do with anything we've done ... they are just meant to be.
Nissa's arrival day!
For example ... when this little girl adopted us ... it wasn't expected ... there were no plans!  I've learned in my life to accept things outside my control ... the hardships and the blessings!  This furball ... Nissa ... definitely falls in the "blessing" category!  Something else ... another blessing ... also new to DillyDallydom arrived a few days after ...  and recently I discovered I have neglected to introduce it here on the blog!  Yikes!  I guess having a puppy in the house has absorbed what braincells energy I have available!  ;-)

 Here's how the stars fell into alignment ... it was the last evening of the DillyDally Trail ... as we were traveling to the Columbia River Gorge for our dinner cruise, a Southeast MN QBee shared details with us about her family cabin on the Mississippi River.  Like our cabin here in Alaska, her's  doesn't have electricity either.  She shared how she uses an antique hand crank sewing machine to piece while there!  Brilliant!  That is exactly what I need here on the Eyak River!  I shared my thoughts and the Metro QBee said, "I have a friend who has one for sale!"  She immediately called to make sure it was still available ... and I bought myself an antique hand crank while driving down the freeway!  Yep ... it was meant to be ... another blessing!
The machine arrived a few days after Nissa ... we were crazy busy ... but I was so excited when it was delivered!
My biggest concern was damage during transit, but they had packed it well ...
... and it arrived safe and sound!  I immediately named her Flora.  As a child and young adult, one of my closest friends was a woman on a neighboring farm.  Flora and her husband were empty nesters ... she was 20 years older than my mother and 10 years younger than my grandmother.  Like them, she was a farm wife ... made of steel and generous with time and affection.
I would often ride my horse through the fields and visit Flora.  She was always busy ... making things with her hands ... and would willingly welcome and involve me in what she was doing.
She was the only person in our rural area that still pieced quilts.  We would trace around cardboard templates on fabric ... and when I was able to prove my accuracy, I was allowed to help cut them out with fabric shears.
Eventually I got to sew some of the pieces together.  I spent many hours at Flora's kitchen table ... learning life's lessons ... she was a patient teacher ... and helped me pursue my love of handcrafts and textiles.
Flora was just the friend I needed at that time in my life ... while sewing and crafting together, I could talk to her about things I would have never discussed with my mother or grandmother!  We could talk about everything ... family issues ... boys ... even sex!  Flora was a great listener ... open minded ...  intelligent ... and patient.  She quietly helped me successfully navigate the trials of adolescence.
This is a casual snapshot taken right before our wedding reception in 1981... Flora is the woman on the right, my great aunt Marty is on the left.  They served coffee during the reception ... these two were the only women in my childhood who were active quilters.  I have such fond memories of my time with Flora ... and I am so grateful for the many ways she influenced my life ... she was such a blessing!
It is in her honor that I refer to the "new to me" machine as Flora.  I have never used a hand crank ... so I immediately set the machine up and explored how it functioned ... it performs beautifully!  I brought out my current "leaders and enders" to work on while Nissa napped ... it was such fun!
Short seams like this patchwork unit requires is perfect for this machine!  Today, I finally got around to checking on where and when this machine was made.  My heart skipped a beat when I found out that this machine was built the same year my dear friend Flora was born ... 1910.
Yep ... the stars are in alignment ... this machine was meant to be in my life ... I am grateful ... I feel blessed.  I look forward to the many adventures this Flora and I will have!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally


  1. Flora is a beaut!!
    What a great purchase you've made.
    Enjoy it!

  2. Be still my heart! My memory is refreshed and I'm so glad you have Flora all safe and sound. What a wonderful story about Flora.

  3. I am so glad Flora found her forever home in Alaska! Keep on sewing on!