A cozy, quilting story for your winter and wintry Tuesday. From Sunday's New Castle Courier-Times. Hope you're having a great week.
By Donna Cronk
For Carolynn Hyde of New Castle, it started with a hobby, then became a treasured activity. Now her quilted creations are part of a home-based business, Carolynn’s Treasures.
Carolynn and husband Bill relocated to New Castle from Indianapolis a couple years ago to be near their daughter, Lynnda Sparks and family. Bill is a retired pastor and Carolynn worked in administrative assisting. Married 51 years, both are retired.
They lived in a variety of locations during their working years, from Kentucky to several Indiana locations to West Virginia and Maryland before they started a church in Indy. They now attend Chicago Corner Church.
A graduate of Aresenal Technical High School, Carolynn was taught to sew in school where she also learned to make hats. She used to make her daughter’s clothes. In 1994, she visited a Greenfield quilt shop and began attending a quilting club. She began making quilts for herself and as gifts.
Several hundred quilts later, she sells them as a vendor at special events, at the Henry County Farmers Market, and does custom orders. She also makes appliqué-embellished bibs and T-shirts.
“Appliqué is my favorite quilting technique,” says Carolynn. “It has more character than regular pieced quilting.”
That character is quickly evident inside the Hyde home where a whimsical chicken-themed quilt hangs on the dining- room wall. Carolynn says it’s one of her favorites. “They’re (chickens) goofy looking and you can make up things that they’re saying,” she says. Chicken-themed place mats are found on the dining-room table to go along with the quilt.
Nearby is a cat-themed quilt, also on the wall, and a snowman wallhanging. The snowman is part of series of seasonal quilts Carolynn has completed to showcase each month of the year in a unique and colorful way.
“With quilting, there’s not very many rules,” Carolynn says. She enjoys embellishing some of her work with buttons. “You can change it. My daughter says a pattern is a suggestion.”
Along with her daughter, who also quilts, the Hydes have a son Jeffrey, who lives in Pennsylvania. The Hydes have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The handiwork is all machine-quilted but Carolynn hand-binds the backing.
When asked about the appeal of quilting, Carolynn says, “Because it is so versatile. It’s not cookie-cutter anything.”
She comments that if six women all created the same quilt, each one would look different.
Carolynn has her own designated quilting room, which she thoroughly enjoys. When asked what advice she has for those who might like to try their hands at quilting, Carolynn says to start small with a small project such as a mug rug to see how they enjoy it. “That way they get an idea if they want to pursue this.”
She enjoys teaching quilting and the small mug-rug projects and welcomes opportunities to do so.
She’s thinking of expanding her business to make rag dolls, another thing she enjoys.
Of quilting, Carolynn says, “You can just let your imagination go wild.”
To connect with Carolynn, call her at 317-536-2906 or email: email@example.com.
Donna Cronk photo // The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. in December. A tour guide at the site said the memorial is designed to appear unfinished to symbolize that the work of the clergyman and civil rights activist remains unfinished. King lived from 1929 to 1968 when he was assassinated. The granite memorial was done by Lei Yixin and is inspired by a line in the "I Have a Dream speech: "Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope." The sculpture is called Stone of Hope.
This article appeared in Sunday's New Castle Courier-Times. It was a thrill to see the memorial during a night tour of capital monuments last month.
By Donna Cronk
This year’s celebration to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will take place in New Castle at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at The Place, 205 S. 21st St.
The evening features a program along with song and liturgical dance. An optional dinner will be served at 5 p.m. for anyone interested. Everyone is welcome to the meal and / or service. No reservations are needed for either.
Sponsoring New Castle congregations are First United Methodist Church, The Place, Bethany Tabernacle Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, First Friends Meeting and St. James Episcopal Church, among others, according to the event facilitator, Barry Cramer.
Cramer, of Richmond, is an ordained deacon at St. James Episcopal Church. He will speak on the topic, “Finding Beloved Community.” He says that to him, the concept of beloved community means to recognize a shared human nature among people, and a calling to drop divisions along with discovering how we can all get along while recognizing our commonality.
“I believe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday should be a holiday for all Americans, not just for the African-American community,” he said. “Our observances should be more than just remembrances of his life, but opportunities to be reminded what he taught – and to learn from him.”
He understands King’s message as one of racial reconciliation, economic justice and use of non-violent means to work toward justice and peace. “He was a contemporary prophet,” says Cramer. “He was a Nobel laureate because of his work. His stature compels us all to honor and learn from him.”
Along with his address will be various readings and prayers. The evening also features vocal music presented by several of Rosie Hua’s voice students; Stacey Torres is providing a liturgical dance accompanied by Hua singing, Kay Rogers on the flute and Sam Hua on the piano.
Cramer estimates that between 60 and 80 people attended last year. He hopes the annual tribute will continue. He would like to see more student involvement such as possibly writing or art projects, and possibly organizing a trip to the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati.
He also welcomes involvement of additional churches. Any individual or church interested in becoming involved with next year’s program is welcome to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with serving as a deacon, Cramer is a behavioral clinician in the addictions field at Meridian Health Services at the Addictions and Recovery Center in Richmond. He has also worked in blue-collar jobs, in the legal field, in mediation and conflict resolution.
His bachelor’s of arts degree in social sciences is from Ohio State University. He has a master of divinity from the Earlham School of Religion and a juris doctor (J.D.) from the International School of Law, now George Mason University School of Law.
The federal holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 21.
The weekend shifted from Plan A to Plan B on Friday.
I was supposed to go with a group of friends to Terri's lake house in Brown County this weekend. We were ready to enjoy the fireplace, movies and HGTV, someone was bringing a craft, we'd have all the yummy food we could eat, and then some. The conversation would be enjoyed along with the naps and weekend of carefree relaxation.
Then came Winter Storm Gia. Since when did they start naming snowstorms?
With predictions of 5 to 7 inches of the white stuff, we canceled early yesterdy morning. But Terri offered a consolation prize: Why don't we come over Friday night for a soup supper? So we did, joined by two of her sisters and even a craft.
It's after 2 Saturday and Gia is still doing her thing. We've had four or five inches of snow by now, with more coming. We gathered groceries yesterday and in a couple of hours the Colts will take the field in Kansas City in the NFL Playoffs. Life is good.
I've got McClellan Sisters' Homemade Vegetable-Beef Soup in the slow cooker, the last of the dirty clothes in the dryer and the unexpected snow day is working its usual magic, which means I'm in organizational overdrive. I cleaned out and organized all the tubes, jars, bottles, sprays and other weird bathroom miscellany and then hit my clothes closet.
If the Colts make me nervous, and they will, I'll find something else to organize. Somehow, it's a good activity for me for jazzed-up nerves.
Snow, ice and other winter weather issues take their toll before spring's arrival. But for today, the snowfall is a novelty as the weather has been a breeze so far. The house is cozy, the pantry is full, our team is in the Playoffs! So go Colts! Go Gia!
Now that I’ve settled into age 60, I have a few observations.
One over-arching theme of 60 is humility. It’s humbling to recognize that so many cliches about one’s – ahem –advanced years are now true. Attention young people: Yes, I'm talking to you 59-year-old whippersnappers. Please take notice when your elders offer these thoughts because your day will come sooner than you think.
Now don’t tell me about those rare birds running marathons at 90 or Betty Giboney holding down a full-time Courier-Times reporter’s job at 78 by day and keeping up with her ballet exercises by night. I’m talking about those regular earthlings among us whose hearing, knees and hips offer a challenge or three.
Down side: I know that my hearing isn’t what it was. Up side: my lip reading has improved because Brian has been telling me that my hearing is failing for so long that I don’t have to hear the words, only watch his mouth move. Curiously, I have no problem hearing my knees creak.
But there’s more good news! I’d always heard that older people don’t need as much sleep and that they get up by choice at ridiculously early hours. Well, it’s true. It started happening to me pretty suddenly. I don’t mind rising at 5:45 a.m. I’m up at least a couple times in the night as it is and sometimes then I find myself thinking, Good. I’ve only got another hour before it’s a respectable time to stay awake.
I enjoy that early hour alone to sip black coffee and quietly welcome the day. I also find that I now need the extra time to make myself presentable because I clearly deteriorate in the night. Getting up early means I don’t have to rush. I’m tired of rushing. I like a slower pace, and if you can’t have a slower pace at 5:45 a.m., when can you?
That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, but the answer might be 7:30 p.m. when I’m sometimes ready for bed. And hey, that’s just science; everything has an equal and opposite reaction.
What I also notice is how quickly time not only rushes by, but seems to evaporate before my eyes. I will think of a story I wrote two years ago only to find that I actually penned it six years ago. Or say we visited my brother and sister-in-law in Liberty a month ago. Then I find out that no, it was actually two months ago.
I don’t know how it is that we find ourselves in 2019. Time travel? If the world doesn't stop revolving so fast, I'm going to need a seatbelt installed in my easy chair.
My church-women’s life group is called the Midlife Moms, or MLMs for short. What a difference a dozen years make. At age 48, we were legit at midlife. After all, if we lived to be 96, which of course we all intended to do, as though we had any say in the matter, we were midlifers with years to spare. Even at 52, we could each name someone we knew who made it to 104. So sure, we could claim midlife.
But at 60? That means we’d have to live to 120 to truly be at midlife right now! OK, we’re officially pushing it.
What I also know about 60, though, is that traditional time tables have shifted. For years I compiled mental lists of my best stories in case I needed the clips for future job opportunities. Brian checked out the job boards to keep an eye on what administrative positions were open. Just in case, you know.
Or we’d talk about how “someday we’d like to visit there,” regarding a vacation spot.
What I know now is that we’re no longer interested in future career moves to something bigger and better. Brian is retired and doesn't want to run anything. And if we’re going to visit a certain vacation spot, build a dream house, or even buy a new sofa, it's time.
Yes, it’s time to fill that bucket list with ideas for what's next. And to use the good bubble bath.
The time is now to keep writing regular devotions about God’s input in my ordinary life, something that I enjoyed and felt challenged by last year. The time is also now to do my best to get and stay as healthy as is within my ability – knowing that health of every kind is priceless.
And maybe, we should think about renaming our ladies life group. A friend in Ohio mentioned that in her church, women of a certain age have a group called WOW. I would like to be a WOW. What woman wouldn’t?
In her church, the group stands for Wise Older Women. Yes, that’s it! I would like to be a WOW! And I would like to start NOW.
Donna Cronk is Neighbors editor of The Courier-Times and edits the quarterly her magazine for women. This column originally appeared in the Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 issue.