And so, folks, one of the "newbies" (recent arrivals to the ng) wrote
privately and said she'd like to know who the heck this Sarah really IS,
since she wasn't here "in the beginning" and clearly isn't in on the
inside jokes, the teasings, and the like. She asked for a catch-up
post. Well, I thought about that, and thought I'd be embarrassed to
spend that much time talking about me.
And then, I thought about how this newgroup has been such FUN (and
sometimes not :-) ), and how come I stayed here, a year ago (long
story, and you'll hear a bit of it, tonight), and how I, too, wondered
who some of the "oldies" were when I was lucky enough to find this
bunch. And yeah, I suppose I just talked myself into it ...
And so, I'm a quilter. A piecer, not an applique-er. A
machine-quilter, although I also send the "specials" out to be
hand-quilted by a good friend. Single for over 20 years, as you'd
figured. Born in New Mexico, and raised on the Desert. Came to Las
Cruces to go to college (NM State U, the first year it "grew" from New
Mexico Agricultural and Mechanical college -- cowboys and engineers).
GREAT for me. a really small school (2,000 students then, and 7-to-1
guys to girls. I had a GREAT time in college. Didn't study much; after
my freshman year, drank a lot of beer, had a hoot of a time, and
wouldn't trade that time for anything. I fell in love with a set of
fraternity brothers, and they fell in love with me (not the "in love"
kind ... I was "one of the guys" -- and still am).
After college, got married (not to the Love of My Life, for whom I
still carry a torch, I suppose) ... to the guy I went with the last two
years of college (one of the fraternity brothers). Married for 12
years, taught school (English, in junior high), then had a couple of
babies. Followed spouse to Tucson (where I was a complete idiot for a
while -- didn't want to leave this little town, etc.). I discovered
needlepoint (well, canvas embroidery) in Tucson, ended up teaching it
from Tucson to Texas, and designing needlepoint canvases and selling
those from California up through Colorado and into Texas. That was a
fun "spare bedroom" business, but wasn't much more than that.
Ended up in Ogden, Utah as the Last Stab at Making the Marriage
Work. It didn't work. I was working as a legal secretary when the
closest thing I ever had to a brother (lived next door to me when I was
born). Bill said, after we'd discussed several options, "Why the hell
don't you go to law school?" and hung up.
I asked my lawyer-boss if I could do that (remember, 25 years ago,
"girls" were nurses and teachers and secretaries). He just snorted, and
24 hours later, I'd signed up for the LSAT.
Law School got me back to my beloved New Mexico, albeit a bit
"north" of what I'd grown up with (colder, and a much bigger town). But
I was HOME, where the music was familiar, and the food was familiar, and
people say "howdy" on the streets, and SOME of the guys in cowboy hats
aren't "***tore" cowboys.
The now-hairy-leggers were 7 when we divorced, 9 when I started law
school. I went to school and then worked, and the kids played hockey
(and swam, and ran track, and competed with each other -- ugh).
Did fairly well in law school, got hired by a big firm (terrible
place to work), and raised the hairy-leggers. Ex was VERY good about
child support. And I was VERY glad when summers came, although I
resented the "Disneyland Dad" routine, a bit. The kids and I went
through lots of "eating beans" times ... and lots of car wrecks (your
boy-children WILL wreck your cars :-( ). Graduated two kids with
honors in 1988, and sent one off to the U of Arizona , and one to the U
of Alaska at Fairbanks (god forbid). Mark stuck it out in alaska for a
whole school year, then transferred to NMSU (where it's warm, Mom, and
there are girls :-) ).
And in 1988, when the kids left for college, I had TWO bedrooms
extra!!!! (made it clear that they could come back to visit, and that
was all) -- and MSM brought her brand-new rotary cutter and mat up from
Hobbs (look in the very SE corner of NM). We went out to buy fabric for
a quilt for Gregg (Mark had designed his when he was 5, and Mama
finished it when he was 15 ... No WAY I was gonna cut all those little
squares with a template and sew them together). But. A rotary cutter,
and strip-piecing, is quite another matter.
I was hooked.
Mama still says (she lies, of course) that I stood over her with a
bullwhip and wouldn't let her eat, as we sewed Gregg's quilt. I don't
own a bullwhip. She is a grown woman, and is responsible for her own
food. :-) .
I was by then in a better job, but not all that wonderful. And so,
quilting quite literally saved my sanity (well, "piecing". I said I'd
never quilt one as long as I lived :-) ). I pieced a quilt-top a month
for quite some time. Well, YEARS. But I am sane (more or less).
In 1991, I got a chance to move back to Las Cruces, where I'd gone
to college, married, had them babies, and taught school. I JUMPED at
it. My Desert! Warm! Small! I not only got to come HOME, I found
this most astonishing "old" house (gotta quit saying that -- it was
built in 1924, and it's only 18 years older than I am, for crying out
loud). Such a wonderful house. Little. Quite small. but it has a
screened front porch (with hooks for the swing I "got custody" of almost
20 years before and wondered why I kept hauling from place to place),
hardwood floors, 10' ceilings, a ba***t (not heard of, in NM), and
just "good vibes."
I've been holed up in this delightful, charming little house (need
another bedroom badly .. but not enough to move, and I can't afford to
build on, or up ... "rich lawyer," you see, is quite a myth) ever since.
Mark and Tammy (DW) are in AlbuCookie with a couple of ferrets.
Gregg lives in Newport Beach, CA with Erin. Both boys are still a bit
astonished that they're not millionaires by now (welcome to the REAL
WORLD, Gentlemen). I adore both young women, and am "getting used to"
this "significant other" concept.
Meanwhile quilting was my solace, my sanity, for a long time. I
moved to another law firm in '95, and am happy as a clam. Funny how
that works. I'm not piecing a top-a-month, any more. Just no need, I
reckon, now that I'm at a good place.
January, a year and a half ago, I found (well, I didn't -- my local
guru -- yes, another of the fraternity brothers -- found it) this ng. I
thought I'd "lurk" awhile (I even knew that term). Not surprisingly, my
"lurking" lasted not QUITE 24 hours. :-)
And I began to babble. Easy for me to do ... kids are gone, no
spouse, and finally, a job that's FUN to do, but which doesn't make me
work 12-16 hours a day. And yeah, I reckon I was a bit lonesome (not
"lonely" -- I make a semantic distinction about that). And it was,
well, "glittery" and exciting, this "talking" to people from all over
the WORLD. Whooh.
And then, we got "OT". Well, so, *I* got OT. The subject of
"regional fabrics" arose, and nobody seemed to have any (there are LOTS,
now) ... and then I got to talkin' in dialect, a little, and I mentioned
"Texis" -- and someone fired back that at LEAST she knew how to SPELL
it, and I was off and runnin'. I wrote something LONG, and very much
in "wayust tayucksis" (that's "West Texas") dialect,. and the LONG
string of "off topic" posts poured in. And the farther we went, the
more e***d I got ... and yeah, I certianly DID egg that on.
Well. A flame. for being off topic. I was astonished. Hell, *I*
thought this was just a ***-quilting-bee, and I was having a hoot of a
time (as an English major, y'all might imagine that I was in hawg
heaven, as the different ways we say things came in).
Meanwhile, all sorts of folks were chatting. From Australia. And
England. YOW! I LOVED this! And I told all about me. I drive a
truck. I play pool, from time to time. And my kids are gone
And Phebe and I got into the "Great Jell-O War" (not worth
re-telling, but it was a LOT of fun). And I told the ThunderChicken
story (probably the first of a host of stories -- the short version is
that I locked myself out of my best friend Jess's Thunderbird as he
borrowed Bubba-the-Truck to move some stuff ... with the keys locked in
the car AND THE ENGINE RUNNING -- it was a better story when I told it,
the first time :-) )
I survived the flame-war. I don't even remember what the second one
was about, although I was mixed up in that one, too. The third one was
really awful. Not mine, but hurtful for a friend (whom I'd never seen).
And meanwhile, about May, 1997, I mentioned, out loud, that I was a
little down. I don't remember why. It isn't important. Yeah, I
noticed that "calling Sarah-fans" post, but I didn't pay much
attention. Oh, my. Between early May, 1997, and June, 1997, 53 women
on this newsgroup, from top-to-bottom of both US coasts and everywhere
in between (26 states, including the UPPER state, Alaska) -- AND Canada,
AND Britain, AND Australia, sent blocks to the "clearing house" ... who
set them together in the most astonishing, most enormous quilt.
And yes, when I mention the "HUG", that's what I'm talking about.
It is drop-dead-gorgeous. Too big even for a king-sized bed (and mine
isn't even a queen). And I don't "hang" quilts -- so mostly, it drags
the floor in the winter, and I drag it out to show off to EVERYONE who
crosses my threshhold. And I bawl every time I look at it.
And meanwhile-meanwhile, during the last flame war (you darlin'
newbies ain't seen Nothin' yet ... partly because the "OT" designation
grew out of #3), someone mentioned that a bunch of us (yeah, invariably
those who'd done "HUG" blocks) who were always "OT", simply "chattered
like magpies", and suggested that we take the OT stuff somewhere else.
And so (sigh), we did. We went to a private list,
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