This past week I had the opportunity to visit one of the wonderful women who nurtured my sewing skills by being my 4H leader. Mrs. Hortense Joyce with my mother, Althea (Schott) Triebel were the 4H leaders for The Harmony Homemakers in the town of Milan.
I see my mother often and thank her often for the time she invested in me learning to sew. But I hadn't had a chance to personally thank Mrs. Joyce, who now lives across the country.
Many from Milan were gathered at a restaurant waiting for Mrs. Joyce to arrive. It had been many years for all of us and introductions were needed in most cases to recognize the people. Most were parents of other 4H club members and only a few were recognizable to me.
I have been a club leader as my own children grew up. I can only hope I left the club members with half of the wonderful memories that my 4H leaders gave me.
I fondly remember us saying we should change our club name to the Ripper Outers, when it seemed like we were ripping out MUCH more than we were sewing. As a child it was frustrating but we all went down the "rip it out" path and learned as we did so.
Memories are like a mosaic. I remember sewing my very first 4H apron, using the One Yard Apron. I remember learning about the grain of fabric and not having a clue what it meant... until I got a pair of jeans that wanted to wrap around my leg. I remember interfacing before there was any such thing as fusible interfacing. I remember learning to under stitch and being totally fascinated by the difference it made in how a facing would stay inside a garment.
I know I had Mrs. Joyce in my mind coaching me through teaching my daughter and her friend about making bread and could hear her telling us all about those living yeast cells and how they would make the bread rise.
If you have a teacher, thank them today. If you are a teacher, even if they don't thank you, I would be willing to bet that you will be remembered forever for all the knowledge you are sharing. What ever any of us do...We must continue to share our sewing skills and knowledge...we are building memories and passing on a valuable life skill.
Me... I can never thank Mrs. Triebel and Mrs. Joyce enough! When they were teaching me, the world wide web was a figment of someones imagination... they had no idea what they were teaching me, would get passed on to anyone who reads sewing.about.com.