Five Wonderful Groups
We had a lot of obvious heart-shaped stuff, scattered on the table. Everyone recognized the heart shaped candy boxes and candy kisses and conversation hearts. We even had fun pointing out how many different fabric patterns on our quilt included heart shapes. That just got us started.
Hearts in Nature
The photo of the cactus got us wondering about where else in nature we might spot a heart shape. We went from thoughts of heart-shaped leaves and flower petals to seeing the shape of a heart in a cloud or butterfly wings. We imagined the swirling texture of tree bark, showing a heart... or the old-fashioned image of a heart, carved into a tree trunk.
Love in the Movies
The images on these DVD boxes brought about some fun discussions. In all groups, the top choice for best romantic movie was Gone With The Wind. That wasn't too surprising. But I was surprised that the discussions were less about the love stories. I told about long lines waiting to see the 4-hour Civil War classic. I heard about the shock of hearing that famous line... "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." And I was even more surprised that in 2 different groups I was reminded that Hattie McDaniel was the first African American Oscar winner, for her role as Mammy in the 1939 classic.
Many in my memory care groups were unable to share much detail about card making or giving from their youth. But looking through cards, from the lacy vintage to the silly retro, brought smiles and chuckles and comments to many. There were some good stories about who the most special cards were given to! That got us off on first crushes and all the things we sometimes did to get the attention of that person! I won't reveal.
"What's your idea of the perfect romantic meal?"
"Well, I did go to Luby's with my daughter, once." I tried to encourage, " Oh fun! What did you eat?" She frowned while she waited for a memory to surface. "Oh!" She suddenly laughed. "There was a place in the Market in San Antonio!" She started listing Mexican dishes that I'm unfamiliar with. She continued, "I would go there! Oh, and they had men playing instruments!" "Mariachis?" I asked. She grinned and nodded and then her thoughts began to snowball. "And a margarita!" She added with a big grin at the end. The whole table cheered as if we'd all been invited to feast with her. I left that group hungry.
Love Me Tender
Elvis was one of a few performers at the club off and on. She told us how he would often join her table during breaks, since she and her friends didn't smoke or drink. A few times he and a few others would go to her home after the club closed late at night. Her mother allowed it, because it was clear he was just interested in enjoying gospel music with his new friends. It was a sweet story and she told it shyly. She admitted she was a little older than him, so I'm guessing they were just friends. But it was certainly a story worthy of our Valentine discussion!
All Kinds of Love
One woman passed the picture without even glancing. Her eyesight was too poor, she explained. It was a touching moment to watch the woman next to her describe the scene in full detail. "The man's suitcase is so stuffed, there are clothes hanging out. I think he was so excited to get home... and the faces of his children are beaming..." As she spoke, the faces around our table seemed to be smiling just like Rockwell's characters.
What Did I Learn?
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.