Mardi Gras With Our Memory Group
Colors and Sparkles
Naomi is not a regular to our Quilt Group, but her sparkly blouse caught my eye when I was gathering the regulars! I didn't offer much of an explanation about our group, but I told her she looked like she might be up for some Mardi Gras fun. She was willing!
(Naomi hardly needs to wear bright clothes to be noticed. Her blue eyes have always caught my attention!)
Hats and Masks
I'm always amazed by this group and its willingness to just have fun. Libby tried on the feathered mask. Harriet liked the gold top hat and Vivian cleverly turned the large purple hat sideways, so it wouldn't slip down over her petite head!
Celebrating around the quilt might not have been quite as exciting as being in New Orleans, or even nearby Galveston, but there was something so cozy about sitting around all the purple, gold and green decorations and and talking about parades and king cakes and music!
Getting Serious with Beads
Our quiet group didn't try to compete with the big Mardi Gras Party that the Center puts on each year. Instead of dancing and feasting and "throwing" beads, we played games with the beads. I was actually pretty surprised to see how many shapes and designs the group came up with!
Harriet came up with a smile. That's perfect for Harriet, because she smiles a lot in our group.
My mom Nancy, used to love sharing stories. She isn't able to anymore, but she loves hearing them.
In this photo Mom is smiling after hearing me share a childhood memory of when our family celebrated Mardi Gras with The Betts Family, who lived across the street from us in Grinnell, Iowa.
There were 3 others who had Mardi Gras stories to share. One told a story of her mother at a Mardi Gras Ball. She captured the group with her descriptive words and an amusing punch line. When she repeated the story a few minutes later, I wasn't too worried. We repeat in this group and that is okay.
What I learned about Repeating
The third time the story was told, I quickly watched the faces of the others. Would the others be annoyed or comment that we had already heard the story? Would I need to gently interrupt or steer the focus elsewhere? Not today. Our story teller told her quick story at least 10 times in an hour. Each time, she sighed and smiled as she recalled the memory. She drew in her audience with her warm words and expression. And at the end of each story the group gave a quick laugh or clap at the clever ending, just as they had done the first time. I was touched. If the others could enjoy the repeated story, then I decided I would, too. I tried to listen and smile with the same genuine enthusiasm and just for my own creative challenge, I offered a new remark each time.
I can easily get impatient or stressed over repetition. But on this day at least, I learned to embrace it!
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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.