A Dream RealizedJune 13, 2021
by Jennifer Engleman
Many years ago I had a dream with my most favorite person in this world, my Aunt. Aunt Linda taught me to sew, embroider, to cook for an army, and taught me about boys. She was an extrovert (until she wasn't - she knew her peopling limits) and the life of every party. She would tell me that I was creative and could do anything that I wanted to. She stood by me when I made terrible decisions and would remind me of the terrible ones that she made as well, in order for me to learn from them.
Things that I loved about her:
- She was an ally and advocate for all.
- She was well-read.
- She was confident in her sexuality and made no apologies.
- She was a HUGE animal lover.
- She loved me.
Things that were hard for her:
- She was bi-polar and manic depressive and would not always take her medication or would substitute it for alcohol. This sometimes made it hard for her and hard for us to help her. This is hereditary in our family and something I know many can relate to and struggle with themselves.
Some of my fondest memories with Aunt Linda are quilt shop hopping in the cities we visited together, going to quilt market and the quilt convention and then making the same quilt patterns many miles away from each other. We loved to seek out great book stores and local coffee shops and she taught my daughter what Starbucks was before Sophie could even speak.
We dreamed of opening a quilt store with a coffee shop and book section for like-minded creatives to find community. We talked about it for years and then I moved to Florida so we could work towards that dream. We lost her a few years later at the young age of 65. The lovely picture of her here is how I will always picture her. I won't post the one of her in her pleather short romper with the arrow down the zipper although that is one of my daughter's favorites. Linda was a sassy ginger in her youth.
When Aunt Linda was really down she often turned to sewing or gardening to keep her hands and mind busy. I think of it as soul-healing through creativity and my heart yearns to offer that to our community here. A place for healing - A place to learn something new - A place that celebrates artisanship and community. A place a young girl can bring her most favorite person and start new traditions.
So, for now, pour yourself a mug of coffee or tea, peruse the website and in-person workshops and dream with me! What have you always wanted to learn to make? What hobby did you have as a kid that you would like to see modern versions of? Tell me about them! I can't wait to get to know you better.
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