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A trip to the museum, with treasures of the past

This past summer, my husband’s cousin, Anita, came to visit.

Little did my poor husband know what it meant for the two of us to be let out of the house together. Look out Colorado, here we come!

We have a lot in common: my son and her daughter are just a few months apart in age; we enjoy many of the same things and are both always up for an adventure.

We visited Summitville, drove down roads having no idea where we’d end up. We allowed my husband to join us on our Williams Lake trip (I don’t think he regrets the trip), we wandered old cemeteries and last, but not least, wound up at the San Juan Historical Society Museum.

Why hadn’t I visited this gem of a museum before? We loved it and would have spent much more time had it not been so close to closing time. What a thrill it was to see familiar names and seeing their family histories in the museum.

Ann was working the day we visited and, of course, we got to chatting. We chatted about the people I’ve met and some of the items on display that belonged to their family members. The display of quilts sparked my interest a bit more; I have two of my great-grandmother’s hand-stitched double wedding ring quilts, a crocheted bedspread made by another family member and a carriage blanket that was left in a home we had in Denver. By the time we were done chatting, I offered to loan my treasures to the museum.

I was so excited to receive a call from Shari, Ann’s daughter, inquiring of my offer to share. Those of you who know me, know I’m not exactly quiet; Shari and I talked for quite some time. She shared with me bits and pieces of Pagosa Springs history that had me drooling for more time to spend digging into Pagosa’s past.

I needed info on my treasures; I couldn’t remember where the bedspread came from and wondered if there was more info on great-grandma Forrest’s quilts. Thankfully, my mother has answers that I’ll get to Shari.

It was with great pleasure that I met Shari today. I showed her my treasures, noting that my great-grandmother had not signed her quilt, to which Shari suggested I sew a patch on myself, with her info. Now, why hadn’t I thought of that?

In the dining room of The Den, we looked over the tiny pieces of handsewn fabric on the double wedding ring quilt. We were soon joined by several of the ladies who were attending our “Stitch’n in the Kitchen.” One of our ladies commented that a piece of fabric appeared to be from a feed bag. What? Oh, do I have a lot to learn about quilts! Shari noted some areas appeared a bit faded, while others still had bright colors, perhaps the brighter pieces of fabric were hanging over the edge of a bed that was not in the sun.

Now the detective work starts. Just how old is this quilt? Shari has a book that will hopefully have pictures of some of the fabric used in the quilt, and that will give us a date range. We’re guessing 1920-1940. I cheated and called my mom. Although she doesn’t have the dates, she thinks we’re on the right track. She thought the feed bag tip was a good one; her mother made dresses out of feed bags.

I thought Mom told me the crocheted piece was a tablecloth. She set me straight: it was a bedspread. Mom remembers her mother washing the bedspread in the washing machine, then having to untangle the tassels. I certainly wouldn’t argue with that story; the tassels most certainly appeared to have gone through the washing machine.

The carriage blanket (at least that’s what we think it is) is a very heavy, well used blanket. Since we do not know the history, we’re hoping that it will speak to us. It is mostly machine stitched with some hand sewn squares. There appear to be many repairs and perhaps a couple of burn marks from a nearby fire. There are a few areas needing repair that are a blessing in disguise; we were able to peek inside and look at the handywork. The mystery continues.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Shari and the other ladies who joined us. Later this year, Shari and I will plan a time for others to bring in their quilts and other stitch‘ns, and share their stories. Start digging through your closets and drawers now for those buried treasures of the past.

I’m excited for the museum to re-open this season; I don’t think I’ll ever be finished looking at all the displays and I’ll bet that, just when I think I’m getting caught up, there will be new displays.

Anita, we have work to do.

Special events

Ears 2 U, Tuesday, March 6, at 12:30 p.m. Learn about the variety of reasons for hearing loss. Ears 2 U Hearing Center will be presenting on the latest technology available and how it will benefit your hearing.?Some of the latest technology has improved feedback or squealing of hearing aids and will enable you to hear the TV or stereo sound system with your hearing aids without any wires.?No more using extra devices to be able to hear the TV.

?Circles Initiative, Wednesday, March 7, at 12:30 p.m. Circles helps individuals and families move out of poverty to permanent self-sufficiency by making intentional relationships across both economic and class boundaries. Circles® builds community to end poverty. Circles® starts by attending a “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’ By World” class to discover goals and barriers to obtaining these goals. Circles®, with support of new friends and allies, help Circle Leaders obtain their goals.

Medicare 101

Are you new to Medicare and lost, or confused by all the literature you have received? Do you know which portions you need to enroll in — A, B, C, D? What the heck are all those letters anyway? Did you know you are entitled to certain free services? Well, we have answers for you at Medicare 101 on Monday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m.

Medicare 101 is for those who are new to Medicare or about to venture into the new world of Medicare.

Call 264-2167 to register. All you need is an empty head, because we are going to fill it up.

?Photo display

Local artist Jean Moats will share a little about herself, how she came to Pagosa and her passion for digital photography. You won’t want to miss her presentation and a display of her collection of digital prints, entitled “Celebrate the Simple Things.” Friday, March 2, at 12:30 p.m.

?Library

Come on in to The Den and check out our library. We have quite the collection of books, including some large print, as well as books on tape, CDs, videos, DVDs and audio tapes for you to borrow.

At your service

Lonely? Need to hang out with us? Not driving anymore? Car in the shop? Get to where you need to go; door-to-door bus service is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation, $2 per day. Call for details, 264-2167.

Delivered to your door

Are you homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness? Let us do the cooking. Enjoy Senior Center meals delivered to your door. Our hot meal home-delivery program is available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. Those living further out of town may be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Weekly activities at The Den:

Friday, March 2 — 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. Gym walk; 12:30 p.m. Jean Moats: “Celebrate the Simple Things.”

Monday, March 5 — 10:30 a.m. Medicare 101, registration required; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Canasta.

Tuesday, March 6 — 11 a.m. Free chair massage, sign-up suggested; 12:30 p.m. Ears 2 U presentation; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, March 7 — 2:30 p.m. Circles Initiative.

Thursday, March 8 — Closed for administrative day.

Friday, March 9 — 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. Gym walk.

This week’s menu:

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, guests $6, kids 12 and under $3. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $11.51. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, March 2 — Crunchy baked fish, whipped sweet potatoes, creamy coleslaw, whole wheat roll, mixed vegetables, banana.

Monday, March 5 — Porcupine meatballs, whipped potatoes, almond peaches, peas and carrots, whole wheat bread, tossed salad.

Tuesday, March 6 — Spinach lasagna, Italian vegetables, salad, strawberry fruit whip with banana slices, Italian bread.

Wednesday, March 7 — Clam chowder, baked chicken breast, baked potato, peas and carrots, whole wheat roll, tropical fruit.

Thursday, March 8 — Closed for administrative day.

Friday, March 9 — Hamburger on whole wheat bun, lettuce and tomato, potato salad, baked beans, winter fruit salad.

Arboles meal program

Lunches are served in Arboles on the first and third Thursdays of each month, weather permitting, in the basement of the Catholic Church. Reservations are required the Monday preceding. The suggested donation is $3 for age 60-plus. Call 264-2167 for more information or to make a reservation.

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