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Donna's Journal
The International Club, October 24, 2007

Living in a small town, which is more than a little isolated from any metropolis, can create a kind of bubble like-world. Things do become a bit surrealistic, sometimes, if a person isn’t careful to push through the outer edges of its protective surroundings. Not to complain because the environment is pleasant. The danger is that we can become stuffy and dull with the monotony of it if we aren’t careful, and this is the reason I agreed to join the International Club where youthful and older women from all countries meet once a month to share time together.

“Why did I let Cindy talk me into this?” The evening touched, in on my tiredness, and I grumbled as I looked about the house for a show and tell, object. “I would just much rather be going to bed.” I muttered aloud.

My husband wasn’t sympathetic with me because he already knows I frequently get into things for which I’m going to complain about having to do. He remained diplomatically quiet and made no comment.

As I stepped out of my friend’s car she had parked beside an elegant, older home in the historical-section of town, my senses weren’t at all stimulated by the lovely scene. Instead, I looked down to the ground where a bright colored, premature, fall leaf rested on top of the green grass.

“Exactly how I feel,” I thought. Dead, fallen, but still, propped up by the life around me.

“I wanted to chuckle at my own silliness, but thought better of it.”

This wasn’t a laughing matter with Cindy and she was focused on the upcoming meeting.

The interior of the older home was absolutely breath taking. How much time the lady had put into every nook and cranny? The polished wood of the moldings, her paintings hanging about, glassware sparkling behind clear covered cases and so much more to entice the eye of the guest. I knew it must be rude to ogle the lady’s domicile, but I couldn’t help myself. Every small area, combined with the whole, told a story at each turn. Area rugs were rich with history, and so clean it made me not wonder why she said she was a busy lady.

When we walked up to the dining area, a massive, sparkling table was totally loaded with finger foods. There were: Huge seedless grapes dipped in crystals of sugar (where did she get those, here?) stripes of different, delightful cheeses, melon balls perched inside a container artfully carved from the shell of a watermelon, hearty cookies, pastries obviously were hand made, a fruit salad in a beautiful, antique elongated bowl, and on and on. It was not only a feast for the body, but one for the eyes, as well.

The new president, who is from Singapore, quickly went through the business meeting to allow for the ladies to “show and tell,” what was near and dear to their heart. Then was when the evening became even more exhilarating, for me. A lady from Scotland showed a gold medal won by her brother in the games of Scotland, 1937 or 39 (my birth date). It was a lovely fine, small, medallion with a glittering gold chain, and she wore it around her neck.

A quilt made by the lady in Singapore’s great-grandmother was so much like the quilts of the early day American women, everyone was taken aback by the tiny intricate pieces of fabric donated to the maker from her friends, as happened in our early days. The women discussed the best way to preserve an art object such as this. Vacuum packing was suggested, another told not to use acid paper, but to use cotton in which to wrap it.

Another Chinese lady brought a picture of her ancestor, who was seated behind President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The story she told was, how her grandfather learned of a plot to poison the water on the American base. He reported it. Later, the Americans took him to the Whitehouse, where he was honored by the President. The woman only had obtained the picture recently, when, she saw it in a museum in Washington, D.C. I truly believe this lady topped the evening, with her “show and tell.” And, by the way, I learned that the visual showing of an object, sticks in the mind. There were other stories, but I can’t remember them.

A girl like-woman, from Thailand, showed the flowers she painted. The canvas seemed to create an ambiance, and she explained it was her lonesomeness for her country to make her wish to paint the lovely flower that grows in the wooded areas.

A classy young woman from Romania brought a rather large doily and two smaller ones, the work of her grandmother. The fineness of the pieces looked to be delicate lace, but she said it was called Macrame. Of course, it was not anything like what we think of as Macrame.

Another lady from Romania commented, “the soft ecru color thread is what is always used, and it is created with a crochet-hook.”

“The young women do not do this kind of work anymore,” she said. “We are too busy with our modern lives”

“Sadly like, so many of our American women,” I thought.

At any rate, I can tell you, my mind was, taken away from my little cocoon of an existence on the hillside next to the prairie. What a wonderful evening it was.

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