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Saturday, November 12, 2016

An old story


Long, long ago, when I was demonstrating spinning somewhere, I looked at a man’s belt buckle and looked again. Belt buckles are easy to spot from a chair in front of a spinning wheel. The man had been watching for some time, and I broke the conversational ice.

“87th Airborne. So was my brother-in-law.”

“Yes,” he said. “And I’m a very good spinner. May I try your wheel.”

He matched my grist in a few seconds, and as he sat and spun from the roving he said he was a paratrooper in the war. A failed jump landed him the Belgium countryside, with an injured leg. He was swarmed by men and women who gathered up him and his parachute, and helped him into a farmhouse.

They examined him, pronounced him likely to live, and dressed him up as an old grandmother. Since he would be sitting out his injury in any event, they put him in front of a spinning wheel and told him to make it look good.  He taught himself to spin, behind the lines, with his Belgian underground rescuers, and eventually rejoined his unit and carried on.

I’ve remembered his story of a mission and working during the delay for these last twenty years. I’ve always been partial to the work business, and now I have a mission to go with it.  I’ve joined the Ohio Democratic Woman’s Caucus. And, Amazon will have the rest of my missing sewing machine parts in my mail box on Monday.

In short order I will be making quilt tops for sick kids to drag around and stuffing envelopes for the cause.

Don’t mourn, organize. Some pictures from this week:


The little pear tree is winding down for the year.




The mandevillas carry on. There hasn't been a hard frost, yet.




The birds won out.







38 comments:

  1. What an interesting story! Your mandevillas are gorgeous. We have had a couple hard frosts here so all the flowers are done. Love your bird feeders.

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  2. Great story. As I just wrote, we need the storytellers so we can remember.

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    1. It happened twenty years ago, the fellow was my father's age, or more, had a well burnished 87th belt buckle, and spun a fine thread. I took it to be a true story, and now it's a great story.

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  3. That's a wonderful story. I love how he wanted to sit and spin as well. -Jenn (Thanks for dropping by my blog- I had a couple of additional questions for you, if you have time to pop round to the comments again). Thanks!!

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  4. That is a truly wonderful story. He obviously kept his spinning up too.
    I do love (and admire) your determination and fortitude.
    And am unsurprised that the birds won.

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  5. Great story about the spinner. Need one of you to teach me how to use my antique spinning wheel. Your birds will be thankful when you get snow. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  6. Hari OM
    Bravo to the brave... and industrious. That includes you. Long may the birds win. We had a deep strong frost last night. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... YAM xx

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  7. Amazing how soldiers can turn their hand to anything....
    Happy organising!

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  8. Yay birds, go pears, love the story and yay Joanne. What a wonder woman! Have you signed the petition?

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  9. Acute little old lady sitting at a spinning wheel reminds me of sleeping beauty but a burly soldier dressed as a old lady at a spinning wheel now that's a different story much more interesting.
    Merle...............

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  10. Great story. I like that the birds won out too ;-)

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  11. What a great story about the spinner.

    I admire your spirit and determination! Well done!

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  12. Oh, WOW, Joanne - what a story! And good on you for choosing to fight, not mourn.

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  13. I love that story -- and your perspective. We have a local Interfaith Women's Group that I've put off joining. It's time.

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  14. Love the new cat photo! Beautiful cat! And yes, the spinning story was good too. And I love mandevillas...

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  15. We don't really have an official Democratic Party caucus we can join here in SC I don't think. I often try to help the local county board but it's hard being a Democrat in SC. It's like trying to push a brick wall with your hands. I don't really expect SC to turn blue before I die, but that would be a glorious day. Maybe when the baby boomers die off and the millennials take over.

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  16. What a fascinating story. I wish I had been there.

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  17. Love this story! Kansas is a Republican state and it is hard to live here as a Democrat. Especially right now. Oh well!! I love the story! What a way to hide a guy!! Do you take you mandevillas in the house during the winter months??

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    1. Try googling meetupdemocrats.
      No, they will become compost.

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  18. Beautiful Toby looking at the camera up there.
    I liked your story about the man who taught himself to spin while recovering during the war.
    Quilting and stuffing envelopes will keep you busy enough.
    When I quit working I decided I'd be very happy sitting at home doing nothing much. It's been three years and I'm beginning to feel as if maybe I should be doing something, but what? I'm still steamed from being rejected by umpteen volunteer places when I was out of work 17 years ago, when I was younger and more agile. How likely is it they would want me now?

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    1. Try googling meetupadelaidesouthaustralia.

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  19. God bless that man and his sacrifices. And God bless you for listening.

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    1. And you for remembering a little girl molested.

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  20. Agree, great story, could be the start of a movie.

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  21. Joanne, you are solid gold. We need LEADERS like you to help us buck up and handle a crisis. I was
    attending a Meetup for Democratic Women. The meetings were on Sunday afternoons. The downside was that it was a fifty mile round trip for me. We had some really good times, but when my knitting group couldn't find another place to meet, and settled for my house---on Monday nights every week--- it became too much. I think I will see f I can find a closer group. Thanks for the story. We need inspiration.

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  22. I think the work you will be doing will be so fulfilling and for such a worthy cause! I loved the story about the gentleman weaver. World War II is such a fascinating time in history for me for stories like these and so much more. Glad he "stumbled" upon your weaving booth and that you allowed him to weave; probably made his day(week, month, year)

    betty

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  23. You are an ispiration Joanne, i know i said it here more than once, but i realy think so.

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  24. I'm going to have to do that as well, volunteer. my husband looked at the returns for our county. Only about 2,000 democratic votes for the whole county. and I knew you couldn't not have a bird feeder. just get a slingshot for the cats.

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  25. I like your can-do attitude of joining to make a difference, instead of just complaining about it.

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  26. Good for you. I am glad you have purpose in life.

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  27. What a wonderful story about that man. It is amazing the people we come in contact with and the purposes we can find in life from them. Blessings- xo Diana

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  28. Love the story, but now I want to know more!! My state voted Republican, not that I expected better. Lots of poorly educated people surround me. Like trying to reason with a wall. The next 4 years will be scary.

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