Tag: anniversary (Page 1 of 2)

Happy Fifth Birthday to The 70273 Project!

white cloth embellished with pairs of red X’s that are all different sizes and shades of red

The 70273 Project Quilt 52, a Middling made by Margaret Williams

Can y’all believe it was FIVE years ago today when I mashed the publish button on the blog post launching The 70273 Project? So much has happened in our lives, in this project, in the world since then. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be unveiling several new adventures happening in The 70273 Project and introduce you to the volunteers who are carrying the torch for each adventure. If you haven’t already subscribed to the blog, perhaps you’d like to. Or maybe you’d like to join join The 70273 Project Campfire, our Facebook group or like our Facebook page

I’m sure you have questions, so I’ll celebrate our Big Day the way I began it five years ago: by posting and answering questions you may have.

Q: How many people have been commemorated to date?
A: We have issued numbers to slightly over 72,000 pairs of red X’s, though there are some gaps in the numbers that will be filled in and we still have blocks and quilts to be processed, so check back often for updates.

Q: How many quilts do we have?
A: We have given out up to Quilt #850, though again, there are some gaps in the numbers that will be filled in as new quilts come in. The Engineer still guesstimates we’ll have around 1200 when we’re done.

Q: How on earth do you track numbers and blocks and quilts?
A: I am delighted to tell you that I don’t! We have a merry band of Data Angels, and I will be introducing you to them over the next couple of weeks. They are a group of women who are creative, dedicated problem solvers, and what they are doing is nothing short of phenomenal. Just wait’ll you hear.

Q: Are you still accepting blocks and quilts?
A: We are mostly focusing on catching up with all we have going on right now, plus the pandemic makes it rather hard to host exhibits and block-making parties, but yes. If you’d like to make blocks or quilts, we won’t turn them away because we know that 70,273 is the number of murdered committed and documented by Aktion T4. Actual numbers could easily be more than 300,000. Chilling, isn’t it? There are other ways to become part of The 70273 Project, though as you’ll see in the next Q and A. And there are some new adventures opening up this year that might captivate your interest and attention.

Q: Is there anything you still need help with?
A: I love this question, and the answer is a hearty Yes! Read on, and click here if you’d like to raise your hand and offer to help. We need:
~ volunteers to take bundles of blocks and turn them into tops and/or quilts.
~ folks to quilt the tops.
~ people to create quilt labels (from information we send). This is something done on the computer using email, so it’s something that can be done from anywhere in the world.
~ We need hands-on volunteers who live in the vicinity of Fayette County, Georgia to print the labels on fabric that’s been specially treated to go through inkjet printers then sew them onto the backs of the quilts. Or you could just offer to print the labels and deliver them to whoever is going to sew them onto the quilts.
~ We need folks to add or amend hanging sleeves on some of the quilts.
~ We also need money. We keep our overhead low, but there are still expenses. There’s some annual overhead, and now we need things like the fabric for the labels and storage. Oh my goodness do we need storage! If you’re willing to make a donation, you can send a check (U.S. banks only, please) to The 70273 Project, Inc. / POB 994 / Cashiers, NC 28717. We are an official 501(c)(3) organization, so with your thank you note, we’ll tuck in a tax form you can use next year. You can also make a donation via the PayPal Giving Fund.

In closing, a question from me to you:
Q: Would you like to see where in the world The 70273 Project has touched down in one way or another?
A: Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, you’ll see a world that’s revolving on its axis. See all those red dots? People from all those dots have come to visit our web site, seeking info, volunteering to participate, sharing stories, commemorating lives we honor, and/or keeping up with our progress.

We’re not done yet, y’all, so please keep showing up and sharing the project with others.

Now go treat yourself to a cupcake. Me, I’m headed to my mother’s house where she is doing what she does every Valentine’s Day for I’m not gonna’ tell you how many years – baking my birthday cake, using the pan and recipe that her mother before her used to bake my birthday cake. You can bet your sweet patooties I’ll be raising a forkful by way of toasting y’all with gratitude.

47 Years Ago Today

Me, 10 days before meeting The Engineer

47 years ago today, The Engineer asked me to spend the rest of my life with  him. I’d been invited to a wedding shower and was voicing my reluctant enthusiasm about the prospect of attending. He tapped my nose with one finger and said, “You know, when we get married, you’ll have to go to wedding showers.”

“But you haven’t asked me,” I managed to blurt despite the somersaults of my heart.

Silence, 2, 3, 4 . . . then  “Well, will you?”

”Will I what?” I said, turning to look him squarely face-to-face. “If you want me to marry you, you’ll have to be clear in your proposal. I request and require clarity so there’s no misunderstanding.”

He slid off the sofa, took to one knee, held my hands while looking me straight in the irises and asked, ”Will you marry me?”

”I sure will!” I said on my way to planting a big fat kiss on his mouth.

Before he left that night, we sat outside in the swing, quietly reflecting on what happened earlier. “Let’s not tell anybody just yet,” he suggested – an idea with which I fully agreed. We both wanted to sleep on it, it turns out, to be quite sure in the light of day, and besides, it was April Fool’s Day, after all.

We met on Saturday, January 27, 1973
became engaged on April 1, 1973
said “You bet I will” (a.k.a. got married_ on July 31, 1973 – six months after we met.

It all happened quite fast, our togetherness, and I haven’t regretted my decision once (although if I knew then what I know today on Day 21 of The Great Sheltering-in-Place Adventure, I’d’ve asked him to study hairdressing on the side).

46 Years and Counting!

man carries woman in wedding dress out of church

Selfies
GPS
Personal computers
Mobile phones
Credit cards
Drive-thru pharmacies
Online shopping
Social media
Blogs
Internet
Digital books
Teslas
Insulin pumps
Microwaves
Water dispensers in refrigerators
High speed copy machines
Electric scissors
Serger sewing machiens
Netflix
Uber and Lyft
“Smart” home gizmos
Air
Dirt
Bricks

So many things are now part of our everyday lives that didn’t exist 46 years ago when The Engineer (a.k.a. Andy) and I met at the altar and said “Oh hell yes, we will!” So much  has changed. Shoot, even our love has changed since that Tuesday night, 31 July 1973. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed a bit in 46 years: my gratitude to the Sweet Spirit of Surprise for introducing me to Andy; to my Bones for having the good sense to know a good man from the get-go and being fearless in marrying him 6 months after we met; and to Andy because after this long, with so much water still flowing under the bridge, gratitude and love are quite interwoven and often indistinguishable.

We’re off for a play day now. Thanks for sharing the decades of (mostly) joy with us.

woman and man standing on beach at sunset

(Parts of) our love story in previous anniversary posts:
Love with 42 Years on the Odometer

The “Re” Nobody Tells You About

40 Years Through the OUR Glass

39 Years of Togetherness

Marking Time

36 Years and Counting

woman in red and man in blue stand before a black quilt with marks stitched in off white thread

If


If the Hong Kong flu hadn’t taken hold in the US,
If I hadn’t already spent my week in sick bay, wrestling the virus into the ground,
If they hadn’t closed the college because there was no more room to quarantine,
If I hadn’t been bored enough to go to the high school basketball game,
if my high school friend hadn’t been bored enough to go to the basketball game,
If we hadn’t gotten bored at the basketball game and decided to take our leave and head to  Underground Atlanta,
If a would-be boyfriend hadn’t passed out gone to sleep early and rendering him unable to follow through on his promise to call my daddy if I wasn’t back by midnight,
If we’d had enough money between us for one drink and two straws,
If she hadn’t remembered this guy she met the weekend before who was wearing a brown, floppy-brimmed leather hat and worked in Muhlenbrink’s Saloon,
If I hadn’t been thirsty enough to shove aside my intense crowd anxiety and join her to push our way to the bar through the throngs of drunk people listening to Rosebud,
If the guy drawing beers hadn’t borrowed the brown, floppy-brimmed leather hat from the guy mixing drinks at the other end of the bar,
If she hadn’t argued with the cute-as-all-get-out beer-drawing guy when he said he’d never seen her before in his life,
If she had listened to me and we had left right then,
If he hadn’t asked us to go to a party at the bouncer’s apartment when the bar closed,
If she hadn’t said “Yes” so quickly and enthusiastically,
If we hadn’t taken her car, leaving me no choice but to go along,
If the Sweet Spirit of Surprise hadn’t put the roommate in the car with her and me in the car with the beer guy,
If he hadn’t been so cute and charming and caused all kinds of climate conditions to change with the kaleidoscope of butterfly wings he set to flapping wildly when he kissed me . . .
I never would’ve met the guy who has never – not even once – had to call on his engineer training to turn my life’s lights on.

44 year ago today, my life changed forever when I met and instantly fell head-over-heels in deep, unwavering love with The Engineer.  Look at my long list called The Best Day Ever, and you’ll find January 27, 1973 at the very top.

the night that changed everything

JeanneAndyFormal

a girl walks into a bar
and when the bartender asks
“what’ll you have?”
she says
“you.”
43 years ago tonight.

no joke.

it was luck that brought us together
and love that keeps us together
the kind of love laced
with gratitude and respect
with patience and kindness
the kind of love that deepens
with age.

he continues to bring out the best in me.

i love to make him laugh
to hear him lay out the future
and ask my input
to watch him load the dishwasher
(because he does it right, you know).

i don’t tell him
(and more importantly i’m not sure
i show him – because words can’t touch it)
often enough
how much i adore him.
that needs to – and will – change.

i don’t ever want us
to grow stale
or feel taken for granted
and that takes effort,
you know,
conscious, dedicated effort.

Pennsylvania27jan16c

my daughter and i went to a thrift shop
here in pennsylvania today
and it occurs to me only now
what i brought home:

Stretchnsewbook

his mother and i
had the most fun
taking these classes together.
we made t-shirts,
skirts, even swimsuits.
give us some of that dotted paper,
some thread and a length of double-knit fabric,
and there was nothing we couldn’t make
and nobody we couldn’t dress.
i miss those days
and i miss her.

Delftthimble

and this
ceramic delft blue thimble.
we visited the delft factory
– the engineer and i –
on our honeymoon
(our second honeymoon)
in september
43 years ago.

we met on january 27, 1973
became engaged on april 1, 1973
and said “i do” on july 31, 1973.
there was no need to wait cause
i knew a good guy when i met him
oh yes i certainly did.

What Love Looks Like With 42 Years on the Odometer

ARCJHCLondon2014

Then
being heard meant being able to repeat back to me what I just said.
Now
being heard means that without prompting, you remember that I need to take photos of my Hymns of Cloth and you talk to the neighbor about using his barn, rig up a system, gather the tools, and make it happen.

Cruise2014a

Then
being seen meant you noticed the scar on my nose (a visible reminder of when I ran into the bridge) and thought it adorable.
Now
being seen means you secretly find the address for the fabric store in London and walk me there, bringing along a book so I can take all the time I like to delight in (and decide on) the gorgeous fabrics.

ARCJHCCruise2014b

Then
being held meant holding hands or resting your arm around the back of my chair or letting me snuggle up close when we watched scary or sad movies.
Now
being held means that when we get separated at parties, you keep an eye on me from afar, knowing how much this introvert you married longs to be in the corner watching the stories unfold.

ARCJHCCruise2014

Then
I felt butterflies when you walked into the room.
Now
I feel butterflies when we’re apart . . . when you’re working on the roof . . . when you don’t answer your phone.

LeavingIceland

Then
“till death do us part” meant nothing, not even a page on a calendar we would buy One Day.
Now
we know that “till death do us part” might mean tomorrow morning, this afternoon, or tonight
which
is precisely why we keep filling our togetherness with adventures, discoveries, and always, always, always . . . laughter.

Like Mama Helen said this past weekend: I sure knew which ones to kick to the curb and which one to keep. Forty-two years later, and you’re still The One, My Engineer. Oh my goodness gracious yes – you are most definitely still The One.

~~~~~~~

Starting tomorrow, I’m gonna’ pen 100 stories in 100 days (#100Days100Stories). Why? Because I’ve been longing for a challenge, that’s why. Join in or read along, I’ll be tickled to have your company either way.

14,600 Days or 350,400 Hours or The Blink of an Eye – It’s All the Same to Me

JeanneAndyFormal1974

Forty years ago today, I walked into a bar in Underground Atlanta with a girlfriend and walked out several hours later with the man who would, in a mere six months, become my husband. Our forty years of togetherness have been marked by much change. We’ve birthed two amazing people, and we’ve buried too many to count. We’ve laughed and cried . . . and eventually laughed again. We’ve pursued our own interests and always come back home to tell each other all about it. We’ve shared interests, cheered each other on in individual pursuits, and worked side-by-side on all sorts of things.

An engineer by training, he views, interprets, and goes through the world in a more linear way than this quirky Aquarian. He is patient, I lean towards impulsive. He is literal, I see and hear metaphors everywhere. He is formulaic, I live like like a pot of soup, pulling sparklies in from every whichaway. He is quite thorough, I want immediate results and have a tendency to get bored and move on. We are good for each other.

It’s not always been easy, but it’s always been the two of us together, and that sure helps. I am not the same woman I was forty years ago, and he is not the same man who mixed me that Tom Collins. But laughter, space in our togetherness, listening, and holding hands continue to define our way of loving each other.

As he says, I’m the best he could do with the car he was driving at the time. And as I say, he’s the best I could do with the boobs I had at the time. Here’s to at least another forty, Andy.

Clink.

Cheers.

JeanneAndy1980sRes

What 39 Years of Togetherness Looks Like

Out1

Our togetherness is the same.
Our togetherness is different.

We’ve done things that were unbelievably fun. We’ve done things that were unbelievably sad . . . and we’ve held hands through it all.

We’ve done things together, we’ve done things solo, and we make it a point to never run off and outgrown one another.

See how he swooped me off my feet and carried me out of the church? That’s because I’d been hit by a car while crossing the street about six weeks before the wedding. The cast came off less than a week before we said “I will. I surely will,” and I was still on crutches. I didn’t know he was going to do that, but I’m sure glad he did cause if he hadn’t, we’d still be making our way out.

He still crunches ice (something that drives me up the wall), but I just put a finger in the ear closest to him and wonder to myself how one little ole bitty piece of ice can possibly pack that much crunch time. And what do I do that drives him crazy? Not a damn thing. I can’t believe you asked.

I help him clean up when he drops or spills something (even though I sometimes roll my eyes on the inside). He cheers when I get another diploma (even though he thinks the money could’ve been better invested) cause we have this unspoken agreement that each one of us is about as perfect as we can stand and not a drop more, so we cut each other some slack and call it endearing quirkiness.

I ride with him to Lowe’s, he drives me to the fabric store just so we can be together.

Now that I’m seriously writing my book and he’s home 24/7, he’s taken over most of the cooking and grocery shopping, something I’ve always despised doing and he has never really minded.

We recently bought a boat that takes us around the lake twice in less than half the time we used to spend making one lap around in the pontoon boat. We wanted sport and speed this time because we’re much younger now.

I may be a bit more vocal and he may take a few more meds, but we still laugh and hug and hold hands and kiss. We still ask each other questions and listen to the answers. We tell each other what intrigues us, what tickles us, what puzzles us. We overlook the bad and point out the good. We ask each other for help, though sometimes we don’t wait for the asking to step in and assist.

Mostly, though, we laugh. We laugh a lot. We laugh at each other (eventually), and we laugh at ourselves. We laugh when things take a funny bounce, we laugh when things are easy peasy. Life is funny, and we feast on that.

By now, we’ve known each other 39 years instead of the scant 62 days we knew each other before we became engaged, and the feelings that first connected us remain intact – wizened and weathered, perhaps, but enduring despite it all.

He continues to say that I was the best he could do with the car he was driving at the time. And I still say he was the best I could do with the boobs I had at the time.

to be continued . . .

marking time

JeanneAndy07319173

we have been married 38 years today.
13,870 days.

and though love
doesn’t look the same
or taste the same
or smell
or sound
or feel
the same as it did
38 years ago,
it has kissed
every single
one of those days.

and that’s the important thing.

It Was A Dark and Stupendous Night

TheHat.jpg

38 years ago today, I walked into the bar in search of a drink and out of the bar with the bartender . . . my future husband. I went there with a friend from high school, and we’d pooled and spent our money on gas to get us there. Having not thought things through all that much, my friend came to the rescue assuring me that she knew a bartender in a bar called Muhlenbrink’s. He’d be wearing a brown leather floppy-brimmed hat, she said. We made our way through the hugely crowded bar, and low and behold, there was, in fact, a bartender in a brown leather floppy-brimmed hat.

And he was adorable. Absolutely, undeniably adorable.

She shoved and I flirted to make the seas part so we could land ourselves directly in front of Him. She thumped her fist down on the bar and proclaimed, “I know you.”

He looked up. “No you don’t,” he said and went immediately back to drawing beer.

I was mortified. Mortified, I tell you.

As I silently begged the floor to open up and swallow me whole, she persisted with her insistence. It seems she knew the HAT, not the MAN. You see, for reasons he can’t remember, Andy was wearing Billy’s hat that night.

At this point, I don’t suppose he’ll get fired if I tell you that he did eventually slip us one (note the singular) tom collins, and when the bar closed (we stayed to listen to the band – wink, wink), we were invited to a part at the bouncer’s apartment.

We accepted.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

And herstory.

We met on January 27; became engaged on April 1; and married on July 31.

Of that same year.

He says I’m the most expensive date he ever had.

I say he’s the best date I could get with the boobs I had at the time.

Ah, love.

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