Adrien’s Many Trails – July 4, 2019

In the piano bench, among sheets of music and other memorabilia, is an old family picture of Siss and Bish (Pearl and L.L., or Nana and Granddad), where Tom is a babe in arms, and others of their grandchildren are also small. It’s a precious thing, being as how they are both off finding the rewards of their labors, or whatever awaits in the great beyond.

That was the first family gathering after Sam and I married. The latest happened mere days ago. I had gotten the word that family from the East Coast would be visiting. Unbeknown to me, family from both coasts would be here. Sometimes it feels like I’m the last to know, or rather my mind is off somewhere else dithering over a spinning or knitting project. I say spinning and some immediately think of bicycles. Change that thought to yarn.

But before this latest reunion, I made a trip to the Denver area for a reunion of the four of us who traveled to Europe together a few years back. “Four Shades of Gray” somebody dubbed us then, and it stuck. Two were widows at the time, and I became one somewhere back there.

Oh, how I wish I had been wise enough to take a journal along, and use it. That’s my advice for all, and especially to myself. Thoughts and experiences are too soon lost, when housed only in our mortal brains.

While in Colorado, one of our bunch had arranged to take a lesson in the use of her Schacht Matchless spinning wheel. I have one of those in my little stable of wheels. It’s my favorite of the bunch, so it gets used most. Since it gets used most I know it best, so that’s probably why it’s the favorite.

Well, take that back. I have one of Matchless’ little sisters that lives at Desert Thread, for use on Saturday afternoons. Two others of my former wheels come by with their new owners most Saturdays. Anybody who would like to learn to spin yarn should contact Cathy at the shop and classes will ensue (spindle only). I have a few I can loan out, and the shop has other lovelies to purchase. I don’t have any more to sell, but they are around the Internet.

I digress. The day came for family to arrive, and they sure did. Cousins from both sides of the continent. The door kept opening and in came some of my favorite people in the world (plus their children and sometimes grandchildren). That first evening was spent at my house. Everybody brought food, so I only had plates, etc., to furnish. A far cry from the olden days when the Utah Symphony Orchestra came a’playin’ and we fed them later at my old house on Fifth West. I say we. Take that literally. Lots of people brought food. Just like for the family reunions.

The last evening everybody was in town, we invaded Canyonlands By Night, greatly enjoying the bounteous spread of food and little river journey later. Mosquitoes have invaded, as predicted. I don’t like Deet, so I just cover up and suffer a little. On our ritual visit to the old cemetery, we exchanged a lot of old family stories and communed, as it were, with our beloved dead (Fiddler on the Roof was just rerun on TV).

A good time was had by all, and I have to give a public thanks to niece Karen (Sally’s girl, for the old timers), and to Leslie (Cecil’s girl) for putting the show together.