I live in a village where women still make quilts. Complex beautiful exquisite quilts.
The Venersborg Community Club (which used to be called the Homemakers Club in the old days) has a quilt raffle each year. The profits from the quilt raffle will someday help us put a real bathroom in our one room schoolhouse — something we’ve often thought of when we go out on dark and rainy nights to use the outhouse. Yes, we still have outhouses here. One for the men and one for the women. And they’re just like you imagine.
Our little schoolhouse is on the Historic Register and we’re all pretty fond of it. It’s where we meet for things like last month’s Ice Cream Social, last weekend’s annual community yard sale, and the fall and spring potluck dinners.
The August Ice Cream Social was positively delightful. We had homemade ice cream and, amazingly enough, richly decadent frozen gelato from a new store that opened up in town, Bombe Gelato.
The women baked cookies and cakes to go with the ice cream. We had about 150 people turn out for it. A local bluegrass band played while most off us perched on haybales licking our cones. The younger kids fished in a wading pool for prizes and needed no parental guidance at all. They were deeply engrossed in hooking anything in the pool. That took quite some time for most of them, but every kid won something eventually.
Way down on the front lawn older gentlemen showed all the boys how to pitch horseshoes. From the whooping down there I’d say it was a lively game.
By sunset we were all full of ice cream, music and laughter. Everyone helped fold up the tablecloths, load the bales in a truck, and sweep out the schoolhouse.
Life in our small town really is like this. I marvel at that. I was born in a small town, lived on a small island most of my adult life, and now I live in a small town again, which I love. We don’t have everything here, but we seem to have the things that matter most to us all.