SCRAPBAGS by Elaine Frasier

The quilt is a piece of my past. When I first fashioned it in my mind, I saw it as a patchwork of multicolored, various patterned pieces of material. As I gathered these scraps from the scrapbag, it seemed that so many were from projects that I had completed years before … this white eyelet became a sun suit for my dark haired baby girl; the lady bug print, another sun suit; the mouse print an outfit for her first day of school. The theme of the quilt was destined to be the fabrics of my daughter’s childhood wardrobe. It became hers and my shared experience of “Remember this?”


I also have a scrapbag of memories made up of snippets of time from my childhood.


I can describe the memory of sitting on my mother’s lap as she rocks me one winter evening. We four are listening to a favorite Saturday night radio program. Though I know it is cold outside our little circle, I am warm in my flannel sleepers and confident of the warmth of my mother’s arms.


When I close my eyes and listen, I hear the meadowlark’s throaty warble announcing the arrival of spring. The air is just warm enough this afternoon that a jacket isn’t needed. I inhale the pungent aroma of burning dried thistles that my dad is removing from the fence line behind the house as he readies the field for planting. It seems that all is right with God’s World this day.


It is during a late afternoon summer thunderstorm that we four sit on the porch watching sheets of rain coursing across the driveway. Lightning slashes the skies and we expectantly wait for the ensuing rumble of thunder so we can shout, “Tater wagon!” (In later years I would learn that this was a rare glimpse of my dad’s German heritage).


Both of these endeavors – piecing together bits of cloth into a colorful quilt and piecing snippets of memories into a written piece of prose – yield a uniquely personal product. Something to treasure and something to share.