I Wuz Just Thinking: Can’t put a price on friendship

We would all choose the same fabrics and use the same pattern,  but yet, each of our quilts turned out looking different and beautiful. 

Today, a reflection of just a few years past of fishing and quilting with Carolyn Ann Sanders Thompson. I didn’t get to know her closely until about ten years ago.

I had retired and had more time on my hands.  Shirley’s daughter, Teri, began a class to teach sewing and quilting at Carolyn’s house. she had a large room set up for us to bring our sewing machines and learn together.

Teri took Carolyn, her aunt LaVerne, and myself to the local fabric shop and taught us how to pick out fabrics to make beautiful quilts.  We would all choose the same fabrics and use the same pattern,  but yet, each of our quilts turned out looking different and beautiful.

Getting better acquainted with Carolyn and her aunt Lavern, I quickly learned they both loved to fish.  They accepted an invitation to come on our houseboat at the Lake o’ the Pines.  With fishing poles in hand and bait on the hook, those ladies could sit and laugh, sing and argue from early morning until the evening when it was time for them to return to their own homes.

LaVerne always brought home-baked brownies to eat.  She was beginning to lose her eyesight by then and did not realize the brownies were always a little burned.  No one mentioned it. We just laughed and kept eating the brownies.


Betty Mahurin Baker

During the week, it was back to learning the different patterns of quilting.  The Quick Trip Around The World was one of the enjoyed patterns.

Too soon into our friendship, LaVerne passed away.  At her estate sale, her daughter, Kim, allowed me to purchase some of the fabrics that matched what we had all purchased together.

Not much later, Carolyn was downsizing, moving from a four-bedroom brick home to a small one-bedroom apartment.  She was selling many items, and I was given the opportunity to purchase all of the fabrics she no longer needed.  I was so thankful because many of her fabrics matched those from LaVerne’s estate sale.

Carolyn quoted me a price for her fabrics, and Jimmy and I happily paid her.  That evening, I was going through the stacks of fabrics when Jimmy came to the kitchen table and asked me what was wrong. I looked sad.

I had noticed that Carolyn still had the prices pinned to the fabrics.  The dollars she had spent just kept adding up.  I felt badly. I knew the value was much more than the amount we had given Carolyn.  Jimmy suggested we give her more money if that would make me happy.

I phoned Carolyn and told her that I had been going through her stacks of fabrics and felt the price we had given her was incorrect.  On the other end of the phone, I could hear the stunned and irritable sound in her voice as she said she thought she had quoted a fair amount for what she had.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I tried to calm her down by saying, “No, no, Carolyn, you don’t understand. We did not pay you anywhere the amount that would have been fair to her.

There was a moment of silence on the phone line.

Carolyn said she did not understand. We had given her what she asked.

I told her I had found receipts still pinned to the fabrics. I should have paid her about $400 dollars more.

Carolyn, immediately said that it was okay. She didn’t mind.

I knew it wasn’t okay.

I minded.

I told her so.

We argued.

And Carolyn finally agreed to accept $200 more.

But no more, she said.

I was happy.

Carolyn was surprised.

She was able to move with more money in her pocket.

And I knew we would be close friends forever.

Forever never lasts long enough.

Today, memorial services were said for Carolyn Ann Sanders Thompson.

Reflections of these past few fleeting years immediately swam through my mind.

I wuz just thinking. 

June 25, 2021

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