Sometime last night while half


Sometime last night while half-asleep
I thought I heard the furnace kick on
We hadn't needed it yet this year
Since the weather has been so warm

My restless mind began dwelling on
Old times still remembered so well
I thought of our Mother making quilts
And the stories that each one held

A big, poor family in Appalachia
Doing without was nothing new
Daddy worked hard in the coal mines
Mother pinched and scraped and made do

Most Kentucky winters were vicious
We had a time just trying to keep warm
The cold wind whistled through our old house
We'd shiver and wait out each storm

Huddling around the old cook stove
Or the fireplace crackling from the coals
Dreading to climb into the frosty, cold beds
Snuggling to warm our weary souls

Mother had a real knack for sewing
Making curtains, slipcovers and clothes
So many times she'd be working
On the quilts from the scraps she chose

Every now and again, she would make a quilt
Out of stuff from the Company Store
Mostly, though, she used the pieces
From old clothes we couldn't wear anymore

I remember one quilt in particular
The funniest thing that I'd ever seen
It had scraps of dresses we girls had worn
And parts of the boys' old jeans

The whole front of a vest of Daddy's
Was on there, with buttons included
And pockets and zippers from the britches
We kind of thought our Mother was deluded

Mother had a bit of a whimsical side
And she made us all laugh on occasion
But when she finished that big old quilt
Getting under it called for persuasion

The quilt found a home on the boys' bed
And they bragged how it kept out the cold
We came to appreciate that funny old quilt
'Cause Mother's love was in every fold

In winter, clothes dried inside the house
Hung on ropes strung from room to room
But the quilts freeze dried on the lines outside
With Daddy's vest brightening winter's gloom

Kathleen McCoy EldridgeŠ
October 21, 2006
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