The Beach Quilt

Blogtober 2021, Day 3. Theme: Family Life

Grandma Lucy snipped the stragglers with a tiny pair of scissors that were shaped like a golden heron. They hung from a broad ribbon she wore around her neck whenever she was sewing. Her eagle-eye spied every stray thread, while her crooked hands tenderly smoothed every square. Sometimes, her fingers would linger on a square and her eyes would close for a moment. Each square told a story she treasured in her heart and repeated to herself to make sure she never forgot.

Maddie tried to learn the stories, too. They were a record of days gone by, but they were her stories. They were stories that could never grow old. “Remember, Madrigal,” her grandmother had warned, “this quilt is a treasure, but it isn’t a treasure to hide away. If you do, you will forget it’s stories, and they will cease being a part of your life. Please, don’t let that happen.”

As Maddie anticipated her big day, the days she had spent with Grams—learning and watching and making and being—had meant more to her than any shower or party or gift.

“Gwammy, did you bring the bwackbellies?”

“Oh, yes! We can never forget those.”

Madrigal held the little hand tightly as they walked towards the beach. At the edge of the sand she slipped off her sandles and dropped them in her basket. Lucy plopped down and kicked off her own shoes. “My shoes!” Madrigal smiled down at her little Lucy as she put them in the basket—along with scoops of sand.

Their favorite spot was waiting for them. Madrigal spread out the beach quilt and sat down to unpack their picnic. while Lucy started her first sand castle of the day. As Madrigal laid out the berries and carrot sticks on a little plate, her mind wandered across her quilt and lingered over certain squares. She told herself their stories to be sure she never forgot. She’d mended it many times over the years, and added many of her own squares. One day she would tell Lucy their stories, too.

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