When I first discovered this photo in a box of photographs belonging to my mother in law, another Dorothy, all I could think of was that these ladies took their Valentine parties VERY seriously. White gloves and party dresses, satin hearts and corsages. These ladies were coming together for a Valentine gathering and they are just now preparing to walk in, sit down and gather round for a special time together amongst friends. I wish I could be there at that moment and hear their voices, hear the rustle of the crisp dresses, smell the fragrance of the flowers. I can imagine they might even have served those little stacked sandwiches precut in small rectangles and triangles with the crusts cut off as an appetizer. They look so serious. I am sure they wanted everything to be just so.
Dorothy Widmann ( the second from the left with the brown hair and glasses) had a dear smile, and lived a seemingly simple life. And yet she was not idle. Her fruit salad consisted of hand peeled grapes and grapefruit and orange sections with every bit of membrane carefully removed. Her well attended violets, full of beautiful blossoms, filled the antique tables set alongside the windows in her spare room. Boiled icings covered her cakes, and hand written cards and letters were regularly send to loved ones. Her hand crocheted wool granny square afghan has grown to be my favorite . . . a LEGACY of the time and care she put into the components of her home. I think about this concept sometimes as I am making things. All those moments her hands actively worked towards bringing this blanket to life, are still generating warmth even though her hands have been at rest for over 20 years.
I think about friendships and the time and care and the get togethers. It is the "stuff" that adds to the richness of life. I think that once these women sat down, the smiles emerged. Everything was just SO and at that point they could just BE TOGETHER with friends all dressed up TOGETHER. They could love each other's dresses, appreciate the beauty of the flowers in their corsages, and probably most of all, enjoy that indescribable warmth of fellowship that close friendship brings.
There are times at the shop when friends are gathered around the table and in the room knitting, and the needles are humming along, and there is this low chatter. It is the music of friends sharing thoughts and ideas, stories of the inevitable ups and downs of life, conversations broken with laughter and sometimes moments of silence. I treasure these times.
For these ladies, Valentines Day was just a good enough reason to take time to dress up and celebrate the friends they valued and cared for, and just have fun... And this Valentines Day, though the days of gatherings with long white gloves are past, I am smiling, thanks to this dear picture, with loving memories of the original Dot Widmann, and thinking of her as I am warm and cozy beneath her hand stitched afghan.
All in favor of hand made legacies, raise your right hand (and needles) and say "AYE!"
Happy Valentines Day, my friends. Thinking of you wherever you may be.
love and red satin hearts and a big corsage
Net Loft Dotty