Unless you live under a rock, you already know that 150 years ago this week the Civil War began. On April 12, Fort Sumter was under siege by Confederate troops. It was surrendered on the 14th and President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to defend and protect the Union. The line was drawn and citizens had to choose which side to support. In some cases families were split in their loyalties, brother against brother. A patriotic frenzy ensued and men were eager to sign up for what they all thought would be a quick fight. Each side was sure of their impending victory over the other. None seemed to fathom the harsh reality of what was about to engulf the nation. They would have scarcely believed it would be 4 years before peace would prevail again. And no one could imagine the over 600,000 lives it would cost to acquire that peace.
I've been watching a lot of special programs on TV the past few weeks about the Civil War. National Geographic, PBS, and the History Channel all have aired some really good programs. I'm sure over the next 4 years we'll have lots of opportunities to learn more about this sad episode in our country's history. I hope we never have to repeat that mistake.
I'm traveling to Altoona, Iowa this weekend to teach a class Sunday afternoon, on my pattern, Reap the Whirlwind. Monday night I will be speaking to Altoona Quilt Guild. I've been busy folding and packaging 300+ patterns for my inventory. I'm gearing up for my"busy" season of scheduled classes and speaking engagements. Summer months when I'm off work, it's the only time I can schedule any day of the week to teach or speak. The dates fill up fast and I have to watch that I don't book engagements back to back. I've made that mistake before and it's really hard to pack up, go, come home one day and repeat it again the next in another town. I swore I wouldn't do that again and guess what, I am doing it again April 30th and May 1st! That will be especially tough, because I will have to be at school on Monday. Fortunately, even though there are 650 high school students in our building, they won't all come to the library that day!
I'm staying in the home of the Altoona Guild president, Sharon Meadowcroft, Sunday and Monday night. She is taking me shop hopping in the area Monday. I hope to have some good reports on those quilt shops for you in my next blog. I can already feel my wallet getting skinnier! I wonder what goodies I'll find.
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