It all comes full circle
I left Kansas City three years ago and next week I'm heading back. I don't call it home because right now Chicago is home. Kansas City will be home again, but it's going to take some time.
When I arrived in Chicago, I was scared. It was a new place, a huge city, an unfamiliar environment and I didn't know a soul. My husband, because of his job had a built in circle of colleagues and soon to be friends. I was alone in my little room with my sewing machine, but not for long. Before I even moved from Kansas City I received this email:
Hi, I'm Beth, the current president of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. Sarah let us know that you are moving to Chicago. How exciting! I've lived here 14 years now and love it. If I can be of help in any way with your transition, let me know. I am a stay at home mom for the next year and have some time on my hands. I know you were in town looking for housing. Do you have an idea of where you will be living yet? I'm looking forward to meeting you when you get settled. Again, if I can help in any way, let me know.
When I arrived in the city I received another email from Beth inviting me to lunch with a few other members of the guild. I said yes and Chicago was no longer a very big lonely place. I joined the guild and those women were my first friends in the city and though I haven't been a very good member of the guild (or friend) since I work on weekends and we meet on Sunday afternoons, but I've made connections and have been supported by my guild in more ways than one. I've missed more meetings than I've attended but it doesn't seem to matter. I've met some amazing folks and I'm grateful to each of them for being a part of my Chicago experience.
Thank goodness our apartment didn't have enough storage space. I illegally put the giant box that my Bernina 820 was packaged in, in the front of our car in our parking space in the garage. My friend Tricia, who parked a few spaces down in the garage spied my Bernina Box and reached out and asked if I sewed. I did. She did. I invited her to guild and the rest is sewing history. I'll miss her terribly.
The other day I received an email from the current Chicago MQG President, Sarah, asking if we could meet for lunch so she could say goodbye. Again, I said yes. We talked family, quilty things and guild business. It's like I saw her yesterday. I reminded her that years ago she asked me to come teach in Chicago and we couldn't work it out because at that time the guild was so young with not much cash on hand for speakers. She was the Sarah that told Beth I was coming to Chicago.
It's always amazing to me the difference that one small gesture can make. We say it in Kansas City, "the modern quilt guild changed my life." It did back in KC and it did again in Chicago and I have a feeling it will again back in KC.
Thanks Chicago. Hello Kansas City!