This morning I had the pleasure of teaching a paper piecing class called Spinning Windmills. One of the things I enjoy the most about teaching are the amazing people I meet in my classes. Today I met the most remarkable women and they were awesome students who were all quite proficient paper piecers by the end of our class.
As we were sewing, we had such a fun time visiting. I mentioned that I had celebrated my birthday the previous day and Dollie said, oh my goodness, that’s nothing, I just celebrated my 90th birthday.
She went on to share stories about her life and how at the age of 50 she was suddenly a widow with an 11 year old daughter to raise. Prior to the loss of her husband, she had stayed home to raise her other 4 children. In a freak accident, her husband was electrocuted a few years prior to his death and this prompted Dollie to go back to school to become a teacher. She confirmed that was one of the best decisions she ever made because it gave her a means to support herself when her husband passed. She never complained and said she just “had to do what I had to do.” She taught full-time for many years and upon retirement, continued to substitute teach until she was 80. At one point, she proceeded to list off the names of her children and grand children and great grandchildren, along with many of their accomplishments. She, indeed, was/is a very proud grandmother.
Dollie lives in Buhl, Idaho and still drives to do her grocery shopping, hair appt., etc. She lived alone for many years, but now enjoys the company of a niece who lives with her while she is going to school.
Dollie was accompanied by her daughter, Debbie, who she taught to sew. They share a passion for quilting and learning new things. It was so much fun to see them work together and talk through the construction of their block as I reviewed the step-by-step paper piecing process with them.
In no time at all they had completed their first block – such a great team effort. They shared they try to learn new techniques often and take a lot of classes together.
Debbie is very proud of her mother and the amazing role model she is for her and her family. I’m still smiling as I reminisce about the delightful time I spent visiting with Dollie. She truly is an inspiration. It was so much fun to get to know her, along with the rest of the class and I hope to see this amazing duo in one of my future classes or to share a cup of coffee sometime.
Thanks again Dollie and Debbie for coming to Boise to take my class. It was a genuine pleasure meeting you both!
(Note: I was given permission by Dollie to share some of her story and I hope I have done it justice.)