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called it my cancer quilt project, but that sounds very
depressing, so several of us got together and one of
the ladies came up with the name ¡®Caring Hands and
Hearts¡¯, because this is something that comes from our
hearts and is made with our hands. Over the years new
people have joined and some have left, but we usually
maintain a group of 7 to 9 quilters. I have received some
of the most wonderful thank you cards and phone calls
and have heard wonderful stories of how the quilts have
helped people. Sometimes I received cash donations,
which went into a jar, and often I received donations
of fabric. But whenever I needed a new roll of batting,
there was always enough money to purchase it.
One day a lady named Connie Ferguson called me and
said she had heard about my project from my daugh-
ter Gwen. She said she wanted to help, said she didn¡¯t
sew, but made me an offer I couldn¡¯t refuse. She said
she would give me a booth at one of her craft fairs of
my choice each year, where I could sell items, so I could
purchase more batting, so I could give away more quilts.
This was a Godsend to my project. I feel in my heart
that all these good things were happening because it
was God¡¯s way of saying, ¡®I like what you¡¯re doing and
am going to make sure you can continue¡¯. I had made
enough at the fairs that I now have enough batting that I
can keep making quilts for at least 4 more years. Also, a
thank you to Quilter¡¯s Corner for helping me to get my
batting at a huge discount. Thank you, to all those who
call and donate fabric and supplies for this project who
don¡¯t even know me. My husband is still doing well and
is still with me, more than 11 years since his diagnosis,
and I thank God daily for this blessing.
Today is November 28th, 2013. It is truly a day of
Thanksgiving as I have had the opportunity to share
quilt number 1758. This is something I will continue
to do as long as I am able to sit at a sewing machine. If
anyone knows of someone who needs a quilt, I just need
to know if it is for a man, a woman or a child. I don¡¯t
need a name, as God knows who they are. I will get a
quilt to you as quickly as I can. A huge THANK YOU
to everyone who has been so supportive of this project
in so many ways. Alone we could do so little ~ together
we have done so much.¡± - Ceola McDonough, Caring
Hands and Hearts
To become part of the giving end of this wonderful
project you may purchase all types of beautiful quilted
items made by Ceola at 2586 Patterson Road in Grand
Junction, at Shabby Chic¡¯ Boutiques. 970.314.7278.
The Reading Room
Positively Karen
2013 December/January
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Gateway 1930¡¯s
Always interested in the history of the area where
I reside, I have gleaned much information from the
¡®Gateway Unaweep Canyon at Some Point of Time¡¯
book, compiled and edited by Jean Moores. My ap-
petite whetted, I desired more.
My pioneer friend, Aggie Wareham, shared stories of
early Gateway and her family with me, as we sat at
her dining table recently. Her father, Ed Lines, came
to Gateway at age thirteen, in 1920. Helen Shreck, her
mother, moved to Sinbad Valley with her family, when
she was 11 years old. Ed and Helen married in 1928.
Aggie was born in 1931. She was one of four daughters
and a son born to Helen and Ed.
The following are Aggie¡¯s words set forth:
¡°In the 1930¡¯s, the road between Gateway and Natu-
rita was a dirt single lane. When I was very young my
mother ran a sewing machine needle through her fin-
ger. A doctor was required to remove it. The physician
nearest Gateway was a Dr. Philmore, who served the
Uravan community part time. On the way to Uravan,
there were places in the road so narrow that one of
the car tires would leave the road. Father would then
speed up around the curve in order to get all four tires
back on the road, before the car tumbled over the edge
sending us all to our death, several hundred feet into
the canyon below! I had nightmares about that trip for
years thereafter.
¡°There was no grocery store in Gateway, (still isn¡¯t)
but gasoline and kerosene could be purchased from
the postmistress¡¯s husband. And, there was a man, Mr
McKay, who came through town occasionally in a van
type vehicle. Sugar, flour, lard and other basics could
be procured from him. My parents had a fruit orchard,
but it is gone now. We caught and canned fish. Fresh
meat was hard to come by in the summer, so we raised
lots of chickens and learned how to butcher and cook
them. Mother also canned lots of venison and beef.
My dad cured ham and bacon with Morton¡¯s Salt
Cure. Mother also canned 200 quarts of tomatoes and
peaches every year, with lesser numbers of other fruits
and vegetables. The root cellar was our pantry.
¡°The school in Gateway was two rooms. The smaller
room housed grades 1-5, the larger one grades 6-11.
There was no electricity in town. Everyone had kero-
sene lamps. I remember at home, when we ran out of
kerosene for the lamps, we children would sit in the
dark while Dad told stories and sang to us.
¡°Christmas in the 30¡¯s was a community affair. The
Christmas program was held in the old community
bldg. Every school child had a part to say. After the
program Santa came. There was a list with the names
of every child in the area. As each name was read the
child went up to receive a sack from Santa. There was
hard candy, a popcorn ball and, some years, an orange.
We felt so special.
¡°Every year, the day before Christmas, my Dad
hitched the team to the wagon and we all went to get
wood, giving Mother time to get ready for Christmas
Eve. We always had a tree, usually pinon, as it was the
most fragrant. Mother cooked a turkey or a goose for
Christmas dinner. I remember one Christmas, we chil-
dren were all sent to water the horse. Halfway to the
creek, we heard sleigh bells. We really hurried to get
back to the house and, sure enough, Santa had already
been there and left. I don¡¯t remember what I got, but a
sister got a sewing box. Occasionally, we received an
orange, but they were special and very rare.¡±
I am fascinated by my friend¡¯s stories of Gateway and
life back then. I wish there was space to share more.
We think of Christmas as the season of giving, of loving one
another and one of exemplifying the true love of Christ. The
commandment of loving thy neighbor should be something
we do every day, but sometimes we simply forget in the hustle
and bustle of both our daily life and even during this special
season. The following is the story of Ceola McDonough, a
woman who has given selflessly year round for over 11 years.
We can learn from her about the true meaning of giving and
the personal rewards we can receive when we love our neigh-
bor in its truest sense.
¡°In July of 2002, my husband was diagnosed with can-
cer. He was so ill at the time the doctors didn¡¯t expect
him to live very long, but to their credit they didn¡¯t tell
us that until later, but I knew it in my heart. I had a lot of
heart to heart talks with God over the next few months,
and still do to this day, but those talks have turned from
requests to thanks. I told God if I could have just a little
more time with my husband, I would find something
to do to help others, and when the time comes that God
needs him more than I do, I will accept His will with
grace.
In May of 2003, we had reached a point where we were
no longer numb and were counting our blessings. My
husband had gone for his treatment and there was a
lady there receiving her first treatment. She was as terri-
fied as we had been the year before and I felt so helpless
because all I could do was hold her hand. I didn¡¯t even
know her name but felt I should do something. On the
way home I asked my husband what I could do to help.
He said, ¡°You¡¯re a quilter, make quilts for them.¡± I said,
¡°but would someone want a quilt from a total stranger?¡±
and he said ¡°Yes, they would¡±. So that was the begin-
ning. That week I took 3 quilts to Oncology. The next
week I took 2 more. For six months I did this project by
Caring Hands and Hearts
Aggie continues to be an integral part of the Gateway
Community. An amazing woman she is best described
by a line she wrote, ¡°Our journey through life is sort
of like my traveling experiences: 1) You need a goal,
where are you going? 2) You need a guideline/map and
a rule book; signs to point the way. 3) Expect delays and
distractions. 4) Persevere, don¡¯t quit, seek good counsel-
ing. 5) Keep in mind, heaven is your home, all this is
temporary.¡±
Have a Blessed Christmas. -K
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes about life from Gate-
way, Colorado)
myself. My daughter,
Gwen, kept telling me
I should ask people to
join me in making the
quilts, but I thought this
was something I had to
do by myself. Finally,
Gwen said, ¡°Mom, if
you don¡¯t allow others to
help in your project, you
are depriving them of
something very impor-
tant.¡± The light bulb came
on and Caring Hands
and Hearts was born in
November, 2003.
I first approached a quilt-
ing friend who had been
through cancer herself.
Within weeks people
were approaching me,
asking if they could be a
part of this very impor-
tant project. At first I just