Thursday, September 6, 2012

Head, Heart, Hands, Health

I was reading the recent issue Cowboys and Indians and came across an article about 4-H.  At the very moment I saw the young girl with her green felt hat, the words ran through my mind:

 I pledge
My head to clear thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
My health to better living
For my club, my community, and my country...
 
When you recite a pledge once a month for over 7 years, you tend to remember it well into your 60's. Today, the pledge has been revised somewhat to include the "world", as it is a more diverse organization with a wider reach.
 
In the rural foothills where I grew up, neighbors were miles away, we rode a bus to a three room school house and every boy and girl joined the local 4-H club.  The boys usually raised a sheep or steer, learned about electricity and other manly stuff, and the girls gravitated to the more homey endeavors.
 
I learned to sew in 4-H.  My Mom was  the sewing leader and under her direction, me and my friends learned how to make the trademark 4-H sailor collar and an apron in our first year.
 
I learned how to speak in front of people in 4-H.  Members were required to give demonstrations at least once a year in front of the entire club.  Nerve racking as it was, it gave us all our first taste of public speaking.
 
I learned about serving in 4-H, but most of all, I had fun. The opportunities to meet other kids even outside our own club were endless. I think I had my first crush on a boy from a club some 40 miles away...I only got to see him around the camp fire at the annual regional camp in the mountains.
 
I learned the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in the competitive exhibitions at the county fair.  Blue ribbons were coveted, and I can only remember getting a couple...mine were reds and even some whites. I was not the seamstress that I am today, but by high school I was making many of my own clothes. That experience led to the designing and making of wedding gowns, selling hippie dresses in Berkeley, sewing the dozens of prom dresses for my daughter and evening dresses, suits, and every form of clothing for myself today.
 
My daughter-in-law recently told me that my granddaughter expressed an interest in learning to sew. I was 10 when I first joined 4-H and she has a year to go.  But it made me wonder if I shouldn't perhaps share my craft with a small group of young girls...perhaps even get involved in the 4-H program...yes, they even have clubs here in suburbia!

Woudn't Collette be proud?
 
Laurel.  Still sewing after all these years.
 
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5 comments:

  1. Oh that's awesome! I wish I could sew well. I took a class last summer, and was doing okay, but then my machine started acting up and I threw in the towel.

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  2. I love the 4-H picture! I was involved with 4-H with my daughter for many years, with the horse program! Great job capturing the spirit of 4-H!

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  3. Yes, I have no doubt that Colette would e proud.

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  4. What a sweet post -- they didn't have 4H where I grew up, so I was a Brownie for one year. :)

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  5. You sound like you're just the person to teach young people to sew. Go for it! :))

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Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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