Happening by a fortunate accident or chance

That is the definition of fortuitous. It was hard locating a visitor parking space on the UN-L East Campus when I went to the quilt show in the Home Ec building. I parked Dad's car in front of the Plant Sciences building, and went inside to obtain a visitor parking permit from the first office I encountered. The guys lounging in the Forestry office didn't have any permits, so they sent me across the hall. The woman in that office didn't have the key to the file cabinet where the permits were kept. She sent me up the stairs to Entomology. I'm so glad she did.

Hanging on the wall behind the desk in the Entomology department office was a gorgeous poster of bees and cherry blossoms and postage stamps. It had a website, http://www.pollinator.org/, that I managed to remember until I got back home to Texas. Got my permit, and went on to the show of quilts of the 1930's entitled, "Recycling and Resourcefulness".

Back at Dad's house, I chatted with him and with his housekeeper about the quilt show. We dug out the quilt I remember so well from childhood, "Grandmother's Flower Garden". From my earliest years its hexagons inspired our play. Sometimes the hexagons represented blooms. Other times we pretended the contiguous green pieces were the sidewalk around the flower beds at Lincoln's Sunken Garden. Our paper dolls dressed in original crayola fashions walked these sidewalks on lazy afternoons. We spent hours avoiding sleep at naptime by discussing favorite colors, patterns, and combinations of fabrics. I loved the perfect fit of the geometry.

My parents were both engineers, and I was aware of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes nearly as soon as my dad built my Tiny Tears doll a Tinker Toy swingset. I wanted the colorful quilt to balloon up into floral domes, perfect homes for our troll dolls and Liddle Kiddles!

Dad told stories of how quilts were made by his aunts and grandmother, and other women of Pierce, Nebraska during the Depression years. Some of those ladies became my first pen pals. Our mail exchanges gave me a new fascination--postage stamps. I'm sure Aunt Em would like the new pollination postage stamps!

© 2007 USPS. All Rights Reserved.

I love the interlocking blocks of the beautiful postage stamps, just as I love the interlocking hexagons, and the cycle of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle illustrated by the quilts of the 1930s:

Come summer, Post Offices will be abuzz with the release of the Pollination stamps. The 20-stamp booklet consists of four stamps arranged in two alternate and interlocking blocks-of-four. The intricate design of these four beautiful stamps emphasizes the ecological relationship between pollinators and plants and suggests the biodiversity necessary to ensure the viability of that relationship.

Artist Steve Buchanan created an intricate graphic scheme for the stamps that emphasizes the ecological relationship between pollinators and plants and also hints at the biodiversity necessary to ensure the future viability of that relationship. To that end, the four different stamps are arranged in two alternate blocks that fit together like interlocking puzzles. In one block the pollinators form a central starburst. In the other block, the flowers are arranged in the center.

Returning to Texas I learned that the preschoolers would study honeybees and hexagons this week. The classroom teacher ordered the free poster from the Pollinator website, and the free garden wheel. They arrived almost immediately. The poster would be a beautiful addition to any classroom. How fun that I could show the students photos of Dad's "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilt during our hexagon week, and talk to them about the generations working together to make a quilt. I read them Lesa Cline-Ransome's Quilt Counting. The words do not flow trippingly off the tongue, but the illustrations by James Ransome are glorious paintings.

© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder

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