Stitching together Youth Fair memories

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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My 10-year-old has spent the last few weekends sewing, which can mean only one thing – the Wise County Youth Fair is upon us.

Kristen Tribe

Kristen Tribe

She finished her project “in the final hours” Saturday, and we found the perfect pair of shoes for her outfit Sunday.

She was bubbling with excitement in anticipation of the fashion show, in hopes of being awarded the elusive blue ribbon. But I have a feeling that, win or lose, it won’t be those few glorious moments on stage that stick with her, but rather the hours and the weeks leading up to the fair, taking it one stitch at a time, that will be forever etched in her memory.

You see, it wasn’t me bent over the sewing machine, staring over her shoulder for weeks on end. It was my mom, better known around my house as Nanna.

With the patience reserved for grandchildren, my mom explained the process step-by-step and made sure my daughter knew what to do at every turn. Her quiet resolve pushed my little one to work hard, but Nanna also recognized when a break was in order, first to enjoy the sunshine and spring-like temps, and in the final days to enjoy the surprise snow.

I’m not going to say it was always easy or that it didn’t require some strong words of encouragement, but in the end, the perseverance of this dynamic duo paid off, and they’re both proud of the final result.

Win or lose: there’s no substitute for that time spent together.

Whether you’re behind the sewing machine or in the barn, in the kitchen or in the shop, there’s something about working toward a common goal that draws people closer together.

The Wise County Youth Fair is a place to show off the end result, and although the ribbons and prize money are nice, it’s the work leading up to it that will have a lasting effect.

The best memories aren’t always in the show arena, but in the days leading up to it.

Kristen Tribe is editor of the Messenger.

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