Judy Lexington hated everything about her new home. Her husband, when he told her about his transfer to a school in a rural area, had been so excited she hadn't voiced her misgivings. "Just think', he had said, "all that fresh air. No traffic noise, no sirens every moment of the day and no gang murders on your doorstep." "No shops, no friends, no conveniences", she thought to herself. She had to admit that this was a big promotion for Steven. He would be the principal at the new school. True, it was much smaller than the one were he had been vice-principal for the past four years, but a promotion is a promotion.
Her fears about living in Bellingsville , a community founded on lumbering that was home to less than 1500 people had proven to be true. Perhaps if they had been living in the village it wouldn't have been so bad. At least, she could have gone to a restaurant or bought milk without having to drive 15 minutes from her home. Steven, however, had decided to go with the 'full rural experience' and talked her into a property that seemed to be miles from everything. No mail delivery, no garbage pick up, not even a paved road to give the illusion of civilization. She had to admit that she loved the feeling of being able to take a long walk through the bush and listening to the rustling leaves and birds singing. She couldn't remember when she last heard an actual bird song. Early in the morning, a loon flew past on its way from the lake to their pond and filled the dawn with its call that always made her feel more Canadian.
Perhaps, she wouldn't have minded living where she did if had a friend to visit. People in the village were friendly. It had taken her quite a while to get used to being greeting on the street by someone she didn't know. Of course, everyone but her did know everyone else and for at least three generations back. Houses were referred by owners past or current as in 'the old Harmer place' or 'where the Laundromat used to be'. It was like walking into a movie that was half over. However, she didn't have a real friend, someone with a shared interest. She was even willing to join a group or volunteer for something but it didn't seem as though she was needed anywhere.
She had discovered there was a local paper and she was becoming more familiar with the area's activities. It was only a weekly but it covered everything that happened in the community. Every week she read every word whether it was an advertisement, a story about fishing, a hockey tournament, death notice or a bazaar at one of the churches. She felt she probably knew more about what was happening in Bellingsville than the people who lived there.
One gray morning after Steven left for work, she felt she couldn't stand one more day of doing housework and reading e mails. She had picked the paper up when she went into the village the day before and took it into the sun room to read while drinking her second (and final, for the day, she promised herself) cup of coffee. As she leafed through the pages, one of the articles caught her interest: Local Quilt Group Donates to Fire Victims. The story was about a group of area women who had made a quilt that was given to a family who had recently lost all their possessions in a fire. "There is a quilt group in Bellingsville?" This was the first time she had heard of them. She noted that they met in the community center every Tues. "That is tomorrow" she thought. She had done a bit of quilting when they lived in the city but had always been to busy to really get into it.
The next morning, feeling a bit anxious but determined to try, she walked into a room that was filled with the sound of laughter and sewing. The woman nearest the door stopped working when she saw her. "Well, hi, come on in. Are you interested in quilting? I'm Mary. Hey, everyone, we have a new quilter." Judy hadn't been able to say a word but, as the ladies gathered around, introducing themselves, showing her their work and finding her a chair, she felt as though she had come home. She just knew that this group of women were what she had been looking for since moving to this place that had become her new home.