On a September evening in 1989, four young women gathered around a kitchen table and Craft Night was born. They had no idea that they were beginning a 25 year tradition. Though I wasn’t one of the original four, I was invited to join the group a few months later and not long afterward, a sixth member completed the group.
We were all busy young mothers and in the early days Craft Night was as much about having an evening out as it was about the crafts that we did. Whether we were knitting, crocheting, cross stitching or tole painting, we shared our lives and our stories. Sometimes, instead of a craft, one of us would bring a stack of photos to label and we’d share those too. Over the years, we must have handed hundreds of photos around the table; pictures of babies, family holidays, graduations and more recently, grandchildren. Three of us were school teachers and papers have even been graded at Craft Night. If the choice was staying home to get the marking done or bringing it with us, the work got done at Craft Night!
Over the years, in addition to doing our individual crafts, we occasionally tried a group project. One Christmas season, we made a huge batch of antipasto, enough for each of us to take a few jars home with us. Another December it was chocolates and a couple of years ago, we made Christmas centrepieces.
Meeting monthly, we take turns hosting. The hostess provides the wine, an essential Craft Night ingredient, and a snack. Over the years, we’ve tested a multitude of appetizers and shared many a recipe. Though we still call our evenings Craft Night, we seldom bother with the crafts anymore! Instead, we just spend our time visiting. In 25 years, we’ve been through a lot together!
Between us, we have 15 children, 4 of them born since Craft Night began. We’ve watched them grow, sharing their trials and their triumphs. They’ve all graduated from high school and between them, they’ve earned 21 degrees or diplomas. 10 of them are married and 2 are engaged. 3 of us are now grandmothers with a total of 13 grandchildren. Nowadays, our discussions often revolve around aging parents and 2 of us have lost our mothers in recent months. Perhaps the statistic we ought to be most proud of is the number of divorces over our 25 years together… 0! We’re all with the same husbands we were with back then and occasionally some of them also get together on Craft Night to play cards or throw some darts.
Craft Night took a severe blow a couple of years ago when two of our group moved away within a month of each other, but the remaining four continue the tradition. When we met at a lovely restaurant for a 25th anniversary celebration last evening, we were delighted that one our missing members was able to join us. It was a delightful evening of reminiscing; sharing 25 years of fun and friendship!