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May Christmas bring presents and peace

Vivian Herron, Columnist
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

My mother-in-law, Margie Hiatt, can make anything. Any. Thing. Want a just-for-you wedding gown in chiffon and lace? Sure. A gigantic tiered wedding cake, made from scratch and decorated to match the gown? Can do. A Victorian doll to match the dress and the cake that looks like it’s ready to have a chat with you? Go see Margie.

My sister-in-law, Marie Shubert, takes after her mom. Whether it’s home decorating, crafts or designing clothes, Marie is up to the challenge. Occasionally she’ll send me a care package of clever or funny or inspiring things she has made. Slowly but surely, she’s gussying up my house.

Coleen Smith crochets, smocks and I don’t know what all else, and everything she does is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, simply incredible skill. Gaby Polich has a drawerful of county fair blue ribbons for her handiwork, especially her painstaking embroidery.



If you got these women together and gave them boxes of miscellaneous notions (don’t forget the hot glue gun), they would eventually come up with beautiful treasures, all unique, that anyone would be honored to own. If I were given the same box, I’d sit there until next August, quietly gluing my fingers together and hoping someone would take pity on me and come to my aid. I couldn’t make a potholder if it came in a kit with a video. Big sad sigh.

I was in a thrift store (as usual) and found gorgeous gift baskets stuffed with expensive goodies on sale for pittance. I thought they were donated by a pricey, down-the-hill store, but no, Suzanne Lujan made all of them. She can’t keep up with the demand, and no wonder. What a neat gift when you’re out of ideas for that special person! They really are quite beautiful. Now see, I would’ve thrown everything into a paper bag, stapled it shut and stuck a bow on it. Give Suzanne a call at 478-9151; she’ll tell you where the baskets are.




There’s a place in Nevada City that sells neat crafts to unfortunates like myself, but I will not tell you its name. I am truly very fond of you, dear readers, and if you want to hang onto your hard-earned holiday money, you mustn’t go in there. Well, you could go in if you have a friend who will stay out in the parking lot holding onto your credit cards, checkbook and cash, and absolutely will not return them to you no matter how much you beg, plead and threaten, and what kind of friend is that?

I had errands to do a few weeks ago and the money to do them, but I made the tragic mistake of wandering into that store. In 10 minutes, my arms were full, and the owner, a tall, genial gentleman, ambled over and sweetly said, “Let me take those things and put them over there on the counter” and like a danged fool I let him do it. Which left my hands empty, you see – but not for long. He knew exactly what he was doing, too, the cad.

Yes, I had bags of wonderful purchases when I left, and every danged one of them is a delight. But I had to rummage in the bottom of my purse and under my car seat for gas money so I could get back home, errandless and broke. Do you know how embarrassing it is to buy 78 sticky, linty cents’ worth of gas? So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Everyone in Washington sends you and yours our very best wishes for a peaceful, happy Christmas, with emphasis on the peace.

Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.


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