Last week I found a local quilt store. This is like finding a rival to Barnes and Noble; just as relaxing, and just as dangerous to the pocket. The main difference is that all is silent and solitary at B&N, and all is raucous laughter and sharing at the quilt store.
As in the UK, quilters are the friendliest people, sharing skills, stories and snacks. Today, at the morning 'sit and sew' I have been shown how to use a long-arm quilter, been given some help with machine embroidery, and sampled some Cuban food. Once again I have been made to feel very much at home. And that's exactly what I wished for.
I even had a long conversation, in German, with a lovely German couple there, thus proving that, even though I forget where I've put something or what someone is called, the German part of my brain has fully functioning cells, still fired up with the language. This is very reassuring (but maybe means we should have moved to Germany for our dotage!)
However (and there had to be a 'but'), in the two hours I was there, John made a trip to Home Depot (UK readers, think your biggest B&Q x10) and then to a car showroom! Fortunately all he bought was a 'damaged screw extractor'.
Please note I didn't buy anything.