11 Awesome Native Animals You Must See In Costa Rica Beading A Beautiful Friendship

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Beading A Beautiful Friendship

Around my right wrist I wear a reminder of friendship and love. Intricate beads in a woven pattern of blue, green, black, purple and white is a bracelet. My sister, Laura, brought it from Central America, where it survived a grueling backpacking trip from Mexico to Costa Rica. She can’t remember exactly where she and her partner were when they bought it, or even from whom. I never take it off, just like she never takes off the rainbow embroidered anklet I spent hours making for her. During her trip, Laura learned how to make a bracelet. Laura said she would teach me “one day” but alas we are both so busy. Beading is something you have to make time for.

At the Green Thumb Garden Club September meeting in 2002, my beaded bracelet caught the eye of Marjorie Klingman. This longtime resident of Anacortes was drawn to the bracelet on my wrist. She kept asking in whispers throughout the appointment if I had made it, how long it took, and if I would join her at her bead club the next day. I remember it was September 10th, a Tuesday, because the next day I was going to the memorial service at Causland Park for those who lost their lives on 9-11. However, I gave Marjorie my phone number to call me about beading within the next few weeks.

I was delighted when Marjorie called me two weeks later. She invited me to the Samish longhouse; to have lunch with her and then try our hand at beads- she mentioned earrings or a key chain. She gave me directions to her house and suggested I come a few minutes before noon. I was surprised that the Longhouse was such a simple building located just beyond the D Avenue Nursery. I was used to the elaborate Longhouse at Evergreen State College, with its great eagle totem at the entrance. A longhouse means wherever the natives meet for gatherings. This Longhouse is sponsored by the Samish Tribe. They also sponsor a preschool next door. Genuine local seniors and anyone over the age of 45 can come for lunch and eat for free.

Wednesdays are craft/bead day. A group of learned women usually stay after lunch, until 2pm or so. Most have their own sewing boxes filled with the necessary beading supplies. I’ve seen boxes containing everything from round bracelets to Santa’s earrings, and even a box of needle beads. The small group has been beading together for four to five years.

I felt lucky to be part of their assembly when I came with Marjori that September day. Immediately Marjorie handed me a needle, thread, and some deerskin on a wooden post. One day this would make a nice big key chain. I was asked to choose three colors. I chose red, white and blue – to be patriotic. On this day, a native of a New Mexico tribe named Willy was standing by. He happily showed me how to attach the beads to the leather so the beads would be secure and not slip as I worked around the piece. This was a method that even the ladies did not know. So everyone learned something that day.

It wasn’t long before I realized what I was doing, (it was called a peyote weave). Then I could leave my job and see if my new friend Marjorie needed any help. It was too far on her key chain; its colors are yellow, orange and white. Sometimes she would double a bead, or pass a sum. These were easy problems to fix. I was happy to be there to work with him. Next thing we knew it was time to pack.

I could already tell, just from this one day together, I would make beading with Marjori a weekly routine. Hey, I had a key chain to finish!

Well, here it is five years later! I have only missed a week with Marjorie since that first day. Our key chains are finished. I learned a lot about the bead and being a loyal friend. What happens next… only time will tell. And in my friendship with Marjorie, every day is a lifetime!

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