Sunday, September 13, 2009
Welcome to Betsie Bay Fiber Arts
What is Betsie Bay Fiber Arts? At this time, it is a thought, a dream, a vision for tomorrow. If it was brick and mortar, it would be located on the shore of Betsie Bay in the beautiful town of Frankfort, Michigan. Frankfort sits nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan way up north. Across the bay is the village of Elberta, sadly worn down in places but on its way to being revitalized.
I’ve been visiting Frankfort and the surrounding areas of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for over twenty years. It is where my family goes for vacations. It is the epitome of small town USA, which is just one more reason to love it.
In my dream, I live in a big house on Forest Avenue. In the summer, I bike to work. My dog, Emme, now white-faced with age, rides in a cart behind the bike. She is happy and barks at the box trucks bringing early morning shipments to the vendors in town.
Emme and I unlock the door to the shop and flip on the lights. The store in on Main Street, across from Betsie Bay. We’re not right downtown as we had to find a location with plenty of parking spaces. You know we are busy with lots of quilters arriving each weekend to delight in the newest fabrics from our favorite designers. I can smell cherry pie being baked at the bakery next door. I sniff appreciatively along with Emme.
Emme waddles slowly over to her dog bed, quilted of course! She stares at her water dish and barks at me to fill it with cool, fresh water. As I fill Emme’s bowl with water and set down another with kibble, my sister, Janet, flies through the door, with Buddy right behind her. They have driven over from their house on Crystal Lake. Cooper has stayed home with Janet’s husband, Al. Both Al and Cooper have too much energy to spend the day playing with fabric. Buddy sticks his head in the bowl of kibble and inhales it. Emme looks at him and shakes her head at his gluttony. She is too comfortable on her bed to get up and bark at him. Buddy turns three times and flops down on the bed next to Emme.
My other sister, Carol, isn’t in town. She owns a piece of Betsie Bay Fiber Arts but, she is still living in Salt Lake City. Soon, she says, she will join us in Michigan. She just has to convince Norman that he wants to move back to the Midwest.
The store won’t open for another hour. Janet starts a pot of coffee and we smile happily at our good fortune.