Sally Gracie TwispBy Sally Gracie

A poster titled “How to Build a Community” hangs on my fridge, and I read through the list of “how to’s” from time to time to see how Twisp is doing. This past Mother’s Day weekend — like so many other weekends here — shows that the community of Twisp is doing just fine, thank you.

“Leave your house” and  “Greet people” are the items that top the list. It seemed that we all lived these two suggestions all weekend long.

“Take back the night” and “Turn up the music” are further advice. Confluence Gallery certainly did both for those of us who attended the annual Trashion Show, where Lindsey Ashford took both the judges’ first prize and the People’s Choice award. Her costume was made entirely from materials from her garden: a bodice made from old hoses, cut and flattened; leggings knitted from plastic garden twine; a hat from garden landscape cloth, etc.

Designers this year moved light years beyond last year’s costumes, utilizing puzzle pieces, beer tabs, and used fabric softener sheets to create truly wearable and elegant dresses. I’ll add a “how to” to my poster here: “Reuse and recycle!”

More advice: “[Maintain]a tradition.” Garden art and furniture are on display for the public to enjoy and buy at the Methow Valley Inn, thanks to the tradition begun several years ago. From repurposed materials, artist and woodworker Laura Karcher has built two garden benches that, if purchased together, would form a comfortable outdoor seating arrangement.

The bench seats came from lumber salvaged from a homestead house. The “arm rests” are antique truck fenders still attached to pieces of the truck’s wooden sides. The benches are garden art of the best kind: beautiful to look at but wonderfully functional. Don’t miss Bruce Morrison’s new pieces, including a bent-twig chair and a lovely small table, and Jody Olson’s whimsical doggy side table. Add “Sit in the garden.”

Then there’s “Start a tradition.” Lexi Koch and Rose Weagant, whose own stories were among several shared during “The Mother Experience” on Mother’s Day at The Merc Playhouse, have conceived a program that was such a success, so well received, that a second edition is a sure thing (though a reprise performance of this year’s program would be wonderful too).

Dances, poetry and music — with more universal expressions of the motherhood theme—provided some relief from the intensity of many of the speakers’ stories about mothering. These women honestly bared their souls. One spoke of her experience of miscarriage and grief. Another spoke, with humor and pain, of in-vitro fertilization and shame; another, of a premature birth and the frustration and anger she felt when her newborn was kept from her; still another, estrangement from her dying mother.

Our community often comes together to offer love and support for each other. When a woman can speak of her most intimate experiences in front of a big audience, she must trust that her community loves and supports her.

Continuing the list: “Turn off your TV.” Willy Wonka JR., continuing at The Merc this weekend, gets the whole family out to enjoy a delightful production, starring Morgan Tate and directed by Missi Smith. Add: “Nurture the children” to our list.

“Honor your elders.” On Saturday, Ann Sanborn was remembered by family and friends at a memorial service at the Masonic Lodge in Twisp. During the service, Ann’s granddaughter Sarah Sanborn dedicated a loving poem to her “Grandma.” As someone who knew Ann as a volunteer at the library, I learned from Sarah and from Ann’s daughter-in-law Karen that this tiny woman was a world traveler, a climber of mountains, a runner of marathons, a dedicated steward of the earth, and always at the center of her family.

I missed Ann at last year’s book sale, and I will be thinking of her next week when we fill the gym with books that she would have loved.