Sunday, December 06, 2009

Building Community, One Wreath at a Time

I rushed from the parking lot in the chilly rain, avoiding raindrops as best I could, to reach the wreath pageant to benefit Wellfleet's Preservation Hall. Yesterday I revealed my plan to buy a wreath decked out with presents in Sweden’s colors. At 361 Main, I threw open the door and stepped into an empty, yet surprisingly cozy, shop whose walls were adorned with 65 plus wreaths. Christmas music was playing in the background as I began my tour of the display. Preservation Hall's Mark Gabriele, above, explained that some items could be bought outright, while others required silent auction bids.

In a second room, I found the wreath with the blue and yellow presents. Oh, rats! Someone got there first. The red dot told me the “Swedish wreath” had already been purchased. But there were many more to admire.

Behind me, Marsha Peaslee was saying, “It’s fun to see how different they are.”

How right that assessment was! Our town’s folk certainly proved imagination is not lacking on Cape Cod. No two wreaths looked alike. Ribbons, ornaments, chili pepper lights, a thong ….

Each wreath had a name. Some taunted, like Sharyn Lindsay’s “Naughty or Nice.” Others were prim and dainty, like Joan Platt’s “Pinecone Pleasure.” “Bluebird” hung from a red organza ribbon and featured – what else?— a bluebird, relatively new to Wellfleet and here, perhaps, due to climate change. One wreath was called “Memories of Grandma’s Kitchen.” Marieke Hall had sprayed pine cones with silver paint and adorned her wreath with dried flowers and red berries, above right. It seemed as enchanted as a fairy tale. Some artists – for indeed, the creators of these wreaths are artists – had used miniature kitchen utensils, oyster shells, or images of the stained glass windows of Preservation Hall as decoration. The wreaths were all exquisite. Hard to know which one to buy.

I paused in front of “Tin Roses,” which turned out to be a Mark Gabriele creation. I asked Mark how he had made the “roses.”

“They’re embossed tin. From the roof of the old Catholic Church. We used some for the birdhouses, and I thought they might be nice on a wreath.“

“What tool did you use?”

“I coiled strips around the clip of a pen,” he said, picking up a ballpoint to demonstrate.

So, I placed a bid. Then, another. It occurred to me I might win two wreaths, but, if I do, that’s okay.

It’s all for a good cause.
Bids will be accepted today, too, but the silent auction ends at 3. If you are in the area, don’t miss the fun activities, which I described in detail in yesterday’s post, and especially the holiday crafts fair from noon to 4, an excellent opportunity to participate in a real community event and support Wellfleet Preservation Hall.