Remembering Anna Jane....

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Anna Jane Stickell Krebs was one in a million.  She was the kind of person you only meet once or twice in a lifetime.  She joined our small Chicken Sister knitting group, in western Massachusetts, many years ago.  As a champion knitter and new to our group, we took her under our colllective wings.  But of course,  if you have known her, it was inevitable that she became our Mother Hen and we became her chicks.  She would often check in and comfort her brood.  We loved her.  She was always upbeat and fun to be with and the best cook and host.


The Chicken Sisters took turns hosting our day-long knit-a-thons. We all pitched in but the days we went to Anna Jane's Turkey Hill home we were in for a special treat. We tried to help her but she wouldn't hear of it.  She treated the Chicken Sisters like we were queens and we have the birthday tiaras to prove it!


Most of us would arrive at AJ's house in jeans, flip flops or sneakers but Anna Jane still wore her black slacks and leather soled dressy shoes. I used to tease her about flying around, with her shoes tapping across the floor, as she ran around her house waiting on us all.  She would laugh and say she must have picked it up from her mother.  She was a whirlwind of energy, clicking all the way. With all the pampering she gave us, she never got any knitting done.  She rarely sat down long enough to pull out her knitting bag!


Chicken Sister days were filled with creativity and laughter. Our little flock cherished our time together and AJ's generosity and kindness. We shared endless stories and laughs but also the inevitable sadness over our years together. I only saw Anna Jane cry when she talked of her dear husband Warren.  His strong dynamic paintings surrounded us at Turkey Hill and although only one of us met Warren, I believe his loving spirit and strong sense of color supported us all.


Anna Jane was a problem solver.  She talked of Warren's "how to eat an elephant philosophy" when we were in a muddle.  Which was quite often!  "You have to start with the first bite" she would say.  Then she'd advise us to just keep going until our elephant was gone and our project or problem was solved.  


The Chicken Sisters no longer see each other much.  Sadly, two of our members have died and a few of us have flown the coop and moved away. However, Anna Jane (and The Chicken Sisters) will always be in our hearts.  Anna Jane has left us with a hole in our lives but she has also left us with the possibility of HOPE for a kinder, uplifting and more creative world.  A world of Never Ending Possibilities.  


I often say to my husband, when I'm confused about how to handle something, "what would Anna Jane do?" Then I think of her elephant advice and her clicking feet and I smile.  She always had the right words.  She always had a creative solution.  She was always kind.  Anna Jane Krebs was one in a million.


Georgie Thomas

Westport, Massachusetts

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