i've started this blog so many times. the last of which was in may
when my grandmother would have been 90! it was one year ago today that she passed away.
she has been an inspiration for me since the beginning...for as long as i
i tried to write a post for her when she died but we were all so
busy getting ready for the celebration of her life. i did write a few
words for her funeral. i have wanted to share this but i really want it to be just right! rather than never get this post done...i'm getting it done. one of the many things my grandmother wasn't was a procrastinator (clearly and sadly i am) she didn't have the luxury of not getting it done.
I wanted to share some of the stories that I have heard many times
either from her or from other members of the family. And some of the ways that
grandma shared with us throughout our lives.
grandmab s number one priority. this sounds really cliche but it's true. she really gave so much to her family, not only
her love and time but countless things that she created. clothes, toys, dolls,
doll clothes, christmas stockings, crocheted ornaments, tree skirts, pillows,
curtains, slip covers, costumes, sweaters and blankets, just to name a few. she
never really looked for praise for what she created; it was just what she did. what she was most proud of was the fact that she and grandpa were only
children and as of now they have 22 descendants! she mentioned this so often. now this is what she shared with everyone. she loved to talk about all of us
and what we were doing. this is what she was most proud of.
spoke often about her mom who died when she was thirteen. she missed her so
much. grandma always said how talented her mother was. if you visited grandma's room you may have seen the incredible quilt that her mother made
hanging on the wall near grandmab s bed. (we think it was what her mother was working on when she died-the quilt top was done). grandma never had this completed, she never did quilting and i don't think she would have ever spent the money to have it done. she gave it to my mother many years ago and a few years before she died for christmas we had it completed for her...she loved it. she said that so many of the fabrics in the quilt were from dresses that her mother had made for her when she was a little girl.so overwhelming.
learned very quickly to keep house for her father and herself. she grew up very
fast. she told of when she was very young she learned to sew. she would make
something and show it to her father and he would suggest that she could do it
better and she would go and tear out the stitches and try again. grandma found that
she could do it better. this seemed to carry through grandmab s life. everything
that she did was so well done. she had so many challenging skills and made them
one of the many dresses that grandma made...she made four of these holly hobby dresses at the height of little house on the prairie for her four lovely granddaughters with matching dolls to match to color of each of our hair with dresses to match our dresses~bonnets too. seriously~we were the luckiest kids to have her! this has been one of my daughters favorite dresses for years as it was one of mine. she has been wearing it to laura ingalls wilder day for the past 3 years...she will still fit in it for a few more years to come!
recently I was making a list of all grandmab s talents and tasks when
she was raising her family. here are just a few; sewing, knitting, crochet,
cooking, baking, canning, keeping house, gardening, needle work, drawing, and
singing. she did all of these things while working a full time job and keeping
house in the 40s and 50s with four kids and none of the current conveniences. grandma hung the laundry and made many of her kidsb clothes and toys and ironed
everything...no permanent press then.
it seems that they always had an extended
family member living with them that needed grandmab s care and attention too. she cared for her grandfather and her
mother-in-law lived with them too and her father all of them nursed by her until the end... my grandparents didnb t have siblings but they had many great friends. they also took care of them when they could by taking them to doctors, caring
for their yards, driving them where they needed to go, doing their banking, making meals.
grandma also had an aunt who was seven years older than she was (no
need to look this up, grandma always mentioned it). her aunt alma was like a sister to her and I think that she helped
through so many challenging times and she loved her so. when
I was growing up grandma had so much to share with her grandchildren too. she
was still working, she still took the time for us even though she was probably very
tired. i remember that we rarely had a sitter when my parents went out, we would stay with our grandparents. we spent so much time there. she would color with us play cards, board
games, walk us through the woods for
ice cream. We would pick snapdragons down the street for her and admire her
large selection of pansies that my uncle would always get for her every year for her birthday-she was proud of this too...said he had done that since he was a little boy.
was such a good cook. some family favorites were buttermilk pancakes, potato
pancakes, corned beef and cabbage, chop suey, turkey coquettes, i would like to share just a few more stories that we heard so often.
grandma had a great sense of humor and she loved to laugh about these.
of the stories that we always teased my grandparents about was how they met. the story is that grandpa picked grandma up on the corner in front of the
library. she would very quickly tell you that was not the case. they were
wants to add a story that she has heard so many times.
" Grandmab s
ears were very ticklish. When her grandchildren stayed over on nights when
their parents went out on the weekends, when they woke up, they would crawl in
on their hands and knees to their grandparents bedroom. thinking they were so
quiet but they were so noisy. they would go on each side of the bed and climb
up and start tickling grandma and grandpa. it was a tickle fight, they would
all get tickled and laugh out loud. i bet it was very fun. but i wasnb t born
to know that yet. but when i saw grandma i did tickle her ears my mom taught me
her ears were ticklish. the end."
i apologize for all of this lists,
grandma did so much over her 89 years, i could find no other way to share it
all with you. we are so happy to have so many creations remember her by. and all of our very sweet stories.
on a shopping day with my mother before she moved out of town the
four generations would have lunch and shop together every
thursday...miss those days~cherish the memories!
i was very fortunate that we lived so close to my
grandmother almost all of my life and that she lived so long...so many great
memories and experiences that we all shared with her. i was so thrilled that my
daughter spent so much time with her and loved her so. i was also so blessed to
see how much joy our girl brought to my grandmother. they really adored each
other. for the first four years of my daughter's life we picked grandma up every week and took her shopping, we really enjoyed these days together.
grandma we miss you so. we know that you were so tired and missed grandpa so much and suffering without being able to see and create for the last 7 years of your life...such a cruel turn of events. i'm trying hard to us some of the many goodies that you left behind for me to use to create. i'm so happy that i have finally learned to sew on your machine that dawne has graciously let me borrow and using your needles to knit and teach helen so many of your talents. i so hope that we can make you proud...thanks for all that you gave to all of us. we love you.
i still need to find some older photos and post them, this is one thing that has been holding up my post. i will update the post when i find them. hope those that knew her will enjoy this and for those who didn't and get through this ridiculously long post thank you. she was really an inspirational woman. those who think that we are busier and have more commitments than women from the past only need this to remember that maybe this is not so!