Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet the Grandparents

May I introduce my grandma and grandpa?  My mom's parents.  When you're little you love them just because they are your grandparents.  When you grow up you see them as people.  My grandparents were such NICE people who gave me many good memories.  Too few of Grandma since she died when I was pretty young.  Even so she had a large role in shaping me.

This photograph was taken the year I was born and is how I remember Grandma.  When I look at this picture, I think of church because Grandma and Grandpa are wearing their Sunday best.  They sat together in the same pew every week at church.  Our family was one or two pews behind them usually.  I remember how worn my grandparents' Bible was...

According to Mom, when it came to crafts Grandma was a bit like Will Rogers.  She never met a craft she didn't like.  I remember her being a very INDUSTRIOUS person (although my brain had not met that word back then).  She was always busy with something - the house, the garden, the chickens, cooking, sewing, canning.  I'm sure the list could go on...

I remember eating fresh peas from Grandma's garden, the smell of the root cellar where she kept her canning, drinking well water from a blue speckled ladle (so cold and good!), playing with Grandma's button box when it held HER buttons, seeing stacks of her quilt blocks, making a shadow box together with a picture of a deer and straws, a basket she made of greeting cards crocheted together and HEAPING with family photos, and watching Grandma tat...

To me, Grandma's hands FLEW while she would tat and visit with Mom and as much as I would stare at  them, I could NEVER unravel the mystery of tatting... the lace just seemed to appear from nowhere.  Mom told me that Grandma learned to tat from a woman she worked for when she was young.  Mom had asked Grandma to teach HER to tat, but Grandma couldn't explain how with words... by then it was just something she did without thought.  So Mom said, "Well slow down so I can SEE what you are doing."  But try as she might, Grandma just COULDN'T slow down enough to show Mom without messing herself up!

I WISH I could have learned to tat from Grandma, or at LEAST have the memory of her TRYING to teach me!  Somewhere along the way, Mom gave me a couple of Grandma's shuttles, still wound with thread and a few of her pieces of tatting.  For YEARS I would look at these things and wonder...  It wasn't until the advent of the internet that I was able to find instructions and teach myself the basics of tatting.  It made my mom happy when I learned and she would be happy that I am working to expand my knowledge.  

And tatting makes ME happy because besides being an enjoyable pastime with BEAUTIFUL results when done well, it has provided me with a lasting connection to my grandmother.


Katie said...

What a lovely pic! All the vintage stuff & the great pic of your grandparents. Did your grandma tat that mat?

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

Oh I love this post! Your grandparents are very handsome! Your memories stirred up so many of my own. I am so glad you were able to teach yourself to tat. What a fine addition you are to the tatting community!

Fox said...

How well written this is, Ann. You painted your wonderful memories so well that I felt as if I were enjoying a film!
Fox : )

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Katie!
Thank you! Yes, Grandma tatted the mat. It was not completed. From scalloped end to scalloped end it measures 9 inches. It is 5 inches long. I have always thought it was meant for the dresser so it would have been quite a bit longer when finished.

Hi LadyShuttleMaker!
I'm glad my reminiscences brought back some memories for you. When you start thinking about the old times it's like a chain reaction and long forgotten details come back. I like that. Thank you for welcoming me to the tatting community. That means allot as your blog is one of the first tatting blogs I found and inspired me to give tatting another try.

Thank you Fox!
I'm glad you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me. The world seems so simple through the eyes of a child - now I know there was allot more going on then than fireflies and flowers.

:) Ann

Tatskool said...

That was a wonderful post, great story.

sewmuchfun4 said...

THANK you Tatskool, and thank you for dropping by!
:) Ann

A Happy Bluebird said...

Gosh, how I miss my Grandmas after reading this! Isn't it wonderful to recognize that they were so much more than just good cookies?! What wonderful memories. Your grandma would definitely be proud that you are carrying on the tatting :)

Martha said...

What a sweet story and photo of your grandparents, and that tatted piece is so pretty -- I love the colors of the variegated thread.

My mother's mother died when I was pretty young -- I don't remember her doing needlework, but I'm sure she did. My father's mother had lots of tied utility quilts in her home -- I never saw her sewing, but she had a beautiful Singer treadle machine, so she must have sewn when she was younger.

I think you are so lucky to have these wonderful memories of your grandmother -- and the tatting connection you now have. I can understand why your mother was pleased that you taught yourself to tat. It would have been nice to have learned from your grandma, but someday you're going to have a little granddaughter and she's going to be so enamored with her grandma whose hands fly when she tats -- and you'll be able to teach her.

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Happy Bluebird!
It is good when we are able to remember our grandparents as people and not just as cookies (I like your phrase). I can learn allot from the way mine lived.

I think Grandma would like that I'm tatting. If she were here, she would probably be online checking things out - as long as it wasn't too big of a distraction.

:) Ann

sewmuchfun4 said...

Ah Martha, thank you for the nice comment. I love the idea of teaching a little granddaughter to tat. My eyes teared up earlier when I read it. I'll have to practice more though if these hands are ever going to lift off in flight!

:) Ann