Sunday, December 22, 2013

It is almost Christmas. Rain is coming down in a steady pour and the back porch rainspout is making its usual racket of drop, drop, DRIP, drop. The tree is up and lit, the evergreen scent fills the living room air. Christmas icicle lights strung across the front porch roof shine into the room and I can see the bright colored lights that sweep the garage roof from where I sit in this leather chair. It is nearly time to call it a day. The house sits quietly in anticipation of Christmas morning and the afternoon dinner that follows. We are older now. Our children scattered to the different corners of the country. One child remains at home, much to his chagrin he is not yet the adult he has wanted to be since he was born. We are but a stop in his busy day, a place to eat and sleep.

Christmas makes me sad and wistful, happy and content all at once. I am blessed to have this life I lead, the family I have and the work I love. My days are full with creativity, my needs are met, I am surrounded by people I enjoy. Still the sadness creeps in. I miss my family, the family that was while I grew up. My Aunt Lou, my grandparents, parents and siblings. I remember the excitement of waiting for presents and company to arrive. The Christmas tree, always brightly lit and fully decorated in the corner of the living room; created a hiding spot where one child in a big family could hide and enjoy the quiet of being lost in holiday ornaments and lights. All those people that I so long ago loved - gone. Memories linger and if I sit long enough and quietly enough, closing my eyes tightly; I can see them again. Summoning the feelings of those long ago childhood memories, places and people.

Happy Christmas to all and sweet blessings, too.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Recently the shop received in some market quilt squares in little sets of precut fabric that featured fruits and veggies. I loved the colors and every time I walked by the display, I thought I am going to stitch those together for shop samples. Mind you, other than some free form wool felt work and a banner or two, I have not sewn in almost 20 years. I don't really know how to sew, much to my Aunt Gertie's chagrin as she tried, really tried, to teach me and so did my high school. That was way back when home economics was taught to all girls in school, preparing us for our future just as feminism and the ERA was beginning to make some impact.

Anyhow, as I sewed these pieces together in my sunny classroom a few months back; I remembered my grandfather telling me how his mother sewed patchwork quilts at night before she went to bed. He said she would cut the squares from whatever fabric was around, old clothing, flour sacks or curtains and would stack the squares in her sewing basket. She would then begin to sew and he described how she would first sew two by two squares, then four by four squares and kept combining them until she had a quilt top. All sewn by hand. All stitched as part of caring for her family, using everything in the thrift she practiced her whole life.

As I sewed that Sunday afternoon, I thought of my grandfather telling me this and pictured his mother doing this handwork into the quiet evenings. I felt the generations of my family surround me, observe me, sit with me as I worked on this craft with the use of a sewing machine. Timelessness flowed through my mind and hands. Love for my grandfather and this story that all these many years later, still resonates within and about me.

p.s. Please note in the funniest way possible, that the veggie squares have in them french fries and tortilla chips!!! Very healthy fresh veggies, don't you think? I am laughing here!