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Stitched out of a Ditch

August 4, 2011

As the oldest grandchild and great grandchild…and just the oldest; I was blessed to recieve the lion’s share of gifts passed down from previous generations. I can remember sitting with my great grandmother as we made one of the ugliest stuffed toys ever. She didn’t care , it was my idea and any project was as good as any other to teach me how to sew. I had been reading Winnie the Pooh and wanted to make, my idea of a Puffalump.




Either way I learned to sew.

To fuse one thing to another and then again to another so it lasts and is made stronger.

From there my mother’s mother would teach me to quilt ,make cushions and how to make piping for pillows and drapes.

How to clear your day and kitchen table of all your thought through plans and *stop* to pass on your gift to another.

My other grandmother would teach me to stitch shorts and how to crochet.

How to come new into a family, and take up your work and learn new from one another.

I don’t think many of the other grandchildren learned as much about  this art of creating beauty from scraps and strings. I sought the grandmothers out and loved a new project.
The stitches didn’t just fuse together fabric. It fused the generations. With each stitch I learned how my grandmothers liked things done.

How they sucked the inside of their cheek when one got frustrated, making a little sound that just yesterday I made with my girls.

The drawing in fresh in lieu of abandoning and pushing away.

How one would lift her bangs with the tips of her fingers to solve problems, often just deciding to break into a secret stash of chocolate to help things along.

To stop and relax, to know when to do something brief for yourself to get back on track.

Most of all how they handled me when I would jam everything up or try and sneak by the annoying ironing process.

To take me back to the start of the problem and rework it to a more beautiful ending.

As the movements became more familiar they discussed other, more important, things with me. Each one picking my brain to see which spiritual seeds sat dormant awaiting age and future seasons to urge my other giftings upward toward the son. Did they realize I was doing the same to them? While we turned yards of cording into peach pillow piping I found out what adorned their mantles . Mantles I was learning to sew small corners on, for them and for me. While we stitched in the ditch we talked about future families, not yet created and how this blanket would be there to remind me of the families I had grown from.
Yesterday as I sat with my children they listened as I told the stories of learning to sew. They learned of the generations which came before them. They learned of a legacy stitched together with stories and thread.

What are the top 5 best handed down things from your grandparents? What have they instilled in you? ~T

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2011 10:45 am

    I did not know one of my grandmothers…and the one I did know…well, let’s just say she did not have good things to pass down. But your post inspires me to be like your Grandmother to my grandchildren….to have a life long impact….long after I am gone.
    Beautiful post…

    • August 4, 2011 12:37 pm

      Oh there is still something to learn…even in the not so wonderful people. I had one of those grandmothers too… briefly…(Sigh)…. I learned things from her also….

      1. People who want to be in your life don’t need seats saved for them, they will be there. The others will fall away, just wait and see.
      2. Chain smoking old ladies aren’t cute, especially when they don’t seem to care if you have asthma.

      These are valuable lessons I learned…lessons I have learned from more then one person… but started with one brief grandmother.

      You will be a great grandmother! You have so much to give.

  2. August 4, 2011 3:03 pm

    Here’s some of the lessons I learned not only from my grandmother, but from watching my mom be a grandma to my kids:
    1) The most important thing a grandma can do is to love her grandchildren. It didn’t matter that my grandma wasn’t very “hip” or “cool”…she loved me unconditionally. And my kids don’t remember my mom’s difficult times due to ill health – they remember the love she gave.
    2) My grandma showed me that you can still enjoy simple things like coloring easter eggs even when you’re 80.
    3) My grandma showed me that every dinner is a special occasion – use the good dishes, lay out a feast, even if it’s only leftovers.
    4) They both showed me how important it was to have one-on-one time with grandchildren.

    • August 4, 2011 3:57 pm

      Wow.. It really sounds like you were raised and surrounded by warm women.
      Thank you for sharing this.

  3. August 5, 2011 8:11 am

    *always have a drawer of marshmallows that could break your baby tooth off on.(g-ma)
    *when all else fails watch Angela Lansbury do… solve a mystery (nanny)
    *always knock before entering a bedroom or you will learn about the birds and the bees in a way you were NOT expecting. (g-ma and papa)
    * if you don’t have money for popsicles – make your own chocolate pudding is the best! (g-ma)
    *always make time for the beach…it will refresh you and keep you peaceful (mimi)

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