Thursday, January 04, 2007
Noah and I went to see grandma C. last night. We took her some Kentucky Fried Chicken for supper. We had a nice visit as we always do when we go to see her. Grandma and I visited for a bit while still sitting at the kitchen table after our meal. I have found out some amazing things about grandma since I came back to Ohio last February. While in Colorado prior to that we talked once or twice per week on the telephone, but coming back and actually spending quiet times with her has been a real eye opening experience. I have learned a lot about her I did not know.
Grandma still sews a lot....used to make a lot of quilts and she crocheted afghans. She had a bunch of quilts but had given them all away or sold them off. All but this last one which is HUGE! This was the LAST quilt she ever made......she made it back in 1999......and originally for her husband...grandpa C......back in March of 1999. She told me that he had told her when she was done with it that "this one is for me!" So she "marked it" as such on the back with a label. Grandpa C. has since passed on...and she decided last night she wanted me to have that quilt. Since grandpa died a few years back she has slowly started to return things to people in the family who gave her things....so they would have them in case something happened to her. She will sometimes ask you "is there anything you see that you would like to have to remember me and grandpa?" I took home an old hurricane oil lamp one Easter after a vacation back to Ohio. It was one of the first ones they had when they set up "housekeeping" as she called it (or what we would commonly know as "starting out" after getting married). My grandma was 13 years old when she married my grandpa who was 17. Grandma was already pregnant with my mom. Looking back at their pictures they certainly looked older than 13 and 17....perhaps because they were forced to do so much and lived a harder life? Their house was filled over time with lots of things....grandpa was quite the collector. It was filled with plates and clocks the most along with a ton of other antiques. Most of all it was always filled with a great sense of love and OPEN armed welcomeness to anyone.
My grandma C. is like a second mother to me......and sometimes more like my own mother to me (no offense Mom). I love her immensely and when she told me she wanted me to take that quilt I was thrilled she would even consider giving it to me.
This caused me to think about what we value in life and why. It reminded me that some of the things we might collect now will really mean nothing much as we get older...they are just things. They usually do not have the "history" behind them like my grandma and grandpa C's treasured items do. My Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer collectibles will likely never cause quite the tearful tug that looking at my grandma's quilt will in my heart or others for that matter as we get older.
Thinking back in time over the years as to what I have been given in my life as presents or have acquired over time....the things that seem to mean the most are the things made with someone's own two hands and lots of love. For example, the time grandma invested when stitching each of those stitches on this quilt.....will cause me to stop and think about what my grandma might have been doing on the days she quilted.....what she might have been thinking......what her hopes and dreams may have been....it has become a family heirloom. It will immediately cause me to think about her......remember her.......remember how wonderful her house always smells.
I have a few things like that, that I treasure and have stored away in a box. I guess most of us do. Scraps of this and that....my first doll...old trading cards....things that meant something to me when I was little and as I got older. Newspaper clippings of world events down to family births, deaths, and funeral announcements. Old Life magazines that interested me....old childhood toys. But I am still not sure they will cause the reaction in anyone that the antiques do in me when I see them from my grandmother's house.
Grandma C. has told me many times that she has journals......books she has written her thoughts and rants in over the years. I know where they are hidden......I would love to read them now. Last night she had the nerve to say she should probably get rid of them because sometimes she wrote not too nice things about someone in the family. I asked her if we all had our own BOOK with our names on the front that she would turn to when she was upset with us and instead of verbally telling us in person what she thought she would just go write it out and get it out of her system! She just laughed...so who knows what GEMS are awaiting us all one day. I told her to NEVER toss them....they are HER...what makes up HER....her thoughts.....her dreams and hopes......her pain and secrets......we would all love to read them one day and why? Because it will give us glimpses into her mind....her INNER mind that she seldom actually lets out in front of other people because for heaven's sake she may ypset someone by what she says. She may think something about someone or a particular situation but she would never dare speak it out loud...so those books are all full of things like that. It makes one more human....to know that even our grandmas......were all just women like us at one point in their life...with hopes and dreams and desires and loves.
I get my writing or need to write in a journal then honest....as grandma C. has done it for years and Dad has done it for years....I cannot go a day without doing it. I MUST write......but I cannot handwrite much these days that is actually legible as my handwriting cannot possibly keep up with my mind and all its thoughts.....so I have turned to typing things on these blog journals or diaries I keep. I CAN type as fast as my mind thinks......
grandma had a great idea. When I told her how I wanted to make some real tangible journals again......but could not possibly handwrite them......she suggested I continue doing my blogging...but print off that page for a particular entry and put those printed pages into a book. What a fabulous idea. I want to take it a step further and even embellish those pages with items relating to particular posts...momentos....
I bet grandma's journals would make an excellent book. Despite the fact that she probably thinks her life is boring or of no interest to many......she would be mistaken. "Grandma's Secrets" would be a most amazing read!