Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The last evening of our stay in Kansas, we were at the farm. The place that my grandparent's spent most of their married life together, the place where Mom grew up, the place where my Uncle M now lives.
We listened to the piano music of one of my brilliantly talented cousins and as the darkness began to settle, I wandered off to take pictures in the fast fading light. I wandered back and K's music was still playing. And unconsciously I put my arms around my Uncle's neck and said it was good to be home and for a few moments I was myself. I was M fully in the moment, fully at home in Kansas. It was a beautiful moment - it brought tears to my eyes and then it passed that quickly. I am M of the Northern lands a Mom and Wife struggling to make sense of it all.
I received many family objects when I was home. Hankies are among the great treasures, however, as I intend to use them in projects, I will save showing them until they are used and then you can see them at my craft blog.
Of grandma's piece work and crochet, I received a simple polyester-squares-tied throw, a huge granny squares lap afghan, a leaf wall-hanging, and this quilt. One thing about grandma is that it is almost impossible to find anything of hers that didn't have pink or purple in it. :)
I have shared many pictures of the quilt, far more than I ought, but it was difficult to limit shots of cool fabric pieces to just this many!!
Note the orange striped piece of fabric. I recognize many of the pieces in this quilt but this one in particular is interesting to me. It reminds me of the house dresses that Grandma wore all the time. This was an everyday dress and while I am sure she wore other dresses for the purpose too, I always remember her as wearing one made of this fabric when we butchered chickens.
Among the many, many pieces of jewelry I received are two broaches which are now on my jean jacket. The posy broach is one I got from my Mom several years back the other two are from Grandma. The flower one is probably an inexpensive enamel thing but it pleases me for its retro feel. My favorite by far is the beaded and jeweled fancy. It is something that someone put together out of bits and pieces of old jewelry and wired onto an older broach. My Mom thinks perhaps it came to Grandma from Dorothy B.
One of the treasures I brought home with me is this embroidered "Home Sweet Home" hanging. My Mom thinks it was done my Great Aunt M. I remember her vaguely, as a bent and crooked woman always in a simple house dress styled dress with a white cardigan with knee high nylons instead of the then popular panty hose. I do know that she was a fabulous embroiderer, as a result when I embroider, I think of her and of my Mom's painstaking efforts (because I was a rebellious and difficult student) to teach embroidery to me.
The first day of spring arrived unnoticed by me while I was in Kansas. For us in this great northern land - the last chance of frost is about a week before Memorial weekend. So we relish each little sign as it arrives. One favorite omen of spring is that little pleasure known as pussy willows - we pick them and carry them home, however, they are not permitted in the house as they cause my hubby's lungs to close completely. These are actually big fuzzy birch buds and they remind me of a fanciful drawing of pussy willows with furry kittens for the buds - which remind me of the wonderful Margaret Wise Brown Book - "Pussy Willow."
As I sit here, I can hear the results of one of our happy spring rituals. Eight windchimes hang in various locations around the house. On the front porch is on of the beautiful tuned chimes - the rest of our chimes are thrift store finds.
My husband teases me by saying that I must be trying to drive away evil spirits. All I know is that it is a spring ritual that I love. And my girls love.
Do you remember when I talked of feeling as if the language I spoke growing up is understood by no one? In one respect that is true, as children grow they learn more about their parent's childhood and they realize how different and alien it is from their own. And so their accent will always be different than our own. Yet, those who speak our language best are the ones who live with us and in the end that is home. Home is life with those who journey with us on our road to the cross.