Wednesday, March 28, 2007

home coming

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.


  1. Hi Me, Yay, your'e introspective again : ) Seriously, i have been very moved by your recent posts Me. It really DOES feel like a homecoming--or rather you bringing your homecoming home. It feels deeply healing.

    For some reason i am mived by the picture of your little angel windchime. It feels youngly vulnerable and yet so hopeful at the same time, and for some reason i just love picturing it on your porch as all this is happening.

    And don't even get me started on that amazing quilt, you have SUCH a treasure there : )

    A Blessed Week <>< Wendy

  2. oh what treasures! And that they are from family makes them serious weak-knee material. The quilt and the broaches are just too precious. Thanks for sharing.

  3. The quilt is beautiful. My great grandmother's quilts grace my children's beds. (A hint for cleaning vintage quilts from a antique dealer I worked with who works with vintage materials--lay it on the floor and vaccuum it--do not wash in the washer. If you must wash it, soak it in the tub lay lay flat in the sun, white side up, to dry.) The wind chimes bring back memories of my grandparents house, where windchimes graced every empty spot--my grandmother moved this fall and I am to take some of the windchimes from the house as soon as I am well enough.

  4. Anonymous4:27 AM

    Such beautiful things Me thank you for sharing them. I love the quilt...I wish I could...sorry...would quilt ;)


  5. Anonymous6:58 AM

    Thank you for sharing so much heart. It has helped me with my own missed homecoming.


  6. I've saved up your "homecoming" posts and sat down tonight to read them all together. You have such a way of expressing yourself; it's lovely to read. Your thoughts on memories and the shared quotes are quite profound [ie. memory is a monster ...]. My husband and I have lived most of our married life away from family. Going home has an "out of time/out of place" feel to it -- more for me maybe than him because my parents still live in the same house/town/state I grew up in. I found it interesting how in this last post -- you transitioned from memories of past home -- to what you carried from that home to your current home [treasures all of them] -- and then into your current life with your own family [spring and windchimes]. You've been on quite a journey. Blessings ((Me))!

  7. Oh, what pretty, meaningful things. I love the quilt! And what a treasure by which to remember your grandmother--really incredible... Thank-you for sharing your journey with us...Blessings, Debra

  8. 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.

    I am not easily brought to tears (when not pregnant) but these words hold a deep and secret wish, to have home with these choosen few.

    thank you, Krina