Sunday, November 23, 2008

As the anniversary of my grandma's passing was approaching this week, I was drawn to pull out one of the several boxes of old photos that are kept on a closet shelf. Most of the photos are not labeled which sadly means that many of the people and places I cannot identify. Still if they were important enough for Grandma and Mom to hold on to then they are important to me, as well.
Here Grandma is a young woman, many years before I would know her. Based on trying to date the fashion she is wearing, I am guessing she was about 30 in the picture.
Grandma was the fourth of 10 children - 4 girls and 6 boys. This picture has the most family members of any I have found. Grandma is hugging the young man in the uniform, her nephew. He was held as a prisoner of war in WWII. Perhaps this picture was taken when he was safely returned home to his family. My mom is in the dark suit holding her cousin's hand. Also in the photo are my great grandparents and two of my grandma's sisters along with their husbands.
This photo is the one that shows Grandma looking the way I keep her in my mind. Still taken a few years before my birth, this is how she always looked to me.
I love that she's picking flowers. Many of my memories of Grandma are centered around flowers and gardening. She tended a rose garden and admired the gardens of her friends. At the county fair she wanted to spend all her time in the floral arrangements or textile displays. Grandma taught me how to embroider which gave me a lifelong love of working with my hands making things for home or gifts.
My first completed piece is this potholder stitched on an old flour sack and filled with a worn out wash cloth. I can still remember the pride I felt when the ladies at Grandma's weekly sewing circle made a big fuss over my work.
Grandma and I only had 14 years together but I feel like she's here with me every day. While she would probably be a little disappointed in how I tend my rose bushes, I think she would be mostly proud of how I've grown up. I hope I can pass on the things I learned from her to the generations to come.

20 comments:

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Libby such a lovely trivute to your grandma. Love the old photos...sadly have very few... because of a fire in my parents home. But wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing them.

Stina said...

Loved to read about you and your Grandma... thanks for sharing... I had a specail relationship to my grandmother too...she was the one who sewed and crafted in my family...and I have always felt a great bond with her.. she passed away almost two years ago...and still miss her...

Joyce said...

Your grandma sounds like a wonderful person. I hope that I can be of equally good influence on my grandchildren.

MARCIE said...

That just touches my heart Libby! Hold on to those photos, even tho you can't identify some people. Just look at how technology is making it easier to not even develop photos. They represent a time long past that we will enjoy seeing years from now. And a standard of attire that may never again surface!

Judy said...

I love seeing old photos, I agree with Marcie,people don't develop film anymore and that's sad. It strikes me how thin that young man is after being held prisoner. I was lucky to have my grandparents for much longer and she also was the one who taught me everything I know about sewing and needleworks. Only I wanted to learn out of 6 grandchildren and sadly it will all die with me when I go.

Such a nice reminder of your time with your gradnmother!

Juliann in WA said...

What lovely memories of your grandmother. I hope you have written them down so they won't get lost.

Julie said...

What a coincidence that you are waxing nostalgic today as am I. I, too, have old photos of family with relatives unidentified. When my last grandparent died the identities were lost forever since Dear Mom couldn't identify them. Just knowing they were family is enough for me to cherish the photos and save them.

Your Grandma would be very proud of you and of the Princess, the scholar, too!

quiltmom said...

Hi Libby,
What a lovely story about your grandmother- Grandmothers often have special relationships with their grandchildren. I am the oldest grandchild and I had a very young grandmother- SHe was 40 when I was born.. I had the good fortune of having her as part of my life until I was nearly 47. I miss her still 5 years later- She was not a quilter but she was a wonderful cook- most of all she loved me unconditionally. It was a great gift that she gave me.
You have celebrated your grandmother's life so beautifully..
Thanks for sharing..
Regards,
Anna

Stephanie D. said...

What a beautiful tribute! I love how she and her friends made such a fuss over your first piece. Where would you be today without those first "attagirls"? I'll bet she is so proud!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I love the old photos Libby. Especially the one of your grandma with the flowers. I too miss my grandma sooo terribly. She was a wonderful lady. As I'm sure yours was.

Lori in South Dakota said...

the shoes and the hair in the first photo make me think 1920's. Am I close? What time period did you pick? She looks quite young--teens??

Catherine said...

What a wonderful tribute to your grandma. There's something almost magical about old photos -- they really can take one back. I often wonder what will happen with all these digital photos, if the memories will have anywhere near the nostalgic quality.

Julze said...

*sniff* thanks for sharing your special and precious memories. I miss my Nana...she went to be with the Lord 8 years ago.

Screen Door said...

You should frame the first photo. It was back when ladies looked like "ladies". Really touched me....thanks for sharing.

Julia said...

Oh my goodness, what a sweet tribute to your sweet Grandmother! I love the old photos, especially the one of her sitting on the step. Priceless!!
Thanks for sharing this important part of your life. :~)

Knot Garden said...

It's so nice that the potholder you made has been kept and you still have it. In teaching you how to embroider, your Grandma taught you a skill for life. I bet she would be so proud of all you have achieved in your sewing!
She looks such an elegant lady in the pictures.

Janet said...

Thanks for sharing about your Grandma. Your old pictures are wonderful. I was thinking about my Grandma this week too - I've been trying to photograph some of her quilts - I wish I could ask her about them - sort of like how you wish you could ask about the pictures.

Kathy Wagner said...

Lovely memories of your Grandmother. I enjoyed seeing the old photos...especially the one of your Grandma picking flowers and the old car in the background.

Carole said...

What a wonderful tribute to your grandma. I love looking at old photographs. My grandfather was a shutter bug. Took lots of photos of mum and family. I have most of the negatives. I'm so old fashion! I did print a few but now that my darkroom is packed away in my closet... One day it will be set up again. I love black & white/sepia photos. There's something about sitting and turning the pages of a photo album. The computer just doesn't do it for me. Memories are precious! Thank you for sharing!

Perry said...

Thank you for sharing your grandmother with us. It makes me want to find the pictures of my grandmother that I have somewhere. I spent several summers with mine and had such a wonderful time. She passed away a long time ago but I still miss her a lot.