I grew up two miles down the road from my great grandparents. It is with pride that I say that I am their great granddaughter. It is because of them that I want my children to cultivate relationships with their grandparents and great grandparents. Not everyone has grandparents. And not everyone who has grandparents have the good kind. And not everyone with the good kind get the chance to know their grandparents. I am fortunate on all three counts.
Great grandma was a teacher. Before she married grandpa she taught in one of those little one room school houses in Montana. And she never lost that passion for learning and she never lost that soft spot for little children. She loved them and loved watching them learn and grow. She had stories about all of us and how she watched us learn. Her favorite story about me was when she was babysitting me when I was between one and two years old. She tried to show me how to stack blocks. I kept knocking them over and then she had to go do something in the kitchen. She came back to find my trying to stack the blocks. That was her favorite part of the story and she always sat a little taller when she told that part.
If I had to pick just one word to describe great grandma it would be gentle. She was gentle to the core of her being and back again. I don't know if anyone can recall her ever being frustrated or angry or uset. I don't recall her ever raising her voice or being short or sharp in her words. She was always quiet and deliberate and kind.
Great grandma and great grandpa were married for 71 years. About 10 years ago great grandpa died. Great grandma moved in with my grandparents and in the move *things* found other homes. Great grandma, her daughter, and her son, my grandpa, thought that I should have this:
Grandma took beautiful care of everything she owned. And this little machine is no exception. It's perfect. And being the born-again seamstress that I am, I was excited and honored to receive such a precious gift.
Yesterday I went up to the annual Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington like I do every year just to look around and get ideas and, just as importantly, get away from the house for the day. I took Violet this year and packed her around in my trusty Goose. I got tons of compliments from grandmas and had fun just looking around and visiting with a couple of my sewing friends.
In my search for fun things, I found this book:
Grace is 5 now and after looking through the book, I decided it would be something she would really enjoy. So I purchased it. And on the way home I hatched a plan. I was going to set up the little kid table we've had in the garage since the move and use grandma's Featherweight and get Grace sewing. The Featherweight is a perfect *little* machine for little people. It's small. It's a real machine. It doesn't go 100 miles an hour and it is the same machine they use as a model in the book. Plus, the thought of Grace learning on great grandma's machine, the grandma she shares a name with, just makes me smile big happy smiles.
My plan was to get it all set up today, but Grace just couldn't wait. So, I decided I wasn't going to make her. Last night we got the table out and set up the machine and got the book out and started to go through it. It's such a great book! And before I knew it, this was happening:
The turkey is a natural! Look at her concentrate.
To sew you follow a certain rhythm. Maybe it's from years of hearing the rhythm daily, but she's got the rhythm.
I've always maintained that if you can sew a straight line, you can sew just about anything. This girl can sew a striaght line. That one with the arrow that I wrote *perfect* by was the one she ended on last night. It really was perfect. She went to bed one proud little girl.
And today she learned how to sew curves and turn corners.
Tomorrow she's going to thread the machine and make a little star pillow. She's got the fabric all picked out and everything. And after that, there are all sorts of other shapes she can do, too. Like hearts and dinosaurs and moons and airplanes and bears and birds and trees. She can barely contain herself she's so excited.
And her little sister is not too far behind.
I think great grandma is probably smiling. I hope she is. I hope she is smiling and sitting tall and proud. And I hope that I can tell these girls how special this experience really is.
After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.