Family Ties


Christmas is a good time for memories. My grandparents are all gone on to Heaven, so memories are all I have. Memories and the “things” they gave me to remember […]

Christmas is a good time for memories. My grandparents are all gone on to Heaven, so memories are all I have. Memories and the “things” they gave me to remember them by. Aren’t those things special? A keepsake teacup, or dish. Paintings…

The other night, the auger that feeds corn into our corn stove froze up, causing the bracket that supports the auger’s motor to break. My dh was outside till 2 am, in the cold, fixing it. Thankfully, he’s able to fix things like that and keep us warm and cozy. The house was pretty cold though, having gone all day with the stove broken. I lay inside on the couch waiting up for him, wrapped in a bulky afghan that my paternal grandma crocheted for me when I was seven years old. My semi-hazy thoughts in the Christmas light-lit living room centered on her beautiful gnarled hands as they determinedly crocheted this blanket for me, her last grandchild. Her arthritis had to have been killing her, but she’d made one for all her other grandkids, and she pushed through to complete one for me. I even got to pick the colors…a predominately white background, with the big formed flowers in red, leaves green. It’s perfect for Christmas. During December and January, I bring it out of the hope chest and drape it over the back of my recliner…dear Grandma love.

Also, with my dishwasher on the fritz, I’ve been handwashing my little heart out…Grandma’s way. Once my dish drainer is full (I have a huge farm sink, porcelain with two sides, and I keep my dish drainer on the righthand side) I heat water to boiling in my teapot and pour it over all the drying dishes. Grandma’s old-timey way of making sure the germs burned off… :O)

I spent more time with this grandma. She wasn’t the “play with you” kind, but she was full of godliness and good work ethic. I remember raking leaves with her once, and wishing I hadn’t offered. I was pretty young, and the rake was leaving huge blisters on my palms. Grandma told me, “A job worth beginning is a job worth finishing.” Sigh. So true, and a lesson that has stayed with me in many ways.

As I write, Anne of Green Gables is playing in the background. Is there any better movie for memories? Sections of it still have tears welling up in my eyes…I was a bit older than my oldest when that series featuring the beautiful Megan Follows aired on PBS. What fun we had gathering around the TV evenings to watch it. Mom and Dad were super picky, and rightly so, about TV watching, so it’s one of my only memories of parent-approved fare for the whole family.

Well, I think we’re ready for Christmas. Did a last gingerbread house yesterday, dipped a bag full of pretzels in almond bark, finished a calligraphy project and survived cutting a mat for it (haven’t lost my touch, oh yeah. just kidding, I hated matboard cutting in high school art class!), supervised my six year old’s brainchild of making western coasters and laminating them, and wrapped the last of the packages. Two year old’s quilted stocking is sewn (yep, took me 2 years!)…and we even had time for two 100 piece puzzles, and a Christmas drawing contest, me and the four girlies on the couch.

What are your favorite memories of Christmas?

3 replies on “Reflecting”

My grandma crocheted all her grandchildren blankets also. I still have mine and use it all the time. She also knitted Christening blankets and gowns for each granchild…for their children. I’ve only taken the beautiful white blanket out four times. Each time I had a photo taken with it drapped over my baby’s head.

Just yesterday, as I deveined the last shrimp, my back aching, I marveled at my grandmother cooking for hours on Christmas Eve. Homemade Italian bread, fried meatballs, pasta and all kinds of fish! Christmas time is just not the same without her and our big family dinners, but I hope I’ve been able to pass on some traditions to my family.

Like Christmas caroling! The kids went two days in a row around the neighborhood and had a blast!

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