Before I begin with my post, I want to let all my friends and readers know that my bracelets and flower pins and clips will now be on display to sell at Fretta’s here in Elkhart, booth 79. This is the annual Tri Kappa antique show here and all the antique malls are getting ready for the out-of-town shoppers that just might wander into our local booths. Please pray that I will soon become a regular with my designs around town…
Now onto the story of Grandma Lottie.
I don’t know about you but I love to look at old pictures. It never ceases to amaze me how God puts His fingerprint onto each of our lives in a unique yet recognizable way.
If you look at pictures of your grandparents or parents when they were children or young adults, you almost certainly can recognize them even though you didn’t know them then. I also enjoy thinking back in my childhood remembering times that make me feel good, times that warm my heart. Hugs from Grandma, piggy-back rides from Grandpa and my Dad sitting my sister and I on his lap to read the Sunday comics; these all make me smile.
My Dad’s mother was named Charlotte, Lottie for short. She was an outspoken woman, she used phrases like “clean your grub-hooks before dinner”, “wipe off your mud-hooks before walking on my clean floors” and “he was such a physic-face!”. She would go home after supper to wash her ‘wool’ and if it was raining she wore her ‘babushka’. Grandma’s outspokenness often embarrassed Dad and his brother, I know this from the stories that he would tell.
Grandma had a way of looking at life as if she was looking through the carnival mirrors, you know the ones that distort you in funny ways, the ones we used to laugh at when the circus would come to town. Her stories were always so colorful and so alive that you couldn’t just walk away.
When Grandma started telling one of her stories you were hauled in on a line and you were at the mercy of the story, you were glued to Grandma’s yarn. To other people those memories in her stories would be just a memory, nothing more. More than that Grandma made them all seem so much more alive. When she told her stories we didn’t need television or games or anything else, we just sat around and listened and laughed.
Grandma’s life was not all fun though, she had some hard times in her life. Her younger brother died when he accidently shot himself running across a hunting ground to greet his Dad’s train—Great Grandpa was a conductor. She spoke of that often.
She had a six-year-old brother who loved school and one day he was too ill to go to school. She recounted how he said he was sad to miss school that day. Later in the day he passed away as his father rocked him in his arms. They were waiting for the doctor.
Grandma’s first child died soon after birth. All these things colored her outlook, but never darkened her ways. She was a resilient woman.
Grandma had to help support the family. She married Grandpa who was a wounded WWI veteran, back then you didn’t get benefits for being wounded. Grandpa almost died in France, half of his shoulder was gone and he was disabled after the war.
Grandpa worked, but Grandma would do laundry for some of the wealthier citizens in town, she would sew wedding gowns, prom dresses and curtains.
She made homemade soap for her laundry in the basement and had the cleanest clothes in town. She quit doing laundry for money after she was told by one of her clients that she could no longer come to the front door with the clothes. She figured if she was good enough to do their laundry, she was good enough to use the front door, lol, and that was the end of her laundry career!
That was my Grandma, Lottie. She loved life, loved her family and loved the Lord. God was good to me when he placed me in her family.
I pray that each one of you has pictures in your minds that you can go to, that can warm your hearts on cold days. I thank God for my heritage and all the Godly people who played a part in my life. Blessings to you this week as you make your own memories.
Fabrics intrigue me…The textures…colors…and uses are very interesting to me. I am my Grandmother’s child. She also loved fabrics and collected a yard here and a yard there. She would travel with my Grandfather to different states and would purchase fabric in almost every state.
As a child I would go into her ‘sewing closet’, where she stored her fabrics and dream about how she chose each fabric. It didn’t take much prodding to get Grandma talking about her fabrics, they were chosen with great thought.
Grandma would seldom make anything from her fabrics, they were her prizes, stored away with great pride and much dreaming—and no, I wasn’t able to persuade her to part with any of them. They were probably distributed to her nieces when she packed to move in with Mom and Dad—that makes me sad to think I don’t have one piece of her cherished fabrics.
Like Grandma, I enjoy looking at vintage fabrics and I love creating new things from old. I am now using some vintage fabrics and buttons to create fabric flowers. You can pin them onto purses, sweaters or wear them in your hair. They can be sewn onto bags or clothing or curtains or anything!
Each fabric has its own personality just like you and I. They are unique and different, they can be used to make different kinds of flowers. The buttons are also vintage or ‘found’ items that I use along with the vintage fabrics. Hope you enjoy!
My father was fiercely loyal to people he knew to be good. His first priority was family. He taught my sister and me to be loyal to those who we also knew to be good and supportive of our lives. I remember driving across town to Uncle Oscar’s gas station to fill our gas tanks. It was a weekly ritual that our family always made time to take the drive and fill our tank, chat with Uncle Oscar and the guys who hung around the station. Occasionally Dad would give us a dime to use for a pop or a candy bar—back in the days before quick marts were ever even thought of.We used to visit cousins who ran a local Studebaker garage and auto sales business. My Dad would reach down and pick me up to set me on the cashier counter to talk with the women—more cousins—that worked inside the office; and YES he did buy a Studebaker from them. We did this even when we didn’t need repairs on our old Studebaker.
Years later he and Mom would move to a small town to live where they shopped and ate in the local businesses down the street from their home. He would often say “support the community”. He enjoyed helping others because that’s what we are all about.
For the most part small businesses are not as plentiful as in my younger days. I guess I still adhere to my Dad’s philosophy more than not. I do shop American when I can and often avoid new items in favor of used. I find that when I buy at thrift shops and garage sales, my money stays within our community. It doesn’t leak out to other foreign entities. To me this is America, this is loyalty and how we can survive here in America.
I try to incorporate vintage into my works as much as possible. When I use new items in my items I try to buy in America, even if it has to be made elsewhere, that way I keep the money flowing HERE. This is my philosophy and what makes my business green. Please join me in keeping our money in America where we can employ Americans to help us in our businesses.
Hope you can join me in these thoughts and maybe comment about your feelings.