4.13.2010

get ready for something super sappy



Back when my grammy Ruth Wiksten moved into the nursing home, I was the one who got to take home all of her boxes and boxes of sewing supplies, knitting needles, fabrics, etc.  (I will probably never have to buy another sewing needle as long as I live!)  Sifting through her collection of things and discovering remnants of past projects was inspiring.  Her impeccable taste, creative drive, and hard work was evident.  Initially it made me sad that she would never need any of those supplies ever again, but now I see it a different way.  I'm so lucky because not only am I the recipient of her boxes of supplies, but I'm also the recipient of her knowledge and passion for sewing and creating.  She shared by spending afternoons teaching me and guiding me through projects with a loving heart.  Although her passion for sewing is no longer a part of her life, she made it a part of mine, so it's not like it's really gone.  It's just been transferred.  How cool is that?

The other day I was searching for more pins for draping, and I opened one of Grammy's boxes of fabrics (pictured above).  I was immediately hit with the scent of her home.  I'd had that box for over a year, and all of the fabrics still smelled exactly like Grammy's house!  My immediate reaction was to start crying as the memories consumed me.  I really miss our time together.  I don't know when I'll see her next, but I think of her often.  I even have a picture of her in my wallet, ha!  It looks like a small school photo, and it was taken a few years ago for her church directory.  If my scanner was working I'd show it to you.  But this one is nice too--shows off that twinkle in her eye.

28 comments:

Darling Dexter said...

jenny, this was a really touching post -- thanks for sharing :)

from lara said...

this is so sweet. my grandmother's house has a distinct smell as well. as soon as i smell it on a piece of clothing or fabric, i know it's been there. grandparents are such special people. we can learn so much from them :)

Jess said...

this is so sweet and hits really close to home for me - I also was the recipient of all my Grandmother's sewing supplies and even now, two years later, some of them still smell of her house. My reaction is exactly the same, totally overwhelmed with those memories!

And her name is Ruth as well.

What you said is so true - that the passion for sewing has been transferred, and that is so great!

sarah said...

this made me teary. it's so wonderful. grammies are the best. i have my grandpa's old cologne bottle. it's the only thing i insisted on having when he passed. every time i open it he's there with me. ok i'm teary again. thanks so much for sharing. this post triggered wonderful memories.

Jocy said...

Not sappy, but loving and touching! How wonderful that she shared her gift with you and her love of garments. You are lucky!

Anastasia said...

What a lovely post and what a treasure to have all of your grandmothers sewing supplies and tools. It would be lovely memento to make a quilt from all of her wonderful scraps.

Melinda Josie said...

This was such a sweet post. Thanks so much for sharing it. My grandma passed away this past year, and I inherited a lot of her old sewing books and notions, so I can relate. My things smell like my grandparents home too!

mon ami said...

This is a lovely post. I always find it touching when you talk about your relationship with your Grandma.

I inherited a lot of fabric from my Grandma and I keep it all packed away together so that when I open up the bag I can smell her all over again. I love that the fabric will live on in my clothes, my daughters clothes and other sewing projects to come.

Thanks for sharing
xo

ellybeth said...

look at me over here, blubbering as if she's my grammy too. i've really got to stop listening to jónsi.

the memories you share of her are really precious, and your grammy sounds so dear. i desperately hope that i get the chance to meet her.

UNIFORM Studio said...

you are a very good person jenny.

Hollie said...

what a sweet post. I often find myself opening my grandma's old purses she gave me just to remember what her house smelled like. It's truly amazing what our senses can do to us.

HL said...

I've been missing my grandmas!!! But they're really gone:(

House of Milk said...

This one got me a bit misty-eyed. I also cherish each thing from my grandmother, especially the things that still smell like her home. Thanks for sharing :)

Sharon said...

what is it about grammys? they have a scent, a way and a love that never really goes completely away...and if you are lucky enough to have a few grammy possessions to use then pass on, it's almost as if grammy lives on and on, just like her love.

hibou said...

Goodness! You have really warmed my heart. Thank you for sharing this special piece of your life!

kate / tinywarbler said...

that is such a lovely post and i'm totally choked up! i live far away from my gran.b and i miss her all the time.

J.Loo said...

Aw, that story isn't sappy at all. It's very sweet. It reminds me of my Great G-Ma Peggy. She doesn't live in a nursing home, but she does live in a an elderly apartment complex. She was the one that taught me how to knit and she handed down all her needles to me and her paint brushes & supplies from when she used to paint ceramics. I don't get to see her that often, but when I do I somehow inspire her to get back into making things.

Amy said...

What a lovely skill to share with your Grandma - she's looks adorable too. I inherited my gran's knitting needles when she passed away, and there are a few pairs that make me think of her every time I use them. You're very lucky to have such a talented Grandma! Xxx

Victoria said...

Clicking on the photo of your grammy brought a smile to my face, but it also reminded me of a conversation I heard of my 6 year old daughter's earlier in the week.

On Monday her best friend came to our house before school and as they were sitting at the breakfast table they were talking about so many things. The girls are very affectionate with each other and at one point they flung their arms around each other for a hug. My Ella pulled her head up and said "your jacket smells like your house". She went on to say "did you know that everyone's house smells different? I love the smell of mine the very best."

jorth said...

Transferred - that's such a wonderful way of looking at it :)

stephanie renee said...

aww jenny, you are going to make me cry. i can totally share with your sentiment. my grandmother pretty much raised me and started teaching me to sew when i was little all the way through college when she passed. there is nothing i miss more than our time spent working on projects together. i feel the same way though, like her creative passion lives on through me.

ashima said...

I love this tribute -- so heartfelt. I find that the most beautiful things in life are often really corny, sappy. But that's all semantics. All I know is that it is posts like these that make me pick up an age-old tradition of craft and making. I once packed crochet and knitting needles to a 20-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean so that my Mom can teach me. She can look at a doily and instantly reproduce it. No patterns. We have lost that I think and it's such a shame. Something about the image of the homemaker and domestic arts has some kind of stigma of uncoolness to some, as if it were some kind of resistance to the feminist movement. But there was something about our grandmothers' practice of a skill that is at its core beautiful and I love that you take the time to celebrate that. Thanks Jenny! And good thought to grandma wiksten.

Anne Living Life said...

Very sweet. thanks for sharing.

Princess J said...

what a blessing you had in spending time with your grandmother and a beautiful gift to pass from generation to generation.

littlemissmina said...

what a blessing you had in time with your grandmother and a gift passed on for generations.

caroline said...

I just wanted to say that this and your nightgown post were really lovely. She must be so happy that you're still practicing (and passing on to others) the techniques you learned from her.

Kristien said...

Jenny, you wrote such a heartfelt tribute to your grandmother. It really made me miss my Grammy. My Grammy passed away when I was nine, but I can still so clearly remember the things she shared with me and taught me when I was a little girl. Your grammy must be so proud of you. I imagine that it must have made her transition to the nursing home easier to know that you would take care of some of her most treasured possessions and carry on her passion for sewing and creating. She is a beautiful woman and she looks very wise...I can see the twinkle!

Michelle said...

This really is a lovely post. I inherited some of my Gramma's sewing supplies when she died last summer... and they still have the wonderful smell of her house as well. I have to admit I haven't made too many things with her old fabrics since she died, I get sad that there won't be any more, and worry that I won't do the fabric justice with what I sew from it. I want to create heritage items, things that will outlast me just like the fabrics have outlasted her life here on earth. I am glad and thankful though, that as you say, the love for sewing was transferred.