Friday, August 12, 2011

The Heart in it all

Today I was making my family a normal lunch.  Which for us consists of Madeline having Ramen Noodles (her favorite), Kent a hot dog, slice of cheese and chips, and Macey a turkey and cheese sandwich with chips.  Yes, its interesting how we all eat different stuff around here, but hey they were all happy, and I was happy to have happy kids.  And silence reined supreme... for a while little while. During this epically quiet moment, as I constructed myself a sandwich stuffed with tomato, pickle, cheese, and turkey I begin to reminisce.  The reason I love ham/turkey/chicken and cheese sandwiches with all the fixings so much, is that every time I fix or eat a sandwich piled high I picture my Nanna so clearly it almost knocks the breath out of me. 
I have so many fond memories of spending time with her in the kitchen as we made sandwiches so large I couldn't imagine anyone ever being able to fit the entire thing in their mouth.  I loved to sit across from my PaPaw and watch him do just that.  Enjoying every bite until it was nothing but crumbs left on a plate.  He would wash it all down with a drink of Nanna's sweet Texas tea, wipe his hands on the cloth napkin, rise, and kiss my Nanna in thanks as he walked back out the door to work on whatever he had been working on before she called him in to lunch. 
Now, if you sat to eat at my Nanna's table you had a place mat and cloth napkin, because that was how she was raised.  These weren't fancy by any means (those were saved for guests and special meals of course).  The homemade napkins were simple square pieces of fabric hemmed all along the edges, and the same with the place mats which were rectangles hemmed up.  Multiples of  about five different coordinating colors were all kept in the same drawer.  You can take a guess as to whose job it was to set these out at each meal, a ritual I loved to do.  These were things she made herself.  You see, what we call our hobby and crafting she called a way of life.  I loved to hear her stories of the Great Depression and the memories she had of the Second World War.  Believe it or not they rationed CHOCOLATE! (I couldnt even fathom that as a child and as an adult its still hard to believe.)  Because of her experiences as a little girl she sewed.  Not for fun, but because she was taught if it got a hole in it you put a patch in it, and if a button fell off you sewed another in its place.  I learned to sew on buttons from her, and I would help her replace missing buttons on my PaPaw's shirts. 
She created homemade various holiday decorations before it became popular/fashionable to do so.  She loved it.  She wasn't even spectacular at it, but everything she made, was made out of love.  She would measure me to make me dresses, pajamas, and who knows what else.  She made dolls for me from patterns, and I loved them.  She was the typical country sewing Nanna, and was so much fun just to be with. 
So today, my first day back from my family vacation, as I felt my hands itching to blog, and trying to decide what craft to share.  I thought instead I would share my memories of one of the most important women in my life.  I miss her so much, but her love of working with her heart has lived on through me and through my equally crafty (more talented if you ask me) cousin Kayla.  Thank You Nanna!

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