Friday, November 29, 2013

333/365 Grateful for Legacy


It's funny where the mind goes when you think of legacy.  My first thought was to cookbooks.  Though I don't have any of my mother's cookbooks, I do have some recipe cards that she made for me that are in her handwriting.  I also have Weber's mother's cookbook, the one with all of the handwritten favorites on scraps of paper and those recipes cut from packages, magazines and newspapers.  Every family has a cookbook like this.  They are treasures because family recipes shared at family meals are the backbone of most family memories.  Even though I believe all of this whole-heartedly,  I went a different direction with today's photo.

As a crafter, I also believe that many family traditions live on in those things made and crafts shared. As babies, my girls were wrapped in the same afghan that my grandmother knitted for me when I was born.  They also had one knitted by mother.  Should they have children of their own someday, another generation will share in this legacy.  We can learn so much about those who came before us by looking at the things they made.

The photo above is Weber's mother's sewing cabinet.  It was made by his grandfather for his grandmother.  Though Weber's mother died in 1980, the cabinet's content have remained almost untouched since then.  It still contains all of her sewing notions.  This is another way for me to learn something about a woman I never met.

By looking at the spools of thread I can tell something about her favorite colors, or at least the colors she liked to wear.  And the button drawer is fascinating.  It is full of leftover packaged buttons from things I assume she made.  There is also an assortment of buttons that look like they were removed from garments before they were discarded.  Then there are the extra buttons that come with store-bought clothing.  I had fun not too long ago digging through the drawer of buttons to find just the right ones for a baby sweater that I made.

My skills as a seamstress stopped with toddler sundresses.  (The clothes I make are only suitable for someone moving too quickly for anyone to notice the imperfections.)  So, I will never use the items in the sewing cabinet in the ways that they were once used.  I will, however, always look first to the button drawer when looking for just the right buttons for a knitted sweater.  And, the thread comes in handy when I have to sew on that occasional button.

I wonder if someone will dig through my yarn stash someday and try to figure out what kind of person I was.  There will be no question about my favorite color.  Hopefully I won't be the person who is remembered as the one who never seemed to finish anything!  Maybe I should leave just one sock unfinished to spur on the next generation of knitters.