Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Good Reminder

My mom's mom was handy. My grandma could saw the legs off a dining table and make it into a level coffee table in one cut. She would sew quilts for her grandchildren with a sewing machine that she tinkered with herself. She crocheted blankets. She took apart and fixed the washing machine while standing in ankle deep water (I won't mention that the machine was still plugged in). She cooked for a family of eight and still enjoyed cooking for her grandchildren. She knew how to refinish furniture, resurrecting old pieces that had been cast-off by others. She would grab a paintbrush and add color to walls as well as canvases. She did what needed to be done or was at least willing to try.

Whenever I visit my parents I am reminded of my grandma. I recall her willingness to try, and of her creativity. My mom has several things in her home that my grandmother made. The coffee table mentioned above sits in front of their couch. Several of my grandmother's paintings adorn the walls. The quilt on one of the beds was made by my mom with grandma's help. But perhaps my favorite is a needlework piece she made.

I remember the framed embroidery hanging in two of my childhood homes. It had a place of prominence hanging by a rocking chair in the living room or by the front entry. It always struck me. My mom would sit in a rocker just like the picture with my youngest siblings. I would ponder the simple verse and wonder about it. Did my grandma make it because it reminded her of my mom, her only daughter? As I grew older, I started to understand the message. I realized that such a simple verse has so much importance and meaning. My grandmother, herself a mother of six, did not make it because the figure reminded her of my mom. She made it hoping to remind my mom and her future generations that the job of a mother is amazing yet short-lived. She wanted us to remember that

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow...
for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow
so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep...I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep.

6 comments:

  1. I love that verse. Kinda explains my messy house. I'm glad you had such a resourceful and inspirational grandmother! Those are precious memories you shared -- thank you. :)

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  2. Your grandmother was an amazing woman. Truly inspirational, and wise.

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  3. I've always loved that verse, too.
    And, truly, babies don't keep.

    Here's to the womenfolk.

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  5. Do you have any idea where I can purchase one of these? My mom had one in her room when I was a child also.

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  6. @ Krissy - I would suggest checking etsy first. I have seen similar things there. Just search using the phrase "cleaning and scrubbing" HTH

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