Friday, March 16, 2012

Handmade Home: Kitchen Edition

Not long ago my friend Ingrid wrote a post about the treasures she has in her home that were made by hands that are dear to her.  It made me take pause.  Inspired, I began to tiptoe through the room I was in (kitchen), peeking in drawers and cupboards, seeking to find generational blessings.
Day to day doesn't often yield thoughts of pleasure over functional wares, yet during this little treasure hunt I found myself in wonderment at times.  
"Hands that never knew me created this for me to use." 
"Hands that love(d) me wanted me to know it in this simple way."
Smiles kept surfacing.
The potholders (clockwise from upper left):  My mama's 1st sewing projects as a little girl.  Made by me about 5 years ago.  My great grandmother, Rachel, for my mama's trousseau.  Great grandmother, Virgie, for my grandmother's trousseau.
 Toweling and cloths:  Mama with old enamel fabric paints.  Malinda's most awesome dishcloths (she learned from her Grandma Judy- J's mom).  Cross stitched border by great grandma, Rachel.
 Clockwise again:  Honey-butter crock made by me in 8th grade and proudly used by my grandparents for the rest of their days.  Platters made for the kids by Mama.  Bowl made by a prisoner that our uncle was friends with - We sent him a letter (the kids too) and he sent this with our uncle to give to us.  Spoon whittled by my grandfather while he was on board the USS Trenton during WWII.
 2 smaller pics on left: Painting done by a very small Mr. Lumpifumpus (Ingrid's son) for my 37th birthday.  Tea tins re-covered for a decorative flair :) by me.
2 side by side: 1st project my grandma did on her brand new treadle machine after she was married.  Paper rose made by a teenage friend, who may as well be family, for my 41st birthday.
Lastly: 3 aprons, each by a different generation.  Grandma's (pink and green), Great Grandma's (light blue), Mama's (pink with flowers).  And the navy checkered on was made for me as a little girl by Great Grandma Rachel. 
"It is gently and respectfully amusing to me, the DIY buzz  and idealization of the “meaningful, handmade home,” having grown up as I did on a little hippie farm, surrounded by pet goats, chickens, and voluntary simplicity, during a time when this was not much valued by the mainstream culture. I can’t help but wonder if the same mall-clad middle-school girls who mocked my meaningful, handmade clothes in the ’80s are at this very moment earnestly laboring over hand-knits and trying to tap the trees in their backyard."  ~ Ingrid

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Giving the Line Some Slack

I've stepped away.   Nothing was feeling full and vibrant.  There is this deep need tugging at me to find not just rhythms, but rhyme and reason.  To see and feel truth - to get to that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth.
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I've just lived the length of it.  I want to have lived the width and depth and breadth of it as well.  By the end, I want to feel guilty for my complete happiness & satisfaction.
And, on that note, here is what is taking up the slack:
The sun has blessed the mornings.  Endowing glory.  An element of no real purpose other than to shed warmth and light - Wakening my joy.
Hands cupped around steaming mugs we ventured out into the dawning day.  She chatters.  A swift current of stories & giggles as we make our way over thawing ground.
 We look up and all goes still.  Grandeur is perched in our presence.  Awed to whispers.
Home greeted me with more steaming goodness.  There is something remarkable that these grown women have spent their whole lives with me.  That they continue to want to spend life together?  Wonder.

This early thaw outdoors is slowly melting us inwardly.  Kale, mangos, bananas, berries, & spinach are finding themselves being liquified in the blender with increasing frequency. 

 A friend moving to town.  Not that we need an excuse for coffee.  Tastebuds thank me for the coconut milk.  Every. Time.
 New leaves.  The turning over of them - it's occurring ubiquitously.  
 For years long we heard, "When I'm 18 I'm getting a tatoo, piercing my nose, and smoking a pipe!"  18 came 8 months ago.  The only unchecked box is the pipe.  Owned but not yet lit and puffed.
 Blank canvas.
 Guide lines.
 Jimmy Jack.
 Appetite intact.  Sister's wasn't when she viewed the 'aftermath'.
"P R A Y".  Daily reminder.
7:30 - 10 PM.  You aren't seeing things.  A concert at the Ellen, downtown, outside home's 4 walls. Out.  Me.  -  Truth.
& Oh! The gratefulness for the going.  Solas.  "Light".  Entrancing light.
Seamus, Mick, Winn, Eamon, Niamh.  Plans have formed for M to wed an Irishman. 
Afternoons sprawling on the floor, books open, faithful Rumplesnout curled up close. Snoring.  Vibrations transmitting a sense of life.
"That you are here—that life exists, and identity;   
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse." ~Whitman

Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Finds us farther than to-day.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
   Learn to labor and to wait.~HW Longfellow 

With a heart for any fate...