The last weeks have brought both joy and sadness to our home.
Christmas brought my son and his family,
and the joy of sharing a second birthday with a grandson I never dreamed of having. Seeing my own "baby" as a great dad is a joy only those of you who have experienced this can probably understand. Being a grandmother (or "Mimi", as I have chosen) is an honor I hope I can live up to. Having almost no memories of my own grandmothers, I want to give this child the memories I wish I had. Sharing our snowy world with a beach baby was just the greatest...and for the first time in my life, I discovered the joy of sledding. I'm already planning for our next snowy adventure together.
Two days after Christmas, my mother in law passed away, so we found ourselves heading to the mid west for both her funeral and a long overdue visit with the family.
She was a farm wife.
..that special breed of super woman who has helped build this country without asking for recognition. Her life was not easy, but she had a loving husband and family to give her strength. She raised four great children, had a long and happy marriage, and in her free moments, tatted, crocheted, and quilted.
I will always remember the first time we met. I sat next to her while she held her tatting shuttle and thread and her fingers just flew, all the while engaged in conversation. I had seen Charles Kuralt do an homage to the art of tatting...interviewing women around the country and surmising that this could become a lost art one day. Armed with this inspiration, I sat next to her for four days, shuttle and thread in hand. My father in law sat across the room watching me, telling me what I was doing wrong. I persisted. Hard head that I am, on day four I finally heeded his advice and succeeded. I happily tatted an edging for my god daughter's christening gown, but never picked up the shuttle again. One day, perhaps. I've saved my little shuttle collection, as I have so many other things...a link to a past I long for.
Our time on the farm was brief, but was the wake up call I needed to remember what it means to be with family, especially during times like these.
This is a strong family who has been farming in this area for many generations. We spent some quiet time at the local cemetery, visiting the graves of a great grandfather who came to this country, long ago, from Germany and started his family's history in this country. I saw a recent grave of a young man who most likely gave his life in Iraq, and the grave of someone's baby from long ago...their hopes and dreams for this child ending abruptly at such a young age.
I saw the bleakness of winter there, and once caught a glimpse of the winter sun trying to break through...more reminders of how hard these families work to keep their family farms from ending up being countless more houses and subdivisions. I stopped to photograph a neighboring barn to share with you.
I love barns and wish I could travel the country, at leisure, photographing those that are left.
I'm sure this new year holds lots of happiness and promise for all of us. I see it as a new beginning for both Taos Sunflower and my own personal, creative desires. I look forward to hearing from you, hearing about your own work, and yet again being inspired by the strength we have in our pursuits.
Happy new year,
P.S. Many thanks to Cheryl Krementz for the generous nod in the current issue of Vogue Knitting about this blog...as well as my thanks to you for the support to keep me inspired to keep writing.