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Monday, December 7, 2009

Honor

One of my favorite people in the world moved into her new house this weekend, and passed on this hutch:



I'm in love because it's pretty, it provides desperately needed storage and it makes me feel like a grown-up. I normally wouldn't clutter it up so much, but it's Christmas, and there are lots of knick-knacks requiring temporary homes.

This new piece means that I got to unload a kitchen island we have had since forever. While cleaning it out, I found some treasures.

My late Grandma Neuhaus, when she wasn't racing down the mountain roads of her native Colorado, crafting brooms in the family broom factory, or raising three boys and my mother, took time to sew and cross-stitch. My mother passed these pieces on to me awhile back.



I ask you, WHY NOT have whimsical apples in veils and top hats?


Why NOT stitch a flower into a dishrag?

In a life that was filled with so much hardship---two difficult marriages, war, The Depression, meager finances, and poor health---she made beauty out of the daily artifacts of her life.

I don't know if she was a good cook or if she made a beautiful home---come to think of it, I really should ask my mom---but I do know, that as a product of her times, she probably felt a bit boxed in by life's expectations.

I have no doubt that she was smart, and talented, and full of hopes. But yet, she did not have the opportunity to go to college or travel the world. Instead, she lived her life, and found beauty in kitchen cloth, a needle, and thread.

My favorite piece is this:


It's a half-apron, hand-stiched. It's so very Donna Reed, that when I wear it, I long for modest high heels and a billowy skirt.The pearls go without saying.

I love that Grandma Neuhaus's apron was worn by her daughter, and now me. Every time I wipe my hands or dust it with flour, I honor her practicality, her spunk, and her eye for beauty.

16 comments:

My Life in Purple said...

What a great Hoosier Cabinet! Congrats on your new arrival ;)

Corrie Howe said...

I have a few pieces of artwork from my grandmothers. I'll treasure them forever, for the same reason you fancy your prizes.

mama-face said...

As you get older the more you appreciate these things. I appreciate them a whole lot. Especially the gingham apron-love it.

erika said...

You inherited a lot more than beautified fabrics from her; you've got her spirit and spunk and talent and all that Grandma-Neuhaus-ness behind the fabrics. But you already know that :)

blueviolet said...

I would so love these treasures. One of my most favorite possessions is an afghan my grandmother knitted me. You're really quite lucky to have all of that!! :)

I also love the cabinet. Gorgeous piece!

adrienzgirl said...

You must have just gushed when you found those treasures! The apron is magnificent!

won said...

Priceless!

I love the hutch.

Sonya said...

Ohhh that hutch is just so beautiful! I want one sooo bad..I couldnt fit it into my cracker box of a kitchen or anywhere else in my townhouse but when we buy a house..Im so getting one. The dishtowels are amazing. I used to collect those until I moved here and had to leave it all behind.

What wonderful treasures you have!

Bekah said...

This really touched my heart. My mother was a needlecrafter, and when she passed away in 1997 I inhertited several of her pieces, including an apron!

Melani said...

This apron reminds me of my Grandma Rose, she was not blood related. SHe was a neighbor of ours when I was a little girl and she had a red checked apron and when we got into trouble she told us she was going to "put you over my checker board apron and spank you"....LOL she never did!

Kristin said...

That hutch is just lovely. What a score!

4 Lettre Words said...

I have a very similar apron!

LOVE that hutch.

kys said...

I love the hutch and the apron. You look so cute in it.

Iva said...

oohh what a beautiful blue!!

When Did I Become said...

You know lately I've been dabbling in crochet, which I learnt as a child.

I've been doing bits while I put the kids to bed, and various things that I'd otherwise rush through.

It's gotten me thinking about mothers and grandmothers who took the time to do these things. That we looked at as "old women stuff" that we had no time for. How sad that we missed out on what it meant to them, and how it played a part in defining them as mothers, and signified the sacrifice they willing endured.

Love this post. Love that apron.

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