Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. February 2015
Recently, we bloggers were asked if we could perhaps write on grand parenting as September contains Grandparents Day. Many of our fellow residents ARE grand-and great-grandparents. We are not, so I thought I’d leave that to someone who knew what they were talking about. Many friends have asked how it will be being surrounded by aging folks (not that we aren’t aging) and no youngsters. Well, this is not something I ever worried about. I was essentially raised by my Grandma and spent much terrific time with her and her cronies. Now I find I am more comfortable with older folks than babies, kids and younger people, and I am comfortably fitting in here.
We have been in residence in our independent living home now for almost two years. We, like most everyone else, are trying to divest ourselves of all our boxes and get “keep-able” stuff stowed. In this process I unearthed a box of blankets and bed linens that we obviously have gone this long without needing. BUT, there in the middle was the 65+ year old summer weight quilt that my Grandma made for me (along with one for each of her 5 other grandchildren). Sadly, the side edges were starting to fray and it seemed a shame to recycle something with so many memories.
So, I got busy, not just organizing my spools of thread and bobbins that were clogging a useable drawer, but hand stitching on a seam binding of like color. A neighbor inspired me to put the spools on the wall and I found a spool frame at Joann’s, since my guy already has 5 projects in the works and no time to make one for me from dowels.
I am not really a quilter, but at the age of 7 or 8, I remember sitting on Grandma’s porch with a bag of remnants of her old blouses, dresses or Grandpa’s shirts and cutting out a gazillion leaf shapes from a template she made me. After school, or on weekends when she sat and quilted, there we would be. Now, 65+ years later, I see that she entirely hand-sewed the quilt and so I plied my not-so-perfect hand to hand stitching the edging on. Here we are, my faithful cat, Meela helping me.
I have another funny story about my Grandma. She had ladies over often for “Sheephead,” or “Schafkopf” in her native German, a betting card game played mostly in the Fox RiverValley in Appleton, WI. They played penny a point and at 5 years old, I was the “banker.” I’d sit and listen to all their tales and I learned money values fast while making change!!! That was after Grandma found out that Grandpa had often taken me to his “local,” where I would dance on the bar in my fancy little shoes and dress when I was 3 and 4 years old. I got quarters from his buddies and he opened a savings account for me. She almost killed him when she heard from one of his guys what I had been doing!!! So banking for gambling ladies was my next venue!!! How different that was from dancing on the bar for money, I am not sure. But that was HER thing.
So, the quilt find chased me down memory lane, perhaps not enough to begin quilting myself in earnest, but a fun project nonetheless. Other linens got recycled, but I am keeping this special one with all the memories wrapped up in it.