My mother-in-law will be 87 years young this year. She still lives in her home with her husband of 64 years. They've built a life and had four sons. I am married to the youngest. If you ask my father-in-law, he thinks mom has a lot of "stuff" that should be...cleaned out, so they don't have to put it out on the curb when they die. I'm sure he doesn't even know the half of it.
I lovingly call it the "treasure trove," from her craft emporium to the multitude of recipe books, embroidery floss, now vintage fabric and patterns, everything in between, the lovely Depression glass bowls, butter dishes and crocheted doilies, most of which are now lovely vintage crochet items, doilies and runners and the like were crocheted by Aunt Lucy, who was mom's favorite Aunt, my husband's great Aunt, and Godmother. Aunt Lucy was married, and never had children of her own. She was a baker, and loved to crochet, we share the same joys.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Aunt Lucy, but I have more than a few of her treasures in my home, from the lovely Depression fluted rose colored bowl, the delicate, lacy crochet doilies, and even Aunt Lucy's hand written recipes for Cream Puffs, and Coconut Bars from scratch, written in her own hand. One of my favorite and very first items that I was given was a doily crocheted by Aunt Lucy, mom had it placed in a frame, and it was displayed in a place of honor in their home, until she gave it to me a few years ago. It was something that I had admired and loved all these years and I was touched that she gave it to me for our home.
I thought that I had everything for over the years she has been generous with passing these items of beauty and grace to me. Aunt Lucy was an avid crocheter, with thread and a hook, she created lovely dainty doilies, and handkerchief edgings as most women did in the 1920s and 1930s. My dear mother-in-law has kept and preserved these items of this most special and favorite Aunt, until she found in me, someone to care for and carry on with the collection and preservation.
I am the benefactor and safe keeper of these memories for now, to safeguard and pass on to the next generation of hook movers, or appreciators of the beauty of the craft. These are treasures of the hook and heart, and as I care for them for now, someday they will be passed on with their histories to the next generation as it was to me, the history and collections a productive, creative driven life, fashioned up with the hands and heart.
I suppose I'm preaching to the choir, for those of us who create and work with our hands realize that we put some history into each piece we fashion up, it has meaning and we give it life when we create it. It is a beautiful process, and I for one will never take that for granted.
What I find remarkable about all of this is that mom can tell you the "the history" of most everything, all of these items have a timeline that mark a person, place or event of relevance in her life. I have been a grateful recipient of more than a few of these lovely treasures, they are treasures of the heart, and unites us a family.
I'm sure Aunt Lucy never gave much thought when she was making the lovely crochet items, where they would be one day, for her joy was in the making and creating of the handwork. A simple pleasure to be sure. As I myself crochet in a similar matter making items with now vintage patterns for potholders and the like, I hope that like hers mine will have a history to tell.
It is these simple things which capture my heart.
We are shaped and formed by what we love.
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