Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Tattered Pattern revisited

Many of you have asked for the pattern of these stocking shown in my post The Tattered Pattern, a pattern from long ago that no longer exists. In fact, mine is in such tatters that it is impossible to make a decent copy. Part of the pattern has disappeared during my move. This said, for those hoping to copy the pattern, you can enlarge the pictures I have posted and actually count the stitches for the shape and sizes you require.

If you have not done needlepoint in the past, I would suggest that you research online or get a book from the library to check on how to set up your piece of canvas.

The first picture in this blog is of the stockings I first made with a brand new pattern in around 1975. I made many after that but created my own patterns.

I hope this will help you as I understand the memories these stocking hold. I would recommend that you not put names directly onto the stockings. Instead make a tag that you can hang on the hanger with the stocking. By doing this, the stockings can be handed down again and again.

I apologize that I cannot help you with the pattern, but let your imagination run wild. Think of the blessings of the holidays and the person you are creating the stocking for then make a memory.

Monday, November 9, 2015

No regrets

It was going to be a long night. In fact, it was going to be a longer than normal night. Mommy and Daddy had gone to Seattle, and I had the twins until late that night. I learned a lesson long ago with my granddaughters. Maybe I learned it long before them. This night would certainly keep me rooted to what I believe.

We are all different. How's that for a deep thought! I fell into the norm as a young woman who first looked forward to a wedding then children. Who went seemed to thrive on being part of a social scene and flapping her wings at following her dreams. Then one day reality set in. A knowledge I had always had. A reality I had not yet tasted. I lost my parents.

I was approaching my sixties. My first grandchild had been born. I was twice divorced and learning to reinvent myself once more. Then the floor dropped out from under me. All the 'shouldas' hit me like an avalanche. I touched my mother cold brow and discovered an ache I didn't know I existed. I saw time wasted and time lost. There was much I wanted to tell her. Things I wanted to know. For the first time, I understood the words TOO LATE.

In just an instant, the word family was truly experienced. Time with that family became a priority. Looking at my own mortality shook me to my bones. Not because I would some day be a memory on a family tree, but because I knew that I wanted my children and my grandchildren to know what it was like to have a woman who knew her priorities and embraced them wholly. All the rest of life was just fluff.

So what did this all look like? Hm. Well, it looked like I needed to think less of me and be more creative and interactive. I learned to listen better and to observe. I found in this process that I did not lose what I had or lose myself. Instead, I found more creativity and wisdom that I didn't know I possessed. I found that the more I gave up, the more was added to me. My senses grew. The touch of child, the smell of rose, a hand on a fevered brow. There was a new awareness to life. I gave up preconceived notions and tried to be more open-minded. New thoughts and ideas were allowed to take wing and fly. I was not going to go through the rest of my life finding only regret at the end.

My grandkids wear me out. There are times I want to say no to babysitting, but deep down I know that an opportunity missed may not be repeated. I know that the little girls who first graced our family grew up much too quickly. I do not want to miss a bit of this life with my family. Do I lose myself in all this? Not on your life. I am given a vacation, a journey into new lands and success in my career with every moment we share together. I am the student as well as the teacher. Yes, it was indeed a long night.

"MeMe, my throat hurts." Nolan said. "My back really hurts, too."

I made a bed on the sofa giving him a tucktuck. Emma bounced around the room and Millie, the dog, insisted on being a pest. Not long after, Nolan threw up. Now we all know that the shock and distress after such an experience that leaves a sick child and adult both in a momentary panic. When my own children were little, I had to send them into the bathroom to be ill alone, because I would get sick right along with them if I didn't. With a grandchild age three, I had no choice but to take charge. After cleanup, I tucked him into bed. Emma worried over her brother and was happy to be tucktucked as well. With pan next to bed, I was prepared. In fact, I was so prepared, I got pan for Emma as well....just in case. And, just in case happened. For at least 20 minutes, I scrambled from bed to bed.

Sitting between their beds after they were finally asleep, I contemplated all that had happened. I was given an opportunity to serve my grandchildren. These little people knew that I would be there for them, holding them, cleaning them up, singing them to sleep. They knew that I would stay with them. They could open their eyes and see me at any given moment. Nolan woke from a night terror. I wrapped him up in my arms and held his shaking body.  "It's okay, sweet boy. MeMe's here."

No regrets.