Tucked away......but not from my heart.

No other word for this but Amazing

It was tucked away in my keepsake trunk but not from my heart..............
 I was looking for something else. I know,  I thought. I bet I put it away in the steamer  trunk. This old trunk holds mementos that I cherish. My first doll baby. My son's first pair of dress shoes.  Special children's school papers.  A first flutophone (why, I don't know is that even the way you spell it? It isn't in spell check)  Each  baby's "home from the hospital" sleeper, and so on. You get the idea.  All of these bring a smile to my face and waves of emotions fill my heart. All proof that we have lived. But today,  especially from this old trunk, I unfold a  Rose and Pineapple Crochet bedspread  made by my maternal grandmother Flora Agnes Fender, born in 1914. And the following is her amazing story.

Many years ago Grandma   started working on this bedspread  when she received her copy of the American Thread Co Star Book #164 of Tablecloths and Bedspreads. Note the  price of 29 cents. (Given the price,  I would say she started a very long time ago. Probably late 50's or early 60's)  She worked on it,  off and on,  for many years.  Some say fifteen years. She couldn't remember, but said, "A long time, until I finally finished it." I, myself,  couldn't imagine even starting such a project. My mom  taught me how to crochet and I found out that she also was the one to teach Grandma how. But my mom didn't like to use "thread" like Grandma. Can you imagine?  I crocheted  a pillow top once with one large  block with yarn and I thought I would never get done. I wanted to quit, but I didn't, but I haven't crocheted since.  (That was back in the day when crochet vests were popular.)  So, I am impatient, OK I admit it, so  I couldn't imagine looking at this book and thinking, I think I'll start on that bedspread! and as for using thread, maybe give me binder twine, it would go faster.  

   By the time she completed the project she told me, "I had memorized the instructions and could even watch television and crochet at the same time."  

At her estate auction, I saw this booklet in the hands of a buyer.  I couldn't believe my eyes. I dashed over wanting to snatch it from her hands as she was about to pay for it. But instead told her the story,  and as I had hoped, she handed the booklet  to me. 

Upon completion Grandma  displayed it on her bed for a while for all to see and to admire it after having wanted it for so long. I can see she could not ever be deemed a quitter. Once she put her hand to the plow, she plowed on. And then she removed it and  stored it  away in a closet and forgot about it like the rest of us. Until,  years later, I was decorating my new house with a country cottage theme and I  purchased a crocheted bedspread from the catalog.  Yes, you heard that right. It was  through the J C Penney catalog and picked it up  in Georgetown. Online buying has since replaced it.  

  It didn't compare to the one   Grandma had crafted. 

I was very disappointed. It didn't compare to the beauty she had made.  That got me  wondering  what had happened to the one she painstakingly put so much of "her" into.  So, I thought to myself,  it wouldn't hurt to ask her, so  I did and I told her about the store bought one and I would pay her instead of the catalog store if she would sell it.  I knew how much work she had put into it and  she,  being a widow on a fixed income,  might enjoy the money.    She responded,   "Many people have wanted it,  but no one has ever  offered to buy it,  so, yes,  I would," seeming that this helped her make a decision.  " I will have to find where I put it and bring it to you."   It was a terrific  day indeed. I was excited. The perfect touch for my country cottage bedroom.

 But an  unlucky day  when she retrieved it from the closet and found  the mice had found  it too.  

Each block is exactly the same. I understand the tension while crocheting has to remain the same or the blocks will be slightly different. 
When she took it from her closet, she told me,  she found  that the  mice had chewed up 2 of the blocks. I was devastated. My  decorating scheme foiled again.   And worse, her  master piece was ruined.  But, being an amazing woman,   she said she could repair it. I couldn't see how, as they say, she said it was a "mouse nest." Ugh! Those darn things. 

 "Can you really do that, Grandma?" I remember asking, with scepticism. 

 But she did it. She removed the two chewed up blocks and made new ones, "But I couldn't find any 100% cotton crochet thread and I don't much like working with this new blend."    One fine day she telephoned to tell me she was going to  deliver it to my house.   I immediately put it on my bed, gave her a heart to heart hug and slipped her some money in the palm of her hand  as a token of my gratitude.    

Sadly, all good things come to an end eventually. On  May 22, 2008, Grandma Fender  passed away having  lived a long, faith filled life to 92.  There   wasn't much she didn't, or couldn't,  do,  being  an expert seamstress,  quilter,  cook and possessing the  homesteading spirit that many strive today to achieve.(OK, did I use too many comas there?  Oh well.)

The memory of her,  once more,  while holding it close, tracing the thin threads,   admiring her wonderful work, flooded me with such  admiration and sentiment that I had to wipe a tear. 

Well, if you know me, maybe more than one. I dug through the trunk before finishing. Then placed it back in its resting place.Drew a deep breathe. Smiled. Wiped another tear. Smiled again. Wiped another tear...... yes, you get it.

But It got me thinking, how the Declaration of Independence has been saved for over 200 plus years. I wonder if the next person receiving Grandma's  heirloom will pass it on through the family and treasure it as much as I do and treat it  like the  Declaration of Independence?   I hope so.

So here's the thing: What I learned from  Grandma,   Where there's a will there's a way. Never give up. And Your family heirlooms are priceless.   Heirlooms to me  are  like  national treasures, one of a kind, ain't being made again by them, priceless.  In this instance the treasure is mine and for this I am grateful. Grateful for this touching moment in time. Grateful  for a beautiful handmade crocheted bedspread by  Grandmother  Flora.  And now I  need to figure out how I can use it on a king size bed. Any ideas? 

PS- Just got to share this as it is so cute. Grandma's mother's name was Grace. So as a child,  when  ever anyone sang Amazing Grace, she thought they were singing about her mother ! Isn't that sweet. There are lots of stories to share about Grandma coming soon.

NOTE: The above mentioned  publication  is in the public domain. If you would like to have a copy of the crochet bedspread instruction  like Grandma made  please comment  and I will send the to you or e-mail me.  cherry_ridge_farms@yahoo.com


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