Pictured here is a collage I have made with a favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and my Grandma Handell’s photo. I love doing this! I have been inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts book, “Taking Flight.” But more importantly, as I made this and put the different layers on it I thought about home making, about Grandma and what she taught me by example.
I saw a painting in the back of a craft magazine that touched me. An elderly woman is sitting in a stuffed chair, looking rather lonely and forlorn. The caption said something about not having anything else to create. I found it rather sad. This is what happened to Grandma in a way. Her eyesight failed due to glaucoma, her health and mobility failed and she was sooooo depressed that we could not reach her. Many of her last months, days, years were spent in the lazy boy chair by the phone. Waiting. No longer working with her hands.
One of Grandma’s braided rugs
In my garage is what remains of a wool braided rug that she made long ago. It is falling apart, probably stained from animals and bugs and who knows what…but I can’t bring myself to destroy it or throw it out. Because she created it, and I remember her doing it. This was a big deal; a huge table set up in her sun room just for the rug making. I helped her rip out part that was not sewn together right, and we both had blisters on our fingers from it. But I helped her. I helped her do something “grownup.”
Many of the quilts I slept under (pieces of which appear in my art now) were made from old dresses and shirts, even old wool coats. She used what she had. How can we ever know what all that time at the sewing machine did for her, what the countless yummy meals she cooked for family and friends caused her to think of, or how much she liked the look on our faces when she baked those oatmeal cookies or cinnamon rolls? Our lives were the better for it.
These pieces of art I created are celebrations of that which lives within. Learning to listen and wait for that instruction to come from the heart, seeing that it will work even though my head says maybe not, and learning to be content with the outcome. Being brave enough to share it with someone I love, or put it on display in my own home so others will see it.
I wonder if someday a grandchild of mine will be putting something I created into a memorial or put into a piece of art, or even think of it? What kind of life do I want to live now? What kind of legacy do I need to leave behind when my journey in this body, on this earth, is finished? Food for thought….