Friday, November 15, 2013

Nin and June

This post has been a long time coming. It's one that as I write, I have to make sure to use just the right words so as to perfectly portray what I see and the story behind it. The real reason for this post is a love story. A love between a granddaughter and grandmother, a granddaughter and a great grandmother, and especially the love between a husband and his precious wife. The kind of love that was more prevalent 50 years ago than it is today

I discovered this love, or at least a sentiment of it, in August of this year. My family was moving down to Bakersfield, California from Eastern Idaho. Because it was about a thousand miles, we broke it into 3 days of travelling. The last leg of our journey began in Sacramento where my grandparents live part time. Over a year ago, my great grandmother June passed away. Her health had been failing for years and she was under almost constant supervision by my grandparents (her daughter and son-in-law) who had a house an hour away in Napa. They took care of her for years until she joined my grandfather in Spring of last year. My grandparents will continue to go back and forth between their home and my grandmother's until the house eventually goes up for sale. 

We stayed 2 days in Sacramento to visit and catch up. I see my grandparents about twice a year and they're some of my favorite people in the world. Before we left, my grandma brought something out of her bedroom. A large wooden box which she opened and proceeded to tell me about. It was a four-tiered wooden sewing box given to my great grandma June by her husband as a token of his love.

On the inside was something I could have only dreamed of. I spent the next half hour pulling items out of the box and turning them over in my hands, my heart feeling excited and nostalgic. The box was full of my grandmother's old sewing supplies. Everything from old wooden spools of thread in a rainbow of colors, to zippers cut from worn out clothes of the family. There were needle kits, buttons, Velcro, patches, anything the vintage modern-day woman could possibly want for her sewing collection. 

 I love the old fashioned integrity of this company. "Should it be faulty in anyway, we will reimburse you for the reasonable cost of your labor and all materials used in making the article on which it is applied." 

Apparently these were given away at businesses such as insurance companies?

 A collection of buttons from outgrown outfits, extras from projects, and those that 
caught my grandmother's eye in a 1920's drugstore. 

There were at least a hundred spools of thread. Brimming with sentimental value. As I handled everything, I thought of my grandmother and her family zipping, buttoning and sewing. What were they wearing for school pictures? How did their buttons break off? What was my grandmother's favorite thing to wear?

When I reached the end of the box, my eyes immediately filled with tears. Laying quietly at the bottom was the most precious piece of family history. A short sweet card attached to the sewing box when it was given as a gift. "To my honey. From Nin." Even though I knew what the answer probably was, I asked my grandma anyway. "Who's Nin?" "That's grandpa. He got that nickname from his baby sister and it stuck." My heart melted. A simple and sweet love note from my grandfather to his sweetheart. 

In remembrance of my grandfather, Einer (Nin) and his love, June, I've started an etsy shop. It isn't stocked yet, but keep your eyes open for the grand opening. Her sewing box, along with their love story is my inspiration. As I sew, I hope the incredible seamstress in Grandma June will somehow come out in me.

I am reminded of the poem by John Donne,

No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

Everything we do is connected to our ancestors and our posterity. We must live every day knowing that what we do affects people of our day and exponentially those of the future. By choosing to do good with all we have been given, our legacy becomes something to be admired for generations to come.

Monday, November 4, 2013

When I grow up...

When I was a little girl, my daddy was the best. I was a shameless daddy's girl. There are few things that can have as much influence on a little lady's confidence more than how her daddy treats her. He would comb my hair gently, make sure I brushed my teeth, and be my loving confidant as we walked to school every morning.

If I knew anything more than that he loved me, it was that he was so proud to be my daddy. I remember reading [his car magazines] in front of his friends so that they could see how smart I was. He believed I could do anything that I put my mind to and so did I.

I've often wondered what career I would choose if I had chosen to work full time. I have come to realize that I wouldn't be happy just doing one thing. If I had all the time in the world I would be...

A ballerina.

When I met my mother (that's a story for another time), I was about to start fourth grade. Once the school year began and I made some friends, my mom asked if I wanted to join a dance team or have some sort of extracurricular activity (because there are so many for 4th graders!) Almost every friend that I had met so far was on a dance team and had been since kindergarten. I thought I would be in a beginning class with a bunch of 6 year-olds so I told my mom I didn't want to. What I secretly wanted to do though was take a ballet class. I discovered my love of ballet movements one summer on the back porch, listening to a movie soundtrack. If I could go back, I jump at the opportunity to wear pink slippers and learn to be graceful. (Something I am currently lacking in.) Even now, I can't wait until I'm in one place long enough to join a ballet class- even if it's with brave little girls 20 years younger than me.

A dentist.

You know that weird kid in school who would go to the bathroom and come back with a tooth in hand? That was always me. Beyond that, I found myself trying to convince other kids to let me pull their teeth- always assuring them that it wouldn't hurt, but they would feel a slight, quick pinch. I was always disappointed when someone would agree to let me pull their tooth out and then once I had the damp, brown paper towel in hand, they would chicken out before I could touch their practically-falling-out tooth. May seem weird, but I still have a small desire to be a dentist.

A photographer.

Even before I took my first photography class in college, I felt like I had a good idea for taking pictures. I bought my first camera when I was 17 at the only store in town- Walmart. Even though I paid over $300 for it, it was only 5 megapixels. Cameras have come a long way since then and now I have my eye on a beautiful DSLR camera that will probably take years of savings to finally purchase. My college roommates and I would have frequent photo shoots where we would vainly takes hundreds of pictures of each other wherever we went. [No matter how I word that sentence, it sounds wrong.] I love taking pictures of my kids, but I get frustrated when they don't turn out just perfect.

A teacher.

I didn't always think it would be fun to teach school, but I've had a change of heart. Knowing how much my teachers influenced me and changed my life as a kid [probably more than the average child], I think teaching is one of the worst paid best jobs you could possibly have. I don't know if anybody besides moms and dads have such great influence over future generations as do teachers. I would want to teach elementary school. Perhaps 3rd grade. They're at an age where they still adore their teacher, but they're entering a new phase of thinking and reasoning. I am sure it would be fascinating to observe children in their creative spheres and at such a close level. This is actually something I'm working on for the future. I am planning on staying home with my children before they go to school, so I don't know exactly how it will work out, but someday I will be a teacher.

And last but not really the last...

An entrepreneur.

I have a burning desire to be an entrepreneur. Or as some call it, a "momtrepreneur." Creating something and seeing it grow is so fulfilling. Isn't progress what life is all about? It's just so exciting to have the prospect of success and failure, learning and growing, finding something you're good at and improving upon it until you're a pro. The process of becoming a successful business owner is fascinating to be. Be on the lookout for a blog post in the next month about the beginnings of my new Etsy shop. I'm so excited to finally get it up and running!

I guess the great thing about being a mom is that I can be creative with my time and pursue other interests besides adoring these cute kids. I don't have to be away from home and pursue a full time career. I can just have a million part-time pursuits. Except maybe the dentist thing. I won't be pulling teeth in my free time. Because that would just be strange.