Thursday, January 15, 2009

Great-Gramma Earley

I was talking with my sister-in-law about the importance of extended family. She's moved pretty far from us, and there are other family members moving around now too, and we were mourning the fact that we couldn't all live next door. You know it really is such a short while we get to know some of our family. This is my Great-Gramma Earley. I love love love her, even though she's been gone for years (I'm actually pretty sure she hangs around and checks up on me from time to time). She's holding me at my blessing here.
My mom had to work the first few years of my life, and Gramma Earley would watch me and my sister. My mom always talks about how kind she was to her. I personally think kindness is underrated. Anyway, my gramma would save wooden spools from thread for us to play with, and we would go outside in her little postage stamp yard, and make laps around her planter on the river stone and cement path. Sometimes those stones would come loose, and they were the smoothest, blackest rocks, and would fit perfectly in your hand. When they were wet they were even shinier. Gramma even had a banana tree in her side planter, but I mostly remember it covered with ants. I guess I was smaller then but it seemed huge and wild garden. When my parents had financial setbacks a number of years later and moved into her old house, I was shocked at how it had shrunk.

We were vegetarians, and Gramma would give us potatoes mashed with broccoli, or potatoes mashed with squash for lunch it seems like every day. I still love those flavors though now. I'd follow her around the house, and would step on her toes all the time. I didn't do it on purpose, but she only wore little house slippers inside, and I can still hear her squealing in pain. She must have had arthritis. Here is gramma with my mom, and my cousin. She looks kind of glamorous, it must have been Christmas or something. She had the best costume jewelry, and used to tell us when she died we could have it --we were fascinated with it. She also had a Christmas tree picture made on black velvet out of sparkly faux gems that I remember as fantastic -absolutely stunning.




But her biggest talent as far as I know was sewing. She sewed all kinds of things by hand. We didn't end up with the costume jewelry, but more valuable, this quilt (above) is something I still have now --she made it for me as a baby. All of the figures are outline-quilted by hand. It's just amazing. There is also a little coat she made me, also sewn largely by hand, that I still have. It's got round blue buttons, that are kind of soft textured, and a bright turquoise blue lining of satin. I tried to get my oldest daughter to wear it when she was little, but hey, it wasn't sparkly OR pink, so no dice. Maybe when I have grandbabies....

5 comments:

Lynn said...

To Great-Gramma Earley you were her angels. She loved you girls so much. She really enjoyed the time that you spent with her. She was always the seamstress. I still have some stuff that she sewed. It is amazing.

belann said...

Nice memories. She was my best friend in our early years.

Gavin & Erin said...

Can't wait to meet her some day.

Deja said...

This is beautiful, Ammie. And I never knew Great Grandma, so you didn't steal anything from me. (I just got your message, worrying.) No worries. This is all your lovely memories.

Amara said...

I need to post a retraction, I guess I'll do it here, my mom stopped working after I was born. Gramma used to watch us when she went to church things or other appointments.