Monday, February 21, 2011

Family History

Wow... another crazy month... with no blog posts. Oops.

This year I'm trying to go where life takes me... not make many plans, and just follow my intuition. When I found out on Martin Luther King Day that my grandfather had fallen and broken his neck, my gut told me to go to California to see him. My mom and I made the trip together and brought many knitting projects along with us (although I ended up doing more hand holding than knitting). What we thought would be a week long trip at most turned into a month long ordeal and my grandfather, Ed Dudek, passed away at 8:30 in the evening of February 4th.

Although I greatly missed my Utah life during that month (Etsy, work, Salt Lake Citizen, samba, snowboarding, my apartment, my friends), I wouldn't trade this last month for anything - even though it was exhausting and emotionally draining. I learned so much about my grandfather and our family history... so many cool family stories that they just can not be summed up in a blog post.

When I arrived at the hospital for the first time my aunt gave me a bag of items relating to my family history. In the bag was a stuffed bear that my grandfather had given my grandmother for my sister, and a little work box for me. It wasn't until I got home a few days ago that I took the work box out and looked inside. What a box full of treasures it was!

Here is the sewing work box. The top is a pin pillow and stuck in the ribbon is a note written by my great grandmother (my grandfather's mom) that says, "This work basket belonged to my mother Elizabeth Webster Hughs. I gave it to her for Xmas when I was about 10 years old." My grandfather was born in 1922. By my estimates, this box has been in my family for nearly 100 years!!!

Here is a picture of the treasures in the box including some hand sewn handkerchiefs and a hand sewn quilting square. It is unbelievably cool to see little trinkets that were hand sewn by family members that I never even got the chance to meet. I feel so incredibly connected to them!

Here are some of my favorite finds from inside the box... the crochet pieces. All of these little pieces appear to be hand stitched with these tiny little crochet hooks. The patience it must have taken to make pieces so small and perfect... very cool!

Here are some other very cool treasures. A glass container of beads with a cork, steel pins made in England, an old thimble, a nail file, thread on a wooden spool, an old pin, and a necklace charm. So so so cool.

I bought these beads and am going to use my new jewelry making skills (the fabulous Rachel Reiswig taught me how during her Salt Lake visit from Washington) and make a necklace using the charm I found in the basket. I can't wait to wear a piece of family history!

I love this sewing basket and will treasure it for many years to come!

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