As I was sitting in the living room yesterday morning, stitching and enjoying the quiet, I started thinking about the reactions of different people to the “stay-at-home” orders that most of are complying with. Then my mind moved on to webpage updates, especially for those fixed pages where I attempt to record progress on non-knitting, and whether or not I should add some additional sections.
Which led me further toward the fact that, unlike a lot of American’s (as well as people elsewhere in the world) because of my circumstances (retired from a US government position) I have a fixed pension that drops in my bank every month. My expenses have actually gone down (no cruises, no in-person conferences, no sci-fi conventions, no associated airfare or hotel bills). I have enough pocket money to buy craft supplies as well as contribute to those organizations in my area which are accomplishing what I can’t do personally.
Which further led me to shopping – now on-line rather than in person. And yes, I am getting to the family story bit – it will arrive shortly.
Anyway, shortly after George and I moved into the house (Dec15-Jan16), we started to “put stuff” in to the house and organize things the way we wanted. Obviously, nothing was the same about the furniture, room layout or shelving as we had in Germany. So it was new location for everything. Then, I started tackling the room upstairs that would be my “sewing/craft room.” About ½ the size of the space I had in Germany with zero shelf space for the hundreds of books and patterns which I had accumulated (and we are not speaking of the 8145 paperbacks donated prior to leaving Germany). Looking back, some of the decisions I made were sensible at the time, and others? Well, let us say that those items have been replaced.
As I started doing more sewing, I decided to use those wonderful JoAnn’s coupons for 50% off or the rare 60% off to accumulate a few of the bigger items. One of those was a dress form. Now, a dress form needs a name, even though she doesn’t have a head. So I named her Gertrude Mergatroid. (see, I am getting there).
And then I thought, whoa – exactly where did that come from? After a few minutes I realized that this particular name had been often used by my maternal grandmother Esther when referring to a generic woman “of a certain age.” Esther was born right around the turn of the previous century (1900 era for those, like me who have a challenge moving their mental timeline back a century after decades of consistency). There were names in her childhood that are extremely uncommon anymore. Gertrude being one, Esmeralda being another. I am sure that you can think of more.
When I look at the dress form, which my youngest daughter Miriam is currently using, I feel a connection going back to that grandmother who died in the early 1990s. And wonder, how many connections and stories are we currently losing from the generation above us as we hunker down in place. What will be missing in family stories that we will not be passing from our previous generations through us to our children, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren.
what kind of stories do we want them to know, want them to remember? About us, about our ancestors? And about how we contributed to our community and world in this time of challenge?