Monday, October 6, 2008

Genes and Houses...

Karen had a nice post to commemorate her grandfather’s birthday. I got to thinking about my grandparents. I only knew my maternal grandmother and vaguely remember her husband from whom she was divorced. He (my Grampa) lived in our basement apartment. He was a recluse and mostly stayed down there until he passed away before I turned 7. They were Lithuanian emigrants coming over through Ellis Island around 1910. Both were born in 1878, which to me doesn’t even seem possible that I could have grandparents born so very long ago. It’s very clear to me where I got my interests and innate talents.

My Gramma was a tailor. She had a stall in the Pike Place Market early on. My mother said she sat Indian-style on a table and hand stitched when she wasn’t working her treadle-sewing machine. I learned to sew from my mother, who learned it from Gramma. Seems I’ve sewn since I was about 7 or 8.

As for those innate talents … I can look at a huge pile of various things and tell you almost instantly how many and what size of boxes and it will take to pack it all in - with little or no room left. It was what made my former mail and packaging business a success - especially at Thanksgiving/Christmas when we had to herd 'em in and herd 'em out at record speed! This talent comes from my Grampa. He could look at anything and reproduce it exactly as it was or make it even better. Some of the things he made were ornately carved picture frames and wicker furniture. He never made a drawing, just knew in his head what materials he needed and how much to buy from looking at the original. I can also fix most anything (as could my maternal uncle) by just taking it apart and figuring it out. I think this came from Grampa as well.

I’d love to hear what kind of traits you think you may have “inherited” from your grandparents. Feel free to leave comments - it will be great fun to see what you have to say!

Here is the result of my weekend working on Christmas Cottage Blocks. I’m finally done! I will add some small embellishments to each before I send them off, but didn’t want to show them yet so the recipients will have a nice surprise.




Carrie P. said...

All your cottages are great but I espeically like the one with the pine boughs on it. I definitely got my artistic talent from my Grandma. She was a very crafty person and she didn't start doing it all until she was in her 60's.

Karen said...

Hello Candace! I like the brown house, I guess that is the same one Carrie mentioned. Neat stories about your grandparents coming over. Apparently one of my ancestors stowed away at the age of 9 to come to America! My paternal grandfather (on my blog) was an electrician / plumber, tinkered a lot. I think I have that - I don't use other people's patterns for my quilt. I draw my own.

CJ said...

The cottages are great, I too like the brown house!

I only remember my maternal grandmother, we were very close but I never knew the rest. I think the talent my grandma passed on to me was being able to pull a group of bickering people together into a happy team. Invaluable when I was still in the work force, and my hubby relies on me to share insight with him on keeping his team happy as well.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

They are all a treat. It is so fun to think of all the blocks Terri and I will be getting. So many people made them all different. And that makes it even more fun.

My grandparents were all passed away before I was born. I like to think I still have a close bond with my paternal grandmother. I feel her around me sometimes even though I didn't "know" her.

Mel said...

I had a great personal relationship with both sets of grandparents since we all lived in the same town. They are now deceased, but my parents still owns both of the grandparent's homes.

Charming Cottages!! Thanks for placing a button on your blog for the Cottage Warming Party!
See you on the 13th!

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