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This one's for my Grandma Helen

Every summer while growing up, my Grandma Helen would take several days off work and invite her three oldest granddaughters to spend a few days with her. I always looked forward to it, even though she only lived 10 minutes away. It was so fun to spend time with my cousin, Marti, and my sister, Megan. (And, now that I'm a parent, I can appreciate the gift these annual sleepovers were for my parents.)

My dad would load our stuff into the truck (which we had to take because we needed our bikes!), and we'd head into the grand city of Marquette, KS...population 500 or so. My grandma lived in a small, 2 bedroom house conveniently located a block from the park and the city pool. That was a privilege in and of itself...my parent's farm is located virtually in the middle of nowhere.

So off we'd go on our bikes, riding around the block multiple times. And occasionally, Grandma would give us money to get sno cones from the local City Sundries (which still exists...and my little sis now works there). We'd go swimming. We'd go shopping. We'd make tents in the living room to sleep in. We'd laugh a lot. And, one summer we secretly (GASP!) died our hair with Kool Aid. I'm pretty sure this was my cousin's brilliant idea. My hair is so dark that you couldn't tell...my sister wasn't so lucky...

Despite those occasional mishaps, we had fun. And I'm pretty sure our grandma did, too. (Although she was probably glad when our stay was over).

Besides our activities that are long gone (like our funky-colored hair), my grandma taught me a lifeskill that I still use. She taught me the art of crochet. She taught me the basic chain stitch and single crochet. I loved making simple bracelets. And she got me addicted to yarn. (I can spend hours in the yarn aisle...Brad can attest to that).

In college, I took the craft to a new level. I made my first blanket...and although it's way longer than it is wide (I didn't use a pattern), I still have it. Now, I make baby blankets (and I've learned to read patterns).

Gracelyn's is well-worn...and purple if you can't tell by the possessive display below. Jemma's is pink. Right now, Jemma pulls hers over her face, so she doesn't get it while sleeping. But, I'm hoping eventually hers will be as used as Gracelyn's.

But it's more than the finished projects that makes me love crochet. It's part of my heritage. It's my grandma. And someday, I hope Gracelyn & Jemma (and whatever other children we MIGHT have) will consider the craft part of them. 

Thank you, Grandma Helen, for the love you taught with. Thank you for the skill you gave me. And thank you for the heritage you left. 

Love, Malinda


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