Susan D.

Favorite childhood memory of a garment and/or cloth. 

As a child I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother on the farm. I am the first child of my parents and my Grandparent’s second grandchild. Grammy was a lovely tall Englishwoman who carried herself with a great deal of grace and presence. She always had time. 

There was a rhythm to the farm. When I stayed I slept on the daybed in the living room under lovely line dried sheets. I would wake in the morning to the sounds of Grammy in the kitchen. On cold days she would have my clothes warming on the oven door of the old wood cookstove. There really isn't anything like oven warmed clothes on a snowy day. 

I was one of those children who needed a job. Even at three or four years old being useful was very important to me. So Grammy kept me busy. I'd set the table, Grandpa would come in from the barn and we would eat. Next we’d cleanup. A fun time for me. If I stayed on task and washed all of the dishes without too much doddering I could then play in the dishwater with the coffee pot. Sometimes she’d even reheat the water for me on the cookstove. We’d then move on to other kitchen tasks, have lunch and then it was time for afternoon chores. My very favorite time - ironing and mending. 

Grammy would get things all organized and set up. My task was mending. According to her Grandpa was very bad about buttons. He was always loosing his buttons and someone had to sew them back on. I was a adult before I realized that I always sewed the same buttons back onto the same shirt each time I was asked. I never questioned. I was doing my job, for my Grandpa and Grammy needed my help, what was there to question? 

I would set in the big wood arts and crafts rocker with my needle and thread and sew buttons on a soft old chambray work shirt. A good worn chambray still holds a special place in my heart and I own several. To me both the smell and the feel of cotton mean love and comfort. I also have an extensive button collection. As we worked Grammy and I would talk. I have a feeling she mainly listened. But she did, she was my rock. She taught me to learn, to listen, to love, to have respect for all things, to be resourceful and creative. She taught all of us how to grow things, how to make things and how to find joy in the process. 

Whenever I get home I wander the farm, feel she presence, hear her voice and remember what the truly important things really are.