As a young child I was deeply affected by this rich environment of my grandma Amy’s home. It was warm and beautiful and safe in there with dark wood on the walls, a big fireplace with an old wooden mantle and curio cabinets that held her collection of china tea cups and hand-painted thimbles. No chaos and no uncertainty - just the aroma of coffee, pipe smoke and the occasional apple pie lingering in the air.
I can still hear the sound of her voice calling "OoooHeee" to us kids playing out in the barns, which meant that it was time to come in and eat.
More than anybody I have ever known, my grandma Amy was the essence of serenity. After meals were served and the dishes all done she would sit quietly in her chair by the big living room window that looked out over the green sloping pasture and crochet or knit or tat. She always had something she was working on and seeing her sitting there with the hooks and threads moving silently through her hands was fascinating to me as a young boy. She always seemed so happy and peaceful working with her yarns.
I must have been about five or six when she taught me how to crochet. I remember her telling me that she’d taught my dad and uncle to crochet when they were little and home sick from school because there wasn’t any TV for them to watch. I took to crocheting like a fish to water and have been doing it ever since.
So crocheting for me is a part of a legacy that was handed down to me from my beloved grandma Amy and is very much tied to the memories of my childhood days in her home. I crochet because I enjoy doing it and because it satisfies some persistent need I have to always be making things. Someday, if and when they ever show any interest, I’ll teach my grandsons how to crochet and tell them how it got to be a part of our lives.
Grandma Amy’s beautiful old upright grand piano sits here in front of me where I write, crochet and work at my computer and is a gentle reminder of her music that’s also an important part of her legacy to me. A few of her china tea cups hang in my kitchen and some of her crocheted and tatted pieces are tucked safely away in a trunk that sits at the end of my bed. It seems that a lot of the things that she liked doing I like doing too and it’s nice to have some of her treasures here with me – touchstones of a woman I loved so much and remember with great fondness.
My Grandma Amy was a beautiful, quietly elegant and in many ways simple farm woman from southern Idaho who among other things was an accomplished pianist and musician. Grandpa Ray smoked a pipe and a visit to their home was always filled with its sweet smell as well as the sound of grandma’s music and the colors and textures of her crocheting, tatting and quilting projects.
My Grandma Amy was without a doubt one of the most extraordinary women I have ever known, as much for the quiet way she went about her life as for her talents and for the way she made each of us kids feel so special.