Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why My Quilt Room is So Messy All the Time

Why do I hate to put on labels?  They are way simpler than the entire thing of the quilt and the quilting.  And it is usually the very last thing I do to a quilt so that means it is finished.  Maybe that is it, the quilt is over.

By the look of my quilting room (and house most likely) we all know I am somewhat of a pack rat.  I get that honestly though.  My grandfather was a "collector" of things.  He was an amazing man who could make anything out of anything.  Like that guy they drop in remote places like the desert with only a bicycle, or the Arctic with only a parachute.  That was my grandfather.  And he did those things too.  With my grandmother by his side.

I called him Papa.  He was Midwest Kansas stock born in a "dugout" house on the prairie near Galena.  His family had come from the Northeast area with the Mayflower group.  And they proudly carried those stories with them over the generations.  And my grandmother came from Alsace Lorraine, that no man's land between France and Germany.  Her family was weary from generations of French and German and English armies conquering them.

So when they met, they saw the adventure in each other.  That did not stop my grandfather from taking a mistress, and my grandmother from ignoring it.  He gave up the house my mother grew up in on So.Liberty Street in New Orleans after my grandmother died and moved to my grandmother's Aunt's home on LaSalle Street in an upscale uptown neighborhood near Audubon Park.  He would take me to ride the flying horses in the Children's area.

The LaSalle Street home had a huge back yard that was exquisitely planted with odd yet fashionable plantings  that were the most marvelous playground a child ever had.  I could hide in one corner, live in the jungle in another, camp out by the "pond", swing from the huge oak tree branches that touched the ground.  And the stuff!  All the marvelous stuff he had.

He had a wringer washer he used until he moved from there to marry his mistress.  He would take boys from the street he found hitchhiking and bring them to live upstairs.  They would learn how to fix cars and appliances and make parts from nothing.  Then they would be able to find a girlfriend and support her as a wife.

Countless boys grew to manhood with my grandfather.  And I his only grandchild.  Imagine that.  My mother forbade him to get me dirty so I had to sit and watch when I really wanted to be in there "fixing" stuff.  She would put me in these beautiful dresses and I would go sit and watch my grandfather and his boys get dirty.

That is why I don't wear dresses today!  LOL.

One of the only pictures I have of my grandfather is one I took the day he met Carrie, his great-granddaughter.  He died shortly after that, at the age of 88.  Which is an amazing fact because he did not believe in doctors, survived smallpox as a child, and chain smoked his own rolled unfiltered cigarettes and drank a gallon of whatever was handy each day.  And at age 80, my father had to go bail him out of jail for soliciting a prostitute in the parking lot of his local grocery!

Yes that was my grandfather!  Adventurous, messy and a pack rat.  Describes me to a T!


1 comment:

  1. ! He sounds like an amazing man. We are our grandparents children after all! Our genes come from them through our parents just like ours go to our grandchildren. That's how Sammie & I explain how we are so alike and neither is like her mom. LOL


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