Usually February is a real drag. I’m growing tired of the snow and cold, I’m feeling the effects of having little to no sunshine, and watching the ceiling for signs of ice dam leakage. But this year, two long trips out of state changed the whole month for the better.
Earlier this month, my Great-Aunt Mary passed away. She was such a unique person and we were always excited to see her, so it was sad to hear of her passing. I made the 5 1/2 hour trip with my parents and part of my brother’s family to attend the funeral, and it was a lovely service. We were blessed to have excellent weather for travel, especially considering it was the middle of February! It was great to visit with family who had also traveled from far and wide, and also to meet family that we had only heard Mary talk about. We all had the opportunity to choose some mementos to bring home, and since we had 9 people and luggage between 3 small cars, we were unable to bring home any larger items (like furniture) on that trip.
My husband and I made arrangements to make another trip to pick up some furniture a couple weeks later — still February, still high probability for bad road conditions. However, we were, once again, blessed with very good roads and driving conditions. My husband wasn’t able to make the first trip with me, so he was glad for the chance to go this time. We had a great time and were able to spend a couple hours visiting with and getting to know some of the family we had not known before. We both left wishing the distance between us and this part of the family wasn’t so great.
So, what about these “treasures” we brought home? Yes, we did bring home some furniture which replaced some cheap, broken down stuff we had been using for a long time. We were also able to bring home some old family photos (grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents!), many hand made doilies, hand embellished hankies, hand embroidered flour sack towels, and a card file box full of old recipes that my great-grandmother used. Treasures, indeed!
All of the hand made items have inspired me to learn how to hand embroider. I have experience with cross stitch, but have never tried any other kind of embroidery or needlework. My mom is letting me use an instruction book she had as well as her embroidery floss, which happens to be sorted by color (yay!). I have needles and a hoop — just need to get some flour sack towels and patterns. I’d like to copy some of the patterns on the towels I have since I haven’t seen any like that for sale, so I’ll figure out how to do that. I’m excited to get started!
It has been a great month, rich with family history and full of love of family. I am feeling very blessed and inspired to do things that will make my children and grandchildren feel equally blessed and inspired by their family history and love. I encourage you to find something inspiring in your life — something to make your life and others’ lives richer. Do things that will inspire others to do the same.