Saturday, April 05, 2008

snaps on saturday

some of my first knitting

When I was about seven years old, I taught myself how to knit out of a little book I picked up in a kid's toy store in Solvang. One of my first projects were egg cozies, two of them, which I gave to my grandma and grandpa. I remember thinking soft boiled eggs were pretty disgusting (still do--I'm a scrambled dry kinda gal), but I also remember sitting at the table and watching the whole ritual. I can remember my grandmother in her bathrobe in the kitchen, and listening her explain the importance of eggs and timing. I remember the little cups the eggs stood up in, and my grandpa showing me how to crack the top of the egg open.

So when I learned how to knit, and one of the projects in my little knitting book was egg cozies, I went for it. Thirty-Four years later, people....she is still using it. I can hardly believe it. It's some sort of baby colors acrylic, with a grosgrain ribbon threaded through some eyelets (and I am absolutely positive beyond a shadow of a doubt that those are my very first yarn overs. I distinctly remember having to learn how to knit without making holes by mistake, and then learning how to make holes for the first time where I wanted them on purpose).

I feel like a bit of a schlump. Awhile ago I mentioned this on the blog, and I joked out loud that I should probably be making her some new ones. I think it was Mouse that suggested I make new egg cozies, the ones that look like little sweaters that can be found in Weekend Knitting. I bought the book, but didn't knit them. And there I was today with my 90 year old grandma, as she is showing me my first knitting which she still keeps in the top kitchen drawer and still uses (all nice and faded and browned and slightly felted or melted maybe and wayyyy over used) and telling me that she could really use a new one. *sigh*

I might need to sneak out to a LYS store tomorrow.

My mom and dad were both born and raised on the east coast, but they live in California, just around the corner from me, as a matter of fact. We all made this trip out here together for my grandma's 90th birthday. This also happens to be MyFavoriteKid's first time meeting his great-grandmother. While we're out here, the plan is to also get MyFK exposed to some colonial history, since that is what his grade is studying in school this year.

Here are some additional photos from today (photos and text heavy, sorry--but this is as close as I will ever be getting to scrapbooking again).

If you are into tripping down someone else's memory lane, enjoy.....

The farmhouse my mom grew up on, ages 6-13. Turkey farm. Like, thousands of turkeys. Her grandparents lived in the main house, and she lived an upstairs apartment with her mom, dad, and two brothers. Her room was the one behind the solo skinny upstairs window, right there next to the heating vent. She told me a story about that big tree on the right today. A bunch of kids would pull that lowest branch down, one kid would climb up and sit on the branch while the others held it, and then they'd let it go and toss the kid in the branches into the air.
Ah, life before video games. MyFK said he doesn't do things like that because, "they don't make trees like they used to." Hahahahaha.

The original entry road to the farmhouse. Mom used to sit on the wall on the left and pretend it was the horse, even tying up rope to make reigns. Her grandparents eventually retired and sold the farmland to a church. Some of the land is now a shopping center, and most of the property closest to the farmhouse became the church and its parking lot. The church kept the farmhouse as living quarters.

Long before the farm was sold though, my mom's parents built their own house out on the back end of the property. The family moved in there when my mom was a teenager.

Mom helped carry in the bricks for the fireplace.

Let me tell you. I haven't been in this house since I was a little kid, and I walked in and thought I had stepped into a time warp. NOTHING has changed. Seriously. I am so not kidding. Nothing. Ok, well maybe a newer television. But I think the old one was in the same spot. EVERYTHING was the same. Even the placement of knickknacks on the coffee table was the same.

When I was little, I used to stare at these two pictures endlessly. They always disturbed me, but I would still keep staring at them. Morbid curiosity.

I can remember many hours spent in the sunroom, which also has not changed one bit. My strongest memory is of sitting on the couch on the left with my Uncle Rudy, really my great uncle, grandma's brother.

Another little something crafty I had made for my grandma, this time after she taught me how to do plastic canvas needlepoint. I think I was in my late teens when she taught me, just after graduating high school. She even saved the note I had tucked into the box.

Being at her house felt like being in a museum.

United First Parish Church, Quincy. Built in 1828 from local granite (which the town is famous for) and housing the Adams family crypt, where both John and John Quincy Adams are buried (for you international folk, they were our 2nd and 6th presidents, father and son. I wasn't there, but I am sure they did a much better job than our more recent father/son set).

Hancock Cemetery. I love old cemeteries. Love them, could spend hours in them. Today I wished I had thin paper and chalk to make rubbings of some of the old markers. I took some photos, but I haven't quite figured out the new camera enough to take artsyfartys shots yet.

While we were in Quincy, we also stopped by the Adams National Historical Park (closed November through April 19th--drats!) and the Quincy History Museum (only open Monday through Friday--drats again!!).

Feeding the ducks in a really big park in Brockton, which I think was called DW Fields Park. As a kid, mom used to ride her bike here and feed the ducks. I also thought I heard something about her and my dad parking near the lake and necking, too (but mums the word). I have some absolutely priceless photos of my mom and MyFavoriteKid feeding the ducks together today, him being about the same age that she had been then. Golden moments. They are both asleep already, so I can't ask for permission to post the pics, or I would ('cuz I don't ever post without permission).

After the little tour, we had dinner at my aunt and uncle's my cousins. Speaking of food (and not that it is more noteworthy than family), today we had lobster rolls at the Lobster Shack(?) House(?) Hut(?), and I also had my first Dunkin' Doughnut. Hopefully my last. I do not need to roll out of here any bigger than when I got here.

Tomorrow my folks will stay local and hang with family, and MyFk and I take the car up to Marblehead to visit a old friend of mine and do a little sightseeing in Salem.


The Bon said...

Dunkin' Donuts was way better 20 years ago, long before Rachel Ray even thought she might someday shill for them. When my dad's brother would come up to go hunting he would always stop at the one in Augusta [at that time, one of the two closest ones to my parents' house] and he would buy munchkins. They used to make munchkins with jelly in them. They were the best. Tiny, tiny jelly donuts.

I can't believe you'd never had one before! [Or did you mean first one on this trip?]

Lobster is high on my list of things I miss. I refuse to buy it out here because a. it is too far from Maine for me to trust their freshness and quality b. I firmly believe they are best bought straight off the boat and c. I will not ever pay $18 a lb for an uncooked lobster [I suspect I'd have a hard time paying that much for a cooked one too!]

Joan K said...

You're in my neck of the woods. It's Fields parkway and Lobster Hut.

I agree about Dunkin Donuts. I was somewhere or other and everyone was surprised that they weren't the only person who hated Rachael Ray. We all hated her. When I see her I want to slap her and I change the channel as fast as I can get to the remote.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand it. If you don't make your grandma a new egg cozy, I might have to.

Mmm .. Dunkin' Donuts and lobster ...
I'm an east coast transplant, too, ya know?

JohnK said...

We never eat donuts but, yesterday, both Francis and I had the urge to stop at Dunkin' Donuts, We must have been picking up on your vibe, I'm glad you're the one who stopped, we didn't.

Now I want to go to the Clam Shack in Ipswich.

InkyW said...

Your post made me think so much about my great-grandma who taught me to crochet and sew. She kept so many things I made her.

I love the east coast (for visiting) and grew up in the D.C. Area. All that history - the FK will love it!!

And those two matador prints - I now covet them!! Fantastic!

(formerly) no-blog-rachel said...

Oh man you just took me home! Ok, I'm from Vermont really but I've spent a lot of time in MA (both Ex and Hubby are from Boston area).

I love old cemeteries too; down the road where I grew up was a really, really old one called the Dipping Hole Cemetery. There was a stream running by where they did baptisms (hence 'Dipping Hole') which was beautiful but insanely cold. And I think the latest date that I could find on any stone was somewhere in the 1840's-50's. So cool.

kasiaiscarly said...

So, ummmm. . . I don't get an egg cozy. . .. how do you eat the egg while it is in a cozy??