Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Power of a Potholder...And Marie

Remember the wishbone collection hanging on my kitchen wall?  Those wishbones came from the home of my Great Aunt Marie, my Great Granny Cleo's sister-in-law.  Marie (pictured below) was a woman who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty and was constantly working on something, much like myself.  In addition to cleaning bones, hunting on the land, feeding a tribe and being a general bad ass, Marie sewed.  
We have a mighty handful of beautifully handmade baby quilts that I used when I was a child made by Marie but more often used are our potholders also made by her. Marie made epic numbers of these potholders and any person in any close proximity to her during her life is sure to have at least a couple.  
Here's a crazy story for you.  When I went to college, I shared a dorm suite with four other ladies, three of which I knew before I even went to college.  One day while I was dining on my chicken noodle soup, holding my hot bowl with one of these potholders, one of my roommates suddenly stopped what she was doing and asked where my potholder came from.  Ugh.  The question kind of stopped me in my tracks.  You see, Marie and her family really lived off of the grid and not many knew of them unless they were family, to my knowledge.  Well, turns out, my friend grew up in the next town over from Marie and my friend's mother dated my cousin (who lived on the land) in high school, thus tying her into our family.  It was because of these seemingly insignificant potholders that we realized our families were quite intertwined and there was great likelihood that we even played together as small children.
That random happening and using these potholders on the daily has really made me think about the legacy of our crafts.  Did Marie know that this stash-busting, small project would tie two girls together several generations down the line?  Did she know that she would be known for POTHOLDERS, of all things?  Did she know that these potholders would stand the test of time and wear and tear to still be used by so many that she crossed paths with?  Who knows.  I doubt she ever knew how much these imperfect scraps of fabric would mean to so many.  

Do we really know the extent to which our creations will travel through people?  I think the majority of people who make, who create, do so not to pay off the mortgage but to satisfy an urge to make.  Marie never sold one potholder but those who now have them wouldn't be able to put a price on them.  They are truly priceless.  They are part of her legacy.
The above pair was given to me by Marie when I left for college.  She passed away later that year.  
So make, create, DO whatever it is you desire.  You never know how it will impact someone else down the road.  Thank you, Marie for being an inspiration....and for keeping our hands safe when cooking :)

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know that Marie made those. Interesting. I think I have some.


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