Friday, September 28, 2012

Fiesta - It's about the little things

I have always loved these colorful plates. My love for them started at Grandma Neff's house in East Petersburg, PA.  They were the family's daily plates going back to when my mother was a child.

I got my hands on some of my favorite pieces from her collection at the family sale years ago (thanks to the generous bidding of my parents).  I am honored to have a cobalt blue mixing bowl and a complete cobalt blue place setting along with a nice collection of dinner plates from her collection.

Last year I decided it was time to add some color to my daily living and received much of my new collection as Christmas gifts. I created a mix of color similar to my Grandmother's.  I love that it brings a smile to my face even when I am washing dishes.  The variety of color is refreshing to me. They are more durable than I expected and they are made in West Virginia.

(OK... now I'm in trouble. In looking up their site to link to this blog, I have discovered pieces that I didn't know existed. Guess they'll go on this year's Christmas list.)

Looking back it strikes me that my Grandmother was a no nonsense, straight forward, no frills kind of woman, yet her daily plates highlighted her colorful side. A side that we only have truly come to appreciate in her passing this week.  It is yet another example of how she blessed me in the example of how she lived her life. Keep your eyes on the details because it really is about the little things.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Maternal Ties

4 Generations - Mom, Grandma Neff, Emma Rose & me

I have been fortunate. I have known all of my Great Grandparents and Grandparents on my Mother's side of the family. 

I remember each of them... their of oddities, mannerisms, and presence.  They each left a piece of them with me by showing me what was important to them.  Over time, as we said goodbye to each one, they each taught me about loss.  I am coming to realize that one of the blessings of knowing all of them is that I have been through the grieving process at different parts of my life.  At each passing I have grieved differently, because of who they were and who I was at the time. 

Great Grandparents Clyde & Emma Weaver and
Grandpa & Grandma Neff (standing right)
In the last 24hours I have come to reflect on the loss of my Grandparents.  Looking back I realize that I was sad at each passing and the weeks after each one's funeral. But I have also realized I grieved the women in my life more emotionally.  Other than Grandmother, I didn't necessarily spend more time with either Great Grandmothers, yet my heart strings are pulled a little harder as I remember Great Grandma Anna Neff, and Great Grandma Emma Weaver. 

Great Grandparents Harry & Anna Neff
And now Grand Mother Anna Mary Neff is fading.  I find myself wanting to do things that are very uncharacteristic of most of our relationship. I want to hug her and cuddle up next to her in her hospital bed or brush her hair. She is the one I was closest to, but most of our relationship was over shelling peas, reading good night stories when we stayed over, or watching her braid her hair in the morning to put up under her covering.  Over the last couple years Grandmother connected with Emma Rose, even reading to her enthusiastically at one visit in the last year.

Whatever comes in the next few weeks, I will find comfort in knowing that I am blessed that I can reflect on the the Grandparents who helped shape who I have become, and the memories of the women whom I'd admire and love most, as only a granddaughter can.