Wednesday, August 3, 2011


My dreams started with my grandmother - Nanny.  My earliest memories were being with her during World War II.  I was three years old when my dad (a 90-Day Wonder in the Air Force) left to receive more training as a bombader in Utah.  My mother was a nurse and followed him so that she could help as well.  My brother and I stayed with Nanny and Danny and my mother's sister, Catherine (Cat).  I remember standing on a wooden box to talk on the old wallphones to my parents.  They were happy memories.

When we were all back together again, Nanny taught me to crochet at the age of 6.  She took a bobbypin and made a hook on the end and gave it to me with some thread.  She wanted me to make a long chain with them.  That was a start to what has been my passion - sewing and needlework.  She would sit with me while we made dollclothes for closepin dolls.  She was always laughing and encouraging.

When I was 13, Danny had a heart attack and passed away.  My parents sold their home and bought a duplex so that Nanny could live close to us.  We had a door that connected the two sides.  She had a large bedroom/sitting area, a bath, and a kitchen with an outside entrance.  I would come home from school and she would be there to encourage and laugh with me.  When I was 15 my parents had a new home built with an extenton on the back for Nanny that was connected to our house by an enclosed breezeway where we would eat our meals.  My dad was a fireman in Dallas and my mother was a secretary for the city of Dallas.  Nanny spoiled us all with her cooking.  The one problem is that she did not use receipts and today I wish I had some of her wonderful deserts - fried fruit pies, bisquit pudding, hot cake and sauce, etc. 

By the time I was in high school, I was crocheting, making my clothes, and embrodering.  My mother loved to do all of this as well and the three of us would sit on the couch at night and do our thing.  My mother made all my prom dresses and many a times sewed her finger under all the ruffles of net.  It was the best of times.

After high school, I became engaged to my high school sweetheart.  We waited 4 years to get married so that he could finish his degree at SMU in Dallas.  He decided to go on to graduate school and I was working as a secretary.  We soon realized that we were going to become parents but that we could manage for him to continue his schooling.  I worked until 4 days before our daughter was born and went back to work 6 weeks later.  You guessed it.  Nanny was there to take care of Kay while we provided for our family.  She took care of her for three years.  My husband finished all of his classwork for a doctorate in economics and he got a teaching position in Omaha, Nebraska teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Can you imaging the  saddness we felt at having to tell our families that we were moving so far away.  We had a church family of friends as well that we had grown up with.  This is when I realized that people sometimes have to do things that are hard to deal with but you need to make the best of it because it is happening for a reason.  We said our good-byes in August and moved to Omaha.  We rented a wonderful old home not far from the university from a sweet couple from Sweden.  They became our "Omaha" parents.  Omaha will always be one of my favorite cities.  No matter how much snow we got, they knew how to take care of it.  They had rules about keeping sidewalks shoveled, how to maintain your cars, and what to do in emergencies.  They would turn their ballparks into ice rinks in the winter.  It was hilly and great for sledding.  The people were all so nice.  Nanny at the age of 68 got on her first plane to come to Omaha - mostly I think to see Kay.  It was a great visit and she made it every year in October for the 4 years we lived there.

My husband applied for a job teaching at Millikin University in Decatur, Il and was accepted.  We rented a very large house owned by the university and just across the street from some of the dorms.  It was great to be so close to all the students.  The first year in Decatur Nanny made her annual plane trip.  This was to be the last one she was able to make.  The university was having homecoming while she was here and she got to babysit Kay once again.  Kay was 7 years old now.  We were going to bring the Dean of the Economics Department back for desert after the play at the college and I had left a cake that I had baked on the kitchen table to cool.  We had given Kay the master bedroom as her room since she would spend more time in it than we would.  It was upstairs and there was a step going into her room from the back hall.  Nanny had gone to the bathroom and when she came back to Kay's room she tripped on the step.  She did not hurt herself but Kay thought she should sit on her bed and not get up until we came home.  Neither one of them did not hear that the toilet had stuck and was overflowing.  When we came home and I went into the kitchen, the water was coming through the ceiling right over the cake.  We went upstairs and there was Nanny laughing at Kay because she would not let her up.  It all turned out great.

My parents had moved to a man made island on the coast of Texas before we moved to Omaha.  At that time Nanny had gone to live with her other daughter in East Texas.  I had our son, Bradley, the next year after she visited us in Decatur.  When he was 1 1/2 we took him to Texas to meet Nanny.  She was in a wheelchair by then and it would be the last time we were together.  We were still laughing like always. 

She started my dream and my love of sewing.  I owe her so much for the things she taught me and the laugher that we shared together.  In everything I make, she is a part of it. 


  1. My Nana used to sit with me for hours teaching me to knit and crochet. She used to make me dresses and special outfits. I eventually took up sewing too. She could do it all! And she used to make us chocolate fried pies!

  2. My grandmother tried to teach me to sew but she was so particular that it made me too nervous and I never learned to love it. I still loved her, of course, just not sewing as she had hoped.

    Your Nana sounds like a very wonderful woman and an integral part of your life. Beautiful.

    I'm Becky. I hope you'll visit me at Hospitality Lane and Candles at Hospitality Lane and at my Etsy shop Good Neighbors Candles. I'm also part of CAST.

    Welcome to blogworld!

  3. What a great relationship you had with your Nanny. They are special people in our lives!

  4. Thank you all for your comments. This is all new to me - blogging. I just felt a need to write about all the wonderful things in my life. I am 71 now and hope my family will learn a lot from what I have to say.