Do you ever stop and simply wonder where in your family tree you inherited something... anything? A love a cooking, crafting, gardening, wood working... who in the past did you inherit those things from? I sometimes feel like I am a melting pot of the people I love, and those I never met. I have three sisters and none of us are the same. You know we are a family, and we cherish one another, but we have very little in common, no let me correct that... I have very little in common with them.
We all share a love of animals, but they think I am nuts letting my old basset pit mix snuggle up with me at night. And I think I am the only one with permanent soil stains under my nails come planting season. I am fairly sure that I am just plain odd. So... where did it come from? What genetic soup created me? Why do I seem so convinced that this world is not the one I want to play in? Why do I feel compelled to create what I want and need as opposed to rushing to the store.
Simply put I detest shopping as a general rule, but give me the opportunity to learn how something is made and how to make it safer and better for my family, I am all over it! I like supporting local, I love wandering through a farmers market. I can spend days searching for the right piece of lumber, particularly if the smell of sawdust fills the air. I will admit to a fondness for any kind of craft store and I can be almost impossible to drag away from good alpaca roving, okay, okay maybe it doesn't even have to be good roving, simply workable and I am game. But...Take me into Best Buy and I swear I can feel hives starting to develop!
My dad used to tease me when I was a kid, telling me I was "little house on the prairie" or maybe simply a hippie/gypsy. I loved then as much as I do now, my long broomstick skirts and pheasant blouses or my jeans and sweatshirts, I was never much into fashion. I love my hair long - although I have been known to whack it all off if the mood hits me. As a kid I loved my earth shoes, as an adult I discovered Birkenstocks and I have never looked back, although I do admit to still owning a pair or two of earth shoes.
Which ancestor did I get that crazy stuff from? Who instilled the love of a garden in my heart, was it Papa? Someone that I didn't even share a drop of blood with? I loved his gardens, and still have the picture of the beautiful orange rose bush he planted for me shortly before his stroke. I don't know if it really was for me, but I cherish that story and picture! I love orange roses, the depth and beauty never cease to take my breath away. I planted one outside my front door when I moved here to Illinois, into my first ever home. Long before my sweet James discovered my need to connect with the earth and let me plant 13 more trees and built my raised beds, the first thing was the orange rose to keep my Papa close.
Who instilled in my very being the need to create? The non-stop drive to always have my hands busy, to learn and persist at the things that still the restlessness of my spirit? Was it my Grammie, my Great Gramma, Gramma A? Was it even further back and more diverse than that? What drove my teenaged self to need to learn to crochet? Or the young mother I'd become to learn to sew and knit? Was that inherent, or did I learn that while Debbie and I were trying to create beauty in Charleston on an airman's budget? Where did the drive to quilt, embroider and do needlework of any kind originate? Was it Mammas Manolis? My amazing Greek landlady who was stunned that at 12 I had not created anything for my hope chest when her Maria had already filled her's by 11. The thrill of creating and painting anything wood? Did that come from family or my dear friend Michelle who taught me how to use a scroll saw in Germany? My Kromski spinning wheel was a gift from my husband, after we discovered by accident at the farmers market that I seem to have an affinity for using a drop spindle, is that from a distant ancestor? Where did the desire to make soap and the candies my Grammie sent me come from?
I didn't grow up near my relatives, so many of them are gone and the memories are getting so much dimmer, to the point that I don't know whether the stories I "remember" are real or a misty mixed up memories. But I know that I have beautiful quilt blocks, flowers, crocheted treasures and a very strong need to keep those things alive. I wonder, who shared their gifts with me... am I a conglomeration of them all mixed up with a healthy dose of this wonderful life I have had the opportunity to live?
I am fairly certain I will never know, at least not until the end is done, but I am thankful to all my relatives that had so many talents. And to the path that has taken me to where I am now. I am so blessed to have a hubby that understands these irrational needs and supports me in my pursuit of my passions (when he'd really like to simply go fishing or watch a good movie).
Do you ever wonder what created the person that you are?