Monday, February 22, 2010

The Crochet Hook and Nana’s Hands

Some of my fondest memories are of my grandma Celestina, crocheting her beautiful treasures. Many of which I own today and cherish. I called her Nana and I know I will never have another treasure created by her again. She designed the most wonderful home accent doilies, warm cuddly throws, slippers that everyone wanted and loved and even kitchen hand towels we soon learned we could not function without. You know the old styles with crocheted tops that accented the trendy terrycloth bottoms. Most of these pretties have long worn away with loving use over the years. I did keep the last pair of slippers she made for me and have never worn. I just don’t want them to wear out, for I will never have another.

Her crochet hooks and knitting needles have long been silent, but the vision of her, working her magic with yarn, lives on. Her hands moved with such grace and ease. Hands that suffered with a trace of gout and an index finger that adorned a slight bump. It never slowed her down. Her actions were to keep going. She said it was “good therapy” to work hard and stay creative. I was always so impressed with her abilities. Everything she did was amazing. From cooking to her garden, she did it all. When she was crocheting, she could look up, talk and keep working like we sometimes do on the computer. I think if she had learned the computer in her time, she would have been remarkable with the things she could do. Nana was a very quick study with everything she attempted to learn.

I was always interested in her latest creations. She taught me to do some simple knitting when I was about 7 and I remember knitting for days till I had a very long piece. Too big for a scarf, but just right to throw on one’s lap. She thought I did so well, she kept it for a lap throw. I was so thrilled she wanted it for her own. After all, she was the expert. Could I even come close to her wisdom and ways? She instilled in me confidence and passion for the arts that later in years would serve me well in school. She passed on her cheerfulness, giving spirit, helpfulness and love of life!

As the years went by, she would show me how to crochet and I enjoyed our time together as she taught. She was a wonderful teacher.
I remember a time when she was staying with our family to recoup from a gall bladder surgery. This procedure was more complicated many years ago and recuperation time was about 6 weeks. I was so excited for Nana to come stay with us while grandpa worked. This meant we could pal up and create. Well, at first she had to rest, but once she was feeling better she taught me to embroider. Oh how I loved our time together. We would talk, pray and she would tell me stories from the “old country“ as she referred to her home land of Naples, Italy. I will treasure those days forever.

Now I own those crochet hooks and although they will never move like she made them do, I love to gaze upon them on my sewing table and remember. Those shining needles sit in a cup along with other sewing tools handed down from her and my mother. Thin silver needles that she used to make gorgeous lace doilies and edging. Larger colorful hooks that were used to create those warm cozy throws. And knitting needles that she used to design the best pair of slippers you could ever slip on your tootsies. Oh how I miss her, but thank God for memories in one’s mind. They give comfort when you need it and warm security when in doubt.

The crochet hook will always be a useful tool and for me a lovely reminder of her life well spent, the closeness of her spirit to our Lord, hours in prayers for others and the happy heart when she worked with her loving hands.
I see her smile always in my mind and so thankful for the “Crochet Hook and Nana’s Hands.”

Blessings and Blue Skies
Celestina Marie
The remodel is nearly finished, just waiting for the shower glass to be installed and then I'll have more pictures to share in that story. Hugs!

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