Friday, April 8, 2011

A tribute to grandmothers

In April each year the Carol Morgan School has an international fair where the students study about different countries and their peoples. Each elementary class is assigned a country and the students learn about it. Kambrielle was very excited when she came home and told me that this year her class was studying Sweden. We looked up facts online, looked for photos and wrote reports. We were especially excited because one of my grandmothers is Swedish!
Last Thursday Kami came home very happy because she was chosen as the girl from the class to go and speak during the elementary school assembly about Sweden. Then I heard these words: "Oh, and by the way mom...I need you to make me the National Swedish Costume to wear during the assembly"
Panicking, I quickly googled the image and found that it was doable. I had one week to get the outfit done....not that easy here where they don't sell patterns! I felt fairly confident that I could do it, and was pretty happy that I could make it out of inexpensive cotton.....should I need to cut something out more than one time!

This is a photo of Kambrielle in front of her classroom. The flag of Sweden is in the background.

Her full outfit. She was so excited to have a long dress!
Kambrielle sharing her report in front of the school. She got really nervous right before, since the gym was full of students and parents. I was very proud of her! One of her favorite things about Sweden that she wanted to share was about ice hotels. She thinks that we should go there and stay in one this summer.......Don't think that will work!
As I worked this week on the costume, I thought about how thankful I am that my mom taught me to sew and encouraged me in it. I can't tell you how many things of mine she picked the stitching out of when I wanted to scream and throw them away. She learned from her mother, Elsie Butler Speer, who was a professional seamstress. My grandfather passed away when my mom was 2 years old. To provide for her four children Grandma sewed for people. Grandma Speer didn't have an easy life, but I have lots of happy memories of her. Grandma liked to go dancing on the weekends and so she would come over once a week and my mom would wash her hair and set it in rollers and style it for her. Grandma would often sleep over in my room and she would tell me stories about growing up in Texas; picking cotton in the morning, then riding her horse to school and then coming back and picking cotton in the afternoon. After my grandmother passed away I was in a gift shop once in Texas and I found the perfect gift for my mom. It was a ball of cotton, with the husk on it still that had been crafted into an angel.
I also thought of my Grandmother, Sylvia Erickson Pierce, while I was researching Sweden. Grandma Pierce's parents immigrated from Sweden to the Portland area. I grew up with stories of lutefisk (smelly fish that they actually sell and eat all the time here in the DR!) for Christmas. My Grandma Pierce was THE best pie maker. Her apple pie was my all time favorite. She was a great baker and we kids loved going over to their house. We would always get some treats and a can of soda, pretty amazing things for a kid! She and my Grandpa were very supportive of my and my brothers while we were growing up and I don't remember her missing any of my activities, even church ones that they didn't necessarily understand. I think of and miss her and Grandpa often. While my kids were growing up,they got a savings bond from Grandma and Grandpa every Christmas and some birthdays. When Kierstin went to college, she cashed hers in and used it to buy a computer for her studies. It was as if my grandparents were still there, supporting her as she took her next important step.
I am really grateful for the grandmothers that I had. They were so loving and caring to me. I also adore Kevin's grandmother. She has always shown me such love. I also really appreciated the time that we spent together, when we lived in Riverton Utah, since she was so close to us. I tried to do something with her once a week and she gave me such a good example of a grandparent who lives and loves the gospel. I have had some amazing talks with her and I love her! I miss seeing her, but we still get together when we are in Utah.
It hurts me now, as I think of the amazing memories that I have of my grandparents, that we live so far away from my children's grandparents. I feel bad that my kids don't have the one on one experiences with their grandparents that I had. When the kids were little they spent a lot of time on the phone with my mom and they loved that time. They are really looking forward to hanging out with the grandparents this summer!
So, thank you to my amazing grandmothers. I hope that my grandchildren will love me as much as I love you.