Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Stitch in Time



Remember this post?  I have a new oldest thing in my house, if that makes any sense.  It's a cross-stitch sampler done by my great, great, great-grandmother.  My mother's mother's mother's mother's mother!  Her name, Margaret French, and, presumabely, her age, 11 years old, are stitched onto the piece.  According to her birthdate of 1830, this would put the year of completion around 1841.  She was still living in Scotland when she made this as a child, and it must have meant enough to her to save and bring along when she emigrated to North America as an adult in the 1880's with her husband and family.  Somewhere in the sampler's history, somebody had it professionally mounted and framed.  And somehow I was fortunate enough to end up receiving this little gem of history.  I feel a little bit like I won the genealogical lottery when I look at ancestry.ca and see that the descendants of my great-great-great-grandmother number in the hundreds, perhaps even a thousand or more, taking into account that not everybody is listed on there.  The framed sampler now hangs on the wall in my dining room.  Sometimes I find myself looking over at it in the middle of dinner, or while sitting at the table with my laptop, paying bills or some other such mundane activity, and wonder about the woman who stitched that little scrap of cloth 170 years ago, and the line of daughters and granddaughters after her.  I wonder if they took joy and found reasons to worry in the same things I do.  Did they marvel at their toddlers' milestones, and wonder how if they were teaching them what they need to know?  Did they struggle with potty training, and look forward to chatting with their husband at the end of the day?  Did they pray for wisdom that often seems so elusive, and wrestle with unanswered questions?  I wonder.

1 comment:

  1. Very, very, cool to have a personal piece of history like that!

    ReplyDelete

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