Monday, February 25, 2008

The Great Great Aunts - Crossing the Atlantic Ocean


As a young girl, at family gatherings, I remember watching the “old ladies” do their quiet magic with crochet hooks. I was fascinated watching the quickness of their fingers, hearing the gentle clicking of their crochet hooks and marveling at the beautiful and intricate finished projects. Even to a child, it was magic. They sat quietly in corners, always being useful, keeping hands busy, and working intently on their intricate projects.

My grandmother was one of those crocheting ladies. Grandma died at age 99, about 30 years ago, and she told me this story, about HER great aunts.

“They were leaving Germany, for political, or economic reasons. This would be a long journey, on a clipper ship -- to unknown places -- you know, ships had only sails in the mid 1800s, and it might take 6-8 weeks if weather was good, but longer, if weather did not cooperate. For this particular group of immigrant ladies, somewhere along the way, the story goes, they were tragically becalmed (no wind) for many weeks. "

As she told me the story, I piped in something about, “the poor things, “starvation”, “scurvy” “how terrible” “what did they do?”, etc. Her response was unexpected ...

“Becalmed? Starving? It was MUCH WORSE than that!!!”

Even worse than “starving”???

“Yes, much worse,” she answered, ”They ran out of crochet thread!”

24 comments:

Nettie said...

Oh, that is such a good story! Sistahs!

Lynne in Hawaii said...

This is such a great story. Thank you.
You must get this in written down or journaled. These stories have got to be handed down or will be lost forever! It is a wonderful way of families connecting.

Kim said...

Geesh...you crack me up! :O)

Pam said...

That was a great story. What do you think would have happened if they were quilters and ran out of thread?

Jodie said...

lol, what a wonderful story.

mamaspark said...

What a riot. Makes you keep things in perspective, huh?

Darcie said...

LOL Guess us girls haven't changed through the generations, have we! (And I doubt we ever will.) That's a great story, Elaine!

Marilyn said...

You are a real story teller. I hope you journal or write down your stories. I also enjoyed the story about your husband's fall and the doggie poo. Not that I enjoyed your husband's fall! I was laughing and reading it to my husband.

Shelina said...

That is a great story. I can imagine that it would be similar to losing your internet connection now. Throw the whole rest of the trip off.

paula, the quilter said...

Such a great story. I wish I had stories like that. yvmzfcgh

Twila Grace said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

Libby said...

That's a great story *s* Family lore is really a treasure.

The Calico Quilter said...

You've probably gotten this before, but -- you're tagged. I'd like to learn more about the people behind the blogs I enjoy so hope you participate. If you've already been tagged a bunch, please feel free to opt out. The rules are on itsthecatshouse.blogspot.com. Thanks!

Lisa Boyer said...

Ran out of crochet thread? Whaaa? Is that possible? I think I would have started unraveling my clothing to be able crochet with something!

quiltteacher said...

Wonderful story. Just found your blog. Enjoyed reading it.

Tanya said...

This is hilarious! I think I can relate! If I ever am stranded somewhere I want a thread, yarn, something, to keep me occupied!

jovaliquilts said...

Those old timers were gutsy, that's for sure!

atet said...

I love that story. I can relate too :0). I also loved your story about your walk...I was laughing so hard I woke up my husband. Hehehehehe.

josephines said...

you did it again, make me laugh out loud!! THANKS!
Josephine from Holland

meggie said...

I burst out laughing! I have posted about family today too. Not the same sort of post, mind you!
The Granny I refer to would have felt the loss of thread. She did the most beautiful intricate crochet, & embroidery. I am so lucky to have some of it today.

pudge's girl said...

Until my grandmother died at 93, I had to have a friend from England send her a stash of crochet thread because "what they sell here is not fit to tie newspapers."

Funny story!!

julieQ said...

Love that! and we whine because we don't have every little thing we need. hehehe!!

Wendy said...

How devastating to run out of crochet thread, that would be like us running out of fabric...lol

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Loved the story.I laughed out loud as well.