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!”