I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pearl was really a pearl

Her name was Pearl. Along with photos and vivid memories I have of her and of the wonderful old house in the woods she lived in, these few dishes are all that I have left to remember her. I am in the process of designing linens with embroidery that have the vintage look of these dishes. I plan to come up with a name for this design using my grandmother's name, Pearl.
Thinking back on my life and of the people I fondly recall, the memory of my grandmother stands out the most. In a time of plenty, it is difficult for me to supply all of the needs of my three children. I stand in awe of my Grandmother, Pearl, who had 13 children to supply for in the worst of times.... the Great Depression. Through terrible dust bowls of Texas and living in a tent with a dirt floor during cotton picking season, they still managed to love and feed these children with what little they had. Pearl was 16 when she married Frank who was 18. The day to day struggles they faced, the deaths of some of their small children, the hardships,and the worries, never drove them apart in all of the 62 years they spent together. They seemed to be bound by a thread that could not be broken. As hard as those years seemed to be for them, I feel they were blessed to know the true meaning of commitment and love. Do any of you remember stories of the Great Depression? I would love to hear.


Katy said...

Over the past couple years...I have grown a true love for the name Pearl. It just sounds so sweet! I love the dishes...they are beautiful!!! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog...I really appreciate your kind words! xoxo

Conni said...

Those dishes are so pretty!
Looking forward to seeing the embroidery designs they inspire.

Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Kathleen!

Margie said...

It must have been so very hard for those who lived through the Depression. I don't think most of us can even have any idea of what it was like. We think times are hard today, and they are, but I don't think there's really any comparison.

I try to be thrifty and reuse things and not waste, but my efforts are laughable compared to how my great Aunt Josie lived her life, as of course, she lived through the Depression. She reused everything, Reynolds Wrap, bread bags, wrapping paper, paper bags, string, ribbon, baggies would be rinsed out, dried and reused, you name it, she could probably squeeze a second or third use out of it. At the time I saw her doing these things, I had a hard time understanding it, now I'm starting to understand, as we are squeezing pennies more and more every day.

I wish I could have spent more time learning from her.


Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Such a lovely tribute to your grandmother. My own dear grandmother had a baby sister named Pearlie May. I've always loved that old fashioned name.

My grandparents lived in the appalachian mountains during the depression. They were so very poor and life did not change much for them during that time. My own mother grew up without indoor plumbing and surviving on only what they could grow themselves. I love hearing those stories as it always reminds me how very blessed I am even when times are tough.


Pam said...

Kathleen, what beautiful memories of your Grandmother.
I did not have the chance to know my Grandmothers; one died before I was born. Daddy's mother died when I was three: my Mama tells me that Grandmama cried the day I was born, she had wished so much for a granddaughter ( she already had 4 grandsons).
My mother grew up in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Although they had little, they lived on a farm, and grew much of their own food. The stories they all told were of the love in the family, not what they lacked.
Blessings and hugs,

Katie said...

My grandma's name was Edna Pearl and I have some of her dishes too. I decided to write a post about her and hard times on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

Linda said...

Hi Kathleen, what sweet memories of your granma and to have her dishes is so vey special. I don't remember any stories of the depresssion....but I do think during hard times families expected less and were so thankful and appreciated all they did have. This made for happier times.
Happy Birthday, a little late. I like the way you celebrate it as the beginning of a new and great year...looking forward to lots of new ventures. Have a great year and happy days, hugs, Linda

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Sweet Kathleen! Love your pretty china Pearl. I am sure your grandmother was a pearl, just like you! Hugs, Maryjane

Gina E. said...

Hi Kathleen, thank you for visiting my blog - I love to see your nice comments! Your dishes are very pretty and very precious; what a wonderful idea to design embroidery to go with them.
I am too young to remember the Depression of course, and my parents didn't talk about it, but Dad wrote his memoirs before he died and he wrote about his experiences back then.
It makes me so cross when I see young people today abusing their bodies and souls with drugs and alcohol; they would never survive a time like the Depression.

Nancy M. said...

What beautiful China. My grandmother left me a similar pattern.

I don't understand how large families made it then or today, really. I know we have a hard time on one income now. It must have been doubly hard then.

My dad worked in one of President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. The president made those during the depression so young men could have a place to work. They did a lot of great work like reforestation, building roadways, and building state parks.

You have a nice blog!

Farm Chick Paula said...

What a wonderful story, Kathleen... I agree with Katy- I LOVE the name Pearl.
I've heard my Dad tell of the hard times they had during the Depression... he was born in 1935 and the stories he's told of the odd jobs his mother and father took on just to feed my Dad and his 3 brothers amazes me... I don't know how they had the stamina, but I guess it was either wotk or starve. He's told me before of how he would have to eat cold pinto beans for breakfast, because his mom and dad were already gone to work, then he wouldn't have money for a lunch at school, so he wouldn't eat again until sometimes late that night.
We are so blessed nowadays, but so few are really thankful... so sad!

Anonymous said...

I have those same dishes! I inherited them from my grandmother who's family used them when she was growing up during the depression years. She was one of 9 children. I love to think of all the special meals that were served on them--meals made by loving hands.