My Mom's Pictures

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My mom has moved to Knoxville, TN. to be close to my sister Anna and her family. Mom and Dad lived in a retirement apartment complex for about 9 years here in Kansas City close to me. My Dad died about 3 years ago and mom continued to stay in her apartment. Recently Mom fell and needed more my sister decided to move Mom closer to her. We did this move fairly quickly and I think it was a bit hard on my Mom. When talking with her I can tell she is wondering where all of her stuff went. "Where is the shoe polish?" "Where is my powder?" "Where is my hair drier?" Everything is now in a new place or still boxed up and hard to find. It's hard to pack up someone's belongings and it's hard to be moved, as my mom would attest. There's just no easy way to do this. Everything feels scattered to the wind.

I kept all of Mom's pictures and family genealogy information. In my spare time, I'm scanning the pictures. I thought I would put them all into book and have them on a disk so all of us could have prints. It makes me a bit tearful seeing some of these pictures. I would say I'm hormonal...but I don't think I have any hormones left. Just seeing their faces as my Mom and Dad begin their lives together is enough to make tears come to my eyes. Maybe it's because I know how the story ends and maybe it's because I see my life along the continuum also.

So... part of me is teary and emotional and the other part is looking around the house and thinking "Hey...what will happen to all my stuff?" I have some great stuff....but maybe my kids won't think so. It probably won't be their style. I have to get busy and clean out this house or my kids will have more than they can handle in a week's time..... Or I could just let my kids call HSH Estate Sales and have an estate sale right here! Or....we could start a clean a closet a week club. (I don't even know if I would join a club like that!!!) My friend Cherie Ralston and I try to help each other with projects like this....she is cleaning out bags of stuff from her attic and I promised I would do the same but I'm sitting here writing to you. (Cherie....I'm cheering you on to a clean attic!)

Bonnie sent me an e-mail asking for a picture of the new May Stocking it is Bonnie!

The ones for June and July are stitched and the pattern will be out soon....the above pattern will be in the shops next week. Get your needles ready!

The picture below is one of our projects we will be teaching at Quilter's Station in Lees Summit, MO. The Primitives of the Midwest is June 22-27, 2009. We are teaching two classes on Sat. 27th. The other class is a bulletin board. You can see it on the Quilter's Station web site. The pincushion below also includes a strawberry emery.

Until later dear friends!



  1. Awww, big hugs, Alma. (((((((Alma))))))) You can't look at it like the story ending, look at it as the beginning of a story. What wonderful people your parents must have been to have raised two daughters who helped them in their later years, to have raised children who went on to marry & become loving parents themselves. Their legacy lives on in their loved ones and their story can't end as long as that happens. I am sure it must be so hard, though, to deal with your mother's confusion at settling into her new situation & new place in life.

    I love love love the May stocking!! I really have to get going on stitching the series for myself. I can't wait to see the June & July stockings!

    Hang in there.

  2. Alma, I love the pictures of your parents! You are your mother made over. And your dad looks a litte ornery in the first pic. I know how you feel. My adorabe Dad is 84 and healthy as a horse but I know he can't be with me forever. Time moves too quickly.
    Who has time to clean closets when there are cake plates and quilts and stockings to be made?!

  3. Alma...we're with you, my sisters and I. Last month we cleaned out our parents' home as our father passed away in January, and our mother has been gone for almost 6 years. When we were sifting through the crystal and china, I want you to know, we were discussing how we could make cupcake plates and be just like the Blackbird Ladies! What fun we had together...we shed tears, laughed, hugged and shared memories. Thanks for sharing some of yours! We all went home and threw lots away and thought about how our own children will deal with all of our treasures! You're not alone! Hugs to you!

  4. Oh Alma...I don't know where to start. My Mom passed away six years ago and my Dad passed away in January. In April I went to Utah (from Florida) to help my brothers and sisters clean out their house. Oh my goodness..the laughter and tears. A million times I turned glassware upside down and put a plate on it..told them." Alma taught me" ...look at the cupcake plates!! I made sure they all saw your post from yesterday. And then today's post about your parents. Well sweetheart, you just brought me to tears. Both sad and happy tears. Your pictures are precious..just as ours are.

    I've stitched the first 12 stockings and finished them. I'll send you a pic or post on Legacy. I'm looking forward to the May, June and July ones. They are darling and way too much fun to stitch!!

    Hugs and thanks for such a wonderful blog.

  5. A note...Cathy Lloyd and Cari are sisters. We wrote these comments not knowing the other one was writing at the same time. You have left a lovely imprint on our lives. Hugs

  6. I'm starting to scan all of the old family photos and it's definitely a trip down memory lane. And, I think that it will take years.

    My advice is not to be too quick to clear things out. Sure, get rid of the odd pieces of wrapping paper and the empty yogurt cups but you'd be surprised at what your children might want. Old stools that they sat on, worn wooden spoons that they saw you use for years- it's hard to tell what they might want. And if it's gone- it's gone.

  7. I can really relate to how you are feeling regarding your mother and father and their life and how your own life. We are in similar circumstances and it is very bittersweet. My MIL has been moved recently and missed some personal items, its confusing, you know where it was in the old home but not now!! Thanks for sharing, and for sharing your May stocking pictures, I love the Lily of the Valley. Oh! I definitely like the Estate Sale idea!! It would be like striking the mother load!! :))

  8. Lovely pictures of your parents. Your mother is a beautiful lady - thanks for sharing.

    Love the pincushion with the strawberry emery. I need to relocate to the US as I miss out on so many great classes.

  9. I hope your mom is settling in nicely now that she's moved. And I hope you're feeling more settled as well. Those pictures are lovely. I need to do the same thing and scan all of my family pictures that my dad sent me. I love the May stockings! I just love lily of the valley!! And your class piece -- I wish I lived in Lee's Summit. :D

  10. My daughter and I moved my parents 1200 miles two years ago. I understand what you and your mom (and your sister) are going through. Downsizing after 30 years wasn't easy as my mom wanted to keep everything but we got it done. They finally did adjust. Big hugs to your whole family.

    On a happier note, I love all your patterns!

  11. Well they're wonderfull pictures indeed, i can see your dad smile in your smile Alma.your mother is so beautifull too!!
    And i just love your next class, those pincushions are simply adorable.

  12. what wonderful pictures.
    I love all your stockings but have only gotten 1 done so far.

    Will the pincusions be available other than the class as I live in NewYork and it's a little too far to drive :)

  13. Thank you for sharing the pics of your Mom and Dad. They look like such sincere, genuine people. I love how classy everyone looked in those times. I hope you Mom can feel settled in the near future, and she is lucky to have you and your sister as daughters.

    I LOVE the May stockings! I really do need to start stitching this series.

  14. The pictures of your parents make me think of how I love old pictures of my family, especially those of my mom when she was a girl. You've reminded me that I need to scan all of the pictures we have so everyone will be able to appreciate them.

    You and your sister are such good daughters! Even in confusing moments, your mom must love you both and appreciate all that you've done out of love for her. I hope you both can find some kind of peace in knowing that you're doing what's best for her.

  15. What beautiful photographs... it's no wonder that you get emotional.
    Thanks for posting the pictures of the new projects - they're so sweet!

  16. My heart goes out to you. I have been in the same situation with my parents. God bless you.

  17. Alma, thank you for the pictures of you Mom and Dad, lovely....

    Beautiful May stocKing and beautiful pincushion...;)

  18. great story--the pictures of my parents mean so much to me--particulary since i don't have anyone to share memories of their younger years. my mom passed 17 yrs ago and i still miss her--dad 6 yrs ago and i had to clean out his house when he needed to go to a nursing home for medical care and later passed there. they are with us in our hearts when separated by distance or death. I love your pincushions and hope to use two of my great grandmothers dates when i do similar ones--how fortunate i am to have known them--i love following your blog--arlyce

  19. Thanks for the trip down your 'Memory Lane'.

    Alma, I have a question for you as I don't know how to contact you otherwise. I desperately would like to learn to cross stitch and I'm looking for your book "Thank You Sarah Tobias." I've checked on Amazon, my two local quilt shops and have come up empty. I live in Canada and the two LQS say that their distributors don't carry that title. Can you suggest where I might order one? Or I'll trade for a pair of knitted sox. (wink)

    Thanks in advance.


  20. Alma,
    I have to say, looking at your lovely family photos made me feel a bit weepy too. It's very disorientating for our parents when big changes have to be made but, how lovely for your mum to now be near your sister and for you to know that she is being cared for whilst you can't be near. My lovely MIL who was 100 last month, had a fall just a few weeks ago and suddenly became very frail and confused. She is still in her own home but needs lots of support.
    I love reading your blog so much - I just wanted to say that :>)
    Best wishes Angela
    I always feel the love support and guidance our parents gave us whilst we were growing up now needs to be returned unconditionally. I lost my parents a few years ago so I try to cherish the one mum we have left :>)

  21. Thank you for all of your kind comments. Nothing like friends who can give a bit of encouragement and who have been through the same thing! We are all in this boat together.


    Kaaren!!! The book Thank You Sarah Tobias was out of print for a short time. We did reprint it do to demand. Check with your local cross stitch shop and have them order one for you. (I'm still working on that one sock....I'm down to the heel!)


  22. Wish I still lived in LS, I'd be over in a heartbeat! I worked/taught at the scrapbooking store that used to be next door, so I understand about the photos and memories. But you are doing the best thing you can to save those memories. Scan them, and pass them through the family. Also, if you can...get as much information from your Mom on the photos and document them as well - harder long distance, but not impossible. Not just the basic W's but any stories she has - you may want to enlist your sister's help and tape record them as well, so you can refer back to them. Good luck!!

    Sharon in FL

  23. What a fabulous read! I still have my parents and they are HUGE packrats ~ I will appreciate that trait a little more after reading about your treasure finds. The stockings are beautiful, and I love love love that pincushion ~ one can never have too many pincushions.

  24. I would not recommend that anyone use H S H Estate Sales. They are not trustworthy. My neighbor passed away and her family had them do her estate sale. They took a flatbed trailer of items away that they said were unsellable and said they would dispose of them for the family, however, they never let the family see what items they were taking. One of my neighbors sons called them on two of the extension ladder and a compressor--both of which were in very good/great condition, and both of which were items which would have brought a nice selling price. They returned the extension ladder but never did return the compressor. They also refused to sell items at 50% off to another one of my neighbor's sons 15 minutes before the end of the sale (6:00 p.m.) on a Friday when they would have been at 50% at the start of the sale the next morning (Saturday)--he was told he would have to either place a bid or come back the next morning to buy them at 50%. Then, 5 to 10 minutes later, one of the same employee's friends came up to the checkout with a lamp and reminded her that she had told her that if she showed up just before 6:00 on Friday that she could get her things at 50% off...and she then proceeded to sell them to her at 50% off. Not right...not aboveboard...not honest. Wouldn't trust them or recommend them.


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