snow and cold
red and pink and white
basking in sunshine
pretending it's summer
The sweet, smiling baby in the picture is my Granddaughter, Amanda, at 6 months. She's wearing a feed-sack dress that my Mother wore as an infant. The material for the dress came from a feed bag, maybe one that originally held grain for the farm animals. My Grandparents were poor tenant farmers who had no money for store-bought clothing. My Grandmother hand-sewed a tiny bit of lace to the collar and sleeves to make the dress prettier. My mother was born a triplet (she and two brothers) which was very rare in the early 1900's. They were born in the old farmhouse. Only one baby was expected - there were already two toddlers in the family. My mother was the last born and the tiniest, weighing 2.5 pounds at birth. She was swaddled and placed in the oven of the slightly warmed wood stove, which they used as an incubator to keep her warm.
Amanda and her twin brother will be 9 in February. My Mother and Grandmother died long before any of my Grandchildren were born. So, I tell the old stories, recounting a way of life so different both from my own and from that of my Grandchildren.
I started this post writing about the delicate blooms on my cacti, but, somehow, I got distracted by that photo and the feed-sack dress. I have only a few mementoes from my Mother and Grandmother. However, I do have the stories and my memories. Here's what I hope: maybe someday Amanda's own daughter will wear the antique dress, and Amanda will pass along the stories of the capable women, her ancestors, who survived the odds and made a better life for themselves and for their families.