real silk

November 13th, 2008

My Nana is 105 years old.  There is no way to sum up someone who is 105 years old, even if you have only been in their life for 30.  Nana was already really old when I was growing up, but still took care of me often.  She wasn’t one to complain about being old–it probably wasn’t until last year she even thought of herself as old and because of that attitude she takes no medications, isn’t wheelchair bound, has no arthritis, and just last month moved into assisted living.  But that is only the medical side of things.  She also writes a poem everyday, likes to stay up late, plays a mean hand of gin (she always beat me, but I was 9), believes you can heal yourself by the force of your will power and six vegetable on your dinner plate every night, gave her grandkids iceberg lettuce sprinkled with sugar for dessert, never learned how to drive (from the front seat), climbed trees when she was 80, calls a cell phone a “little phone,” and many other strange and wonderful things.  In the 1920’s she worked for the Real Silk hosiery company selling stockings (and other unmentionables I’m sure).  She worked her way up in the company until she was the secretary to the bossman, then, I think because of an ultimatum from my grandfather, came back to the midwest and got married.  This hosiery mending kit was a little treasure I found in her sewing tin my mom gave me.  You keep it in your purse and those little match-like things magically stop the run in your delicate silk stockings until you can get back home and mend them.  I think it is absolutely fantastic. I’m so excited to get to use this pretty tin and pass it on when I turn 100.

Posted in my home.

19 Responses to real silk

  1. Kirsty says:

    My heart skipped a beat when this post popped up. How lucky you are to have these wonderful treasures & such beautiful memories.

  2. Katie says:

    She sounds like quite the lady! What a beautiful thing to have inherited from her.

  3. She sounds like a real trooper. I love it when I can get my nan talking. I have to try hard to remember everything because she clams up if I get a recorder out or start writing things down. I’ll see her at a family wedding tomorrow and will ask her about her own wedding. I’ve asked before, but she decides what and when she’ll tell me. I have bits of the story. The last time there was a wedding, she gave me her first wedding ring. Her knuckles became too big and it had to be removed before it was “stuck on”. She also told me she honeymooned where I now live. No one knew. My mum didn’t even now. I look at the houses down on the water every time I walk past them and wonder where it was she stayed.

  4. molly says:

    What a lovely post. Your sweet words remind me so much of my own grandma. Thanks for sharing.

  5. emily says:

    oh wow. what a treasure to have your nana. and her sewing tin.

  6. dorie says:

    A total treasure, and a lovely story.

  7. Nanette says:

    these are beautiful, Meg and how lucky you are to have such a wonderful nana. I have a 91 year old neighbour who I ferry cakes to every other day and he is wondersul – his courtly manners and kindness are from an age long past.
    Hope you are well!

  8. Nicky says:

    The first thing that attracted me from this post was the wonderful photos of that lovely silk thread-match-like mending kit, but I have to say that I really loved what you wrote about your Nana. She is a very inspiring lady. Thanks for sharing.

  9. SarahKeith says:

    Wow, what an inspiring story! I want to be just like your Nana…

  10. katy says:

    how beautiful! I have my own Nan’s sewing box, full of amazing treasures.

  11. It's Lily says:

    I too have several ‘old’ sewing items. I would be really curious to see posts of what bloggers have, but I don’t know how to set it up. Would you be interested in hosting something like this?

  12. Rebecca says:

    Your Nana sounds amazing! And that little tin is such a treasure!

  13. Jenna says:

    I love your post. 105 years is awesome. My grammy just turned 101 in October and is still as sharp as a tack. She uses a walker, but practically runs with it down the halls of her assisted living center. It is such an inspiration to have someone like her in my life.

  14. Lauren says:

    I LOVE your description of your Nana…definitely something to aspire to.

  15. Lil' d says:

    My great-grandma lived to be 100. She used to go dancing every week (yep, at 100). I wish she had lived to 125, so that my kids could have known her, too. She’d probably be sneaking them sweets, just like she did to me, though.

  16. Blue Castle says:

    What a treasure – both your grandma and the tin.

  17. louisa says:

    Many blessings to your sweet Nana :0) She sounds like a true treasure. Your tribute to her really touched my heart since I had a Nana just like that but lost her all too early.
    Wonderful blog!

  18. kristin says:

    what a wonderful peek into your nanas life…thanks for sharing :)

  19. Maggie says:

    What a surprise to see your Nana’s sewing tin! I too, have one just like it I inherited from my grandmother who was born in Scotland in 1894. I have never seen another one, so it’s cool to know my tin has a twin! I treasure mine and everytime I use it I feel a special link to my grandma!