Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reviving Family Talents

I sat here today struggling over a tatting pattern.  "This is too hard", I thought.  Then, I reflected over the last 20 years or so that I have been working to revive my family talents.

Many years ago, after the death of Grandma Bowser, I received some of her crochet needles, patterns, and yarn.  I was self taught, but worked year after year to learn the skill.  "Perhaps Grandma would be proud", I imagined.  Last year, I entered my crocheting into the county fair...and won first place.  I was delighted!

My first place crocheted table cloth
About 6 years ago, I was remembering back to the 'good ole days' at Grandma Cole's house.  The Cole family would gather there for Thanksgiving and Christmas and after dinner we would gather round for some singin'.  Guitars, amplifiers, and chairs would spring up in the same corner of the family room and it was time to sing the old gospel hymns of their past.  My sisters and I did not grow up Pentecostal, (we were raised Mormon) however, we loved the 'old time religion' of the songs they sang.  I decided someone in our family should learn to play the guitar and pass on the music to the new generation of children.  My husband saw I was determined and purchased me my first guitar.  I again was self taught (this time I used you tube) and every once in awhile I would get a chance to visit with my Uncle Willard and Uncle Ray who would show me how to play.  Now, at Sunday dinner with my own parents, sisters, and our families, we bring out the guitar and have a singin'.  The kids know many of the songs.

Singing the gospel hymns at the Cole Family Reunion.  Left to right:  Uncle Willard, my mother, Willie Cole in the back, me on the right with the guitar and Aunt Mary in pink

And today, I am trying to learn how to tat.  Again, a skill that Grandma Bowser enjoyed.  I want to learn to make the pretty things she did.

While I learn these talents, I think about my ancestors who did them.  What would they think about as they sat and sewed or watched the children see them picking a guitar?  Would they pick up these things because they were stressed or had a bad day?  Was it difficult for them to learn or were they just naturals?

I have many more family talents to yet revive and I am sure that as I learn more about my ancestors, more talents will be added to the list.  It is a neat way to pass on the history.  As a side note, I have noticed my sisters have done this reviving as well...though I don't know if they have done it for the same reason!  Thank you to Mandie for trying to learn the violin like Grandpa Bowser.  Thank you to Chrissie for learning to embroider like Grandma Cole and Great Aunt Margaret used to do.

Sister Mandie learning the violin

What talents would you like to revive from your family history?  Here is my list:
1.  Violin (Grandpa Clyde "Ed" Bowser)
2.  Speaking French (Dad)
3.  Quilting (Mom)
4.  Recognizing herbs in the woods (Grandma Cole and cousins Michael, Ray, and Phillip Nimety)
5.  Painting with oils and watercolors (Great Grandma Lillie Bowser)
6.  Square dance calling (Great-great Grandpa John Bowser)

1 comment:

  1. Learning new hobbies and reviving old ones is beneficial for the "grey cells". I've read music and languages are particularly helpful. I have a friend who took up cello in her 60's, paints daily, and expands her Swedish and language skills (she is German). Good luck with your goals.


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