The Story Behind Thirteen Plum Knitting

There is one thing about Friday's that I l-o-v-e.  It is that it is Friday.  WOOHOO!  But today's is even better, because thanks to my dear friend and faithful reader, April, I have something to write about that is close to my heart.  I get to reminisce a little about a woman in my life who had a huge impact not only on my life, but on countless other's as well.
April asked where I got the name for my blog, and my knitting business 13 Plum Knitted Creations. 

The Story Behind 13 Plum Knitted Creations

Next only to my momma, my grandmother was the woman in my life who made the biggest impression upon me.  Its hard even to find the words to start describing her.  She grew up in a very poor family, but I don't think there was ever a moment she didn't feel loved.  Her father is actually still alive, at the ripe old age of 90 and some odd.

Katherine, or as everyone knew her, Kathy, married my grandfather when she found out she was pregnant with my mom.  That man was one mean S.O.B., but was also a very loving man, just didn't know how to show it very well.  Think, John Wayne.  How my grandmother was able to put up with him for so long, I will never know! 

Grandma was frugal and thrifty WAY before it was cool.  She could put some of today's thrifty gurus to shame.  I mean, the woman didn't have a working OVEN for as long as I can remember, but she cooked every single night.  She was just awesome at "making do."

I was the first grandchild, but my grandma never picked favorites.  Ever.  But she did such a great job at making us all feel so special that we each feel a special and different bond to her.  My time with her was spent cooking, sewing, crocheting, needlepoint, and generally soaking up every ounce of wisdom she had.  Even when I was a little girl I remember thinking how important it was for me to learn everything I could from her.  I stood right beside her when she cooked on her cast iron skillets.  And, I did get my hand slapped a time or two for snitching food when she wasn't looking.  (If anyone had eyes in the back of their head, it was her.)  I can still remember how her house smelled when she fried ham steak in those skillets....... 

Crafts basically consumed my grandmother.  She could have been featured on a show about hoarding.  It was bad, but she was good.  She and my mom made my first wedding dress.  With no pattern.

My grandparents live way out in the country, and folks, I mean w-a-a-a-a-ay out in the country.  I get frustrated when people say the live in the country, when in fact they live a mile out, on the blacktop.  To get to my grandparents house, one had to travel 13 miles out of a small Texas town, down the highway.  At which point, one would turn off onto a farm-to-market road and travel a few miles.  THEN, one would have to travel down a God-forsaken, grass grown-up, 3-foot rutted caliche oil field road.  There were times we had to park our little car on the road so my Pawpaw could come pick us up in his 4-wheel drive just to see them.  

Jump forward with me, if you will, to 2006.  It was a typical Texas Panhandle Day in March.  We had not had rain since October of '05, so folks, it was bone dry.  Like the winds do around here, they were blowing.  When I say blowing, I mean 30 mph sustained, with gusts upwards of 60.  It would take too long to go into everything, and I just applied makeup, so let's just say some company nincompoops weren't paying attention and started a wildfire.  Fire+extremely dry conditions+wind = one effed up situation.  Over 1 million acres of the Texas Panhandle burned that day.  When I saw the warning on tv about the fire, I knew something was wrong.  I just had that kind of connected with my grandmother.  She wouldn't answer her phone.  I called my mom, who also could not get ahold of her.  No one knew where she was.  I called one of my oldest and closest friends, and said "Girl, I need you to pray.  I have a feeling my grandmother is gone, but just please pray that her house is spared."

Sure enough, my sweet grandmother was leaving her house to head to a safer area.  As she drove, she passed a "neighbor" who she knew would need help.  A very elderly family, with disabilities.  She stopped to help them, and in a very unfortunate situation was overcome by smoke and could not get back out to safety.  The smoke was too thick for her truck to run.  But, just as my friend prayed, her house was somehow spare.  It should have burned, because it burned all around it. 

The panhandle was ravished.  My daddy called to tell me "officially" she had died, and I knew it was coming.  But when I heard the words, I screamed, dropped the phone and fell to the floor.  My husband had to talk to my dad to find out what had happened, because I had just lost one of the most important people in my life. 

When people would ask my grandparents where they lived, they would smile and say "13 miles out of town, plum in the middle of nowhere."  Hence, 13 Plum.  Grandma even painted a little sign to hang on their old, falling down barb-wire (or as we here in Texas call it "bobwar") fence!

These days, everytime I look at yarn, I think of all my grandma taught me.  I think of her while hanging laundry, while making jelly, but when I think of her the most is when I cook.  You see, after she died, I was given all of her cast iron skillets.  I now use them to cook for my family, and can only pray that the life I live today would make her proud.  I think it would.  I think she would be incredibly proud of me.  She loved my daughter so much.  She would have adored my son.  I know she would have love my husband because the man is more like my pawpaw than I care to admit.  Somedays I pick up the phone to call and ask her a question, then remember she is gone.  Yes, even 4 years later I still do that.  My aunt lives in her house now, so I still get to visit and remember the times I had with her.  But, if I had any word of advice for anyone it would be this: never think you will always have time with someone.  Soak in everything you can while they are there.  I didn't learn near enough from her, and she still had alot of things to teach me. 

On a lighter note...

How My Blog Got Named

As far as the blog name, True Cofnessions of a Knitaholic, it was truly inspired.  OK, maybe not so much.  It started on a day that I just needed to vent.  Frankly, I could have typed in word "$%^&" and it would have been relief.  It was just like going to confession (though, I am not Catholic so not entirely sure how that feels!?).  Anyhow, the knitaholic part?  Well, lets face it.  Knitting is my addiction. I could literally sit and knit until my house was in shambles arond me and not even get up to make anything to eat.  I do, however, stop eventually because me cup of tea runs out and I have to steep more.  I'm waiting for robots to serve my tea to me.  Then all will be perfect.