Monday, May 17, 2010

Talents from Generation to Generation

Elizabeth Marshall Ayers

Edyth Kenny Powers

I have been thinking a lot about talents lately. For a long time I didn't think I had any. Both of my grandmothers were wonderful artist, gardeners, seamstresses and cooks among many other things.

I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother whom I called Granny, when I was very young I could not say my "G's" so I called her Nanny and as an older teenager and into my twenties I often, affectionately called her Lizzy. I spent many afternoons sewing cloths for my dolls from scraps of material that she was making cloths for me. While I spent many hours "sewing" with her this in NOT one of my talents. I loved to be in the kitchen with her cooking and baking. I learned the " a little of this and a little of that method " with her. Cooking is something I am good at but didn't really think of it as a talent until later.

I did not spend as much time with my paternal grandmother but learned so much from her. She always made me feel special. The first real memory I have of spending time with her was the summer I was 8. She drove down to South Carolina from Pennsylvania with my uncle who was 16 or 17 at the time. Then drove all the way back with me. We spent time baking together, making art projects and just hanging out. I loved every minuet of the two weeks I spent with my grandparents that summer. It became the highlight of my summer when I got to go visit them.

As I was growing up anytime talents were talked about at school or church. I would think to myself I don't have any. While I LOVE art and so wanted to draw and paint well like my grandmother well lets just say that isn't one of my talents ;)

To me a talent was, drawing,painting, singing, dance, playing a musical instrument ... something tangible and I didn't feel that I had any of those ( I KNEW I didn't have any of those). I had friends who danced, sang, played instruments and not only did they do these things they did them really really well.

When I went to college and people would ask me if I had any talents my answer usually was " I am here for the entertainment others" or " I smile really well". It was said jokingly, but it really was to hide what I thought was a huge fault... I had no talent in ANYTHING.

It wasn't until I was older and already married that I began to realize that some talents are not as easily seen as others. I also discovered that I do have talents. I don't sew (much), I don't sing, I don't dance, I don't garden much,( in fact I really do think I have a black thumb). I don't play a musical instrument but, I can cook, bake, crochet, knit , and rug hook. Once given the opportunity I discovered that I work well with clay. I love babies and can usually get them to stop crying and to sleep when no one else can ( but not always ). I can keep a secret and if I tell you I am going to do something you can depend on me to do it.

So what does all this have to do with my grandmothers? I know I may not be a great artist in the drawing and painting department or gardener like they were but I also know that I am a better person for knowing them, spending time with them and learning from them. They taught me to love, listen and look for the beauty in the world around me. They taught me to try new things and not be afraid of failing.

This is a dress I made for my niece for her second birthday. I knitted the top and did a very simple skirt on the bottom.

Least you think my mother does not exist or that I did not learn from her, she does, I did and I love her very much but that is a whole other post.