As I shared on Sunday, this week I'm pondering the things that bring me joy.
My list is slowly growing, and as I let my mind rest on times past I am discovering a pattern from childhood - things I do as second nature today, but the love of which began all the way back when I was young.
I would sit beside Nana as she ironed Pop's shirts and trousers, my dresses, shorts and school clothes, her everyday house-dresses and a pile of aprons, household linens and even Pop's cotton boxers...and I remember the fragrance of starchy water tossed with aged fingers across hot fabrics; the sizzle of Nan's iron as it pressed down upon the moistened garments. I remember those weekly hours with fondness and love, and an ache because I miss her.
Decades later it is I who brings out the ironing basket each Sunday afternoon and gathers my husband's work shirts and trousers to press and hang for the week ahead. I smile, joy filling my heart as I follow in my Nana's example and thank the Lord that I have this precious man to care for...
Baking & Tea...
Is there anything that stirs delight in your heart as much as comfort food?
So many of my childhood memories with Nana revolve around our kitchen table and the simple home-baked-with-love fare she would serve every day to Pop and I.
I taught myself to cook at age 16 when I was out on my own, and I never stopped enjoying it, but with business 'busyness' the past few years this joy had not been as regular as it once was. A Year of Gentle Domesticity has ignited my heart's desire to create something nourishing and yummy in the kitchen every day, whether that be something baked...
...or playing with new ways to serve a hot cup of tea.
Nana made the best tea - at breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea, and after dinner.
But mine's not bad either.
A new combination I've fallen in love with this week...
Nana had a cat named Bubba who was grey and white and fluffy and gentle and gorgeous.
Our Princess Sophie reminds me a lot of Bubba, though she's never had any kitties of her own and she's not grey - though she does have lots of fluffy white.
Mr E chose Sophie for me, and maybe that's why she loves him so much? I can't blame her.
Nana knitted. My Pop worked as a wharfie (stevedore) and followed a regular shift rotation of days, afternoons and nights. Winter nights on the water are cold, so Nana would knit thick wool socks, vests and snug balaclavas for her beloved. She also darned those socks and vests and balaclavas and if one of them became unwearable she'd unravel the yarn and put it aside until she had a few good balls and knit Pop a striped scarf.
I loved to see her create with wool, but my own creative outlet at the time was drawing, painting and writing.
Things changed when I became a mum for the first time just a few weeks after my 18th birthday, and it was the most natural joy for me to take up knitting. Just like Nana I spent the next twenty years making warm woolly garments for my 'beloveds'.
When I discovered surface embroidery and quilting in 2005 another joy came into my life, and in 2009 I stepped out to design.
So as I look back at my creative roots I see those early teenage years of sketching and painting have evolved into the drawing and stitching I do today.
And the writing that had been as natural as breathing in my school days, became a blog when I was all grown up.
Today I have forgone my desk and all the paperwork that should be attended to...
...and I'm sitting instead on the bed with Princess Sophie asleep beside me, lots of stitching to complete, a stack of Miss Marple's to watch on dvd, fruit cake and a pot of tea to nourish my appetite, and a whole lot of JOY in my heart.
Have a blessed day,