I started this blanket two spring seasons ago – 2010. The process was begun in plenty of time to complete it by May 2011 for my mother and father’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. My father's series of strokes derailed life in a very significant way for all of us, but mostly for my mother and father. We have all had to adjust to a new normal. This required a good deal of change both in our physical and mental lives, but as all good and strong families, we are persevering. Before Dad's strokes, much of my creativity came at the end of the day, before reading and before sleep. Unfortunately, sleep became difficult in the time following my father's strokes. I would arrive home at the end of the day exhausted but mentally wound up. I developed the habit of watching old television shows on Netflix while in bed. It was a hard time and I did not sew, crochet, or knit much during this long period. Teaching and grading was about all I was accomplishing and I may not have been doing that well. I just sat propped up in bed and gaped at the screen. It was enough.
I had a difficult time shaking this routine and am still known to go to bed with the laptop as I used to go to sleep listening to KFRC as a teen. I am pushing myself to read instead, like I used to, or at least knit or crochet. It is a little better, but not much. I worked on the blanket when my spirit could. Mom and dad's anniversary came. There were cupcakes with iced roses, but no blanket. The original plan was a trip to Ireland for their fiftieth, or at least Yosemite where they spent their honeymoon, but the at home party was small with old friends, children, grandchildren and a great grand daughter. I don't know if it was enough, but nothing is enough for these amazing people I am lucky to know as my parents.
My parents met when they were very young. My mother still lived at home, the oldest of ten, and my father was in the Navy working with the last of the great airships and eventually airplanes.
They were married in the chapel at Moffett Field. We visited the airfield regularly as children and young adults. Dad would take us to airshows and give us a tour of the hangar. The hangar is so large it is said that clouds can form inside producing rain falling to the hangar floor. We all know a bit about fighters and bombers and airships and jets.
There were so young and beautiful.
My mother made her own dress. I love it. Here she is waiting. What do you suppose she is thinking? Did she have any clue as to what was to come? She carried a white Bible adorned with a white rose cross. White roses are still her favorite and only fall second to daisies with me.
My mother's greatest gift to me has been the love for all things created by hand. She is a master quilter. The more I grow to know my mother the more amazing she is to me. She is kind and patient beyond comprehension. She is my friend. Through their example, my parents taught me to fearlessly love my own children. My father was a sailor in many senses of the word, but my mother married him anyway. He and I were often mischief makers together and he taught me that family is first no matter what and no matter who it is we choose to be our family. My mother is the strength in our lives and my father the laughter.
After two years of on and off again work, I presented my mother and father with their gift. We went to dinner and we presented the box while waiting for dessert. There was not much fanfare, but I think that's okay right now. The blanket was difficult to photograph, but I think these pictures give you the idea.
The blanket is square and made up of forty nine crocheted squares to equal fifty squares - one square for each year of marriage. I designed the squares.
There are anchors for my father.
And, white roses for my mother.
I designed a simple scalloped trim to mirror the petals on the roses.
I am pleased with the finished blanket and have been toying with the idea of reworking these squares into another surprise or two.