Post-A-Day Inspired–Handmade Gifts

Happy Wednesday and week before Thanksgiving, reader-friends. This year, the holiday is so late, the season will be right up our heels in no time at all.

Very special thanks to my new followers–I am humbled, grateful and truly appreciative of all of you! And to those of you who have been around a while and always faithful and kind enough to leave those comments–well, you know. (Hugs.)

This post is in response to WordPress editor Ben Huberman’s Post-A-Day.

The prompt: What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store bought?

Coincidentally enough, this prompt originally aired on November 14, which just happens to be the EIGHTEENTH anniversary of Older Son’s birth, and ties into the homemade gift referred to here.

Long story short: At the baby shower my mom hosted when Older Son had yet to make his debut, I received a blue-and-white crocheted, zigzag pattern blanket. (Hubby, who somehow had managed to keep from me the results of my ultrasound, shared his knowledge with everyone else he knew. That, however, is beside the point.)

The blanket, given to me by Hubby’s stepmother, gave away that “secret.”

About ten (?) years later, Hubby’s stepmom asked us to pick up something from her cousin, a shut-in who lived alone less than a mile from my home, in a senior housing building.

At that time, we were busy working, caring for two young boys, keeping up with their sports schedules—you know: typical parent stuff. We didn’t mind doing Hubby’s stepmother a favor, but Hubby voiced some initial concerns about ‘getting involved’ and ‘winding up’ caregivers to this woman. Due to a horrid car (?) accident that had occurred a long while before we met, she was blind in one eye and lived with a colostomy. She also had fairly severe arthritis. Her support system consisted of a few friends and a brother she often complained about. She couldn’t drive, and her ability to walk was limited to her tiny, two-room apartment, and only with a walker for support.

Over the next few years, this lovely lady and I developed a strong friendship. She, who had every reason to be depressed, angry and/or bitter about how life had treated her and the confinement of her days, was always upbeat. Physically impaired as she was, she often cared for her health-aide’s 10-year-old daughter, with whom she shared a very strong bond. This woman offered to sit with my boys so that I could have time to myself. And when I felt down, or overwhelmed or frustrated beyond reason, I called her. She never failed to put things in perspective and remind me how “the good Lord this” or “the good Lord that.” I always hung up the phone inspired.

Among the ways she kept herself busy, she crocheted, mostly zigzag-pattern afghans of varied sizes. Gifts of love she gave to those who asked, or to whom she offered. She offered to make each of my boys one for their beds. She made a green-and-white lap-sized/crib-sized one, which I treasure.

afghan--Barb G

For some reason, I remembered the blue-and-white one I received at my baby shower. (It’s in the garage, in a container of baby things.) The connections came together in my head, and I realized she had crafted that one too, for Hubby’s stepmom to give as her gift.

That wonderful woman wound up with a severe infection that took her life about five years ago. I still miss her and wish I could call her. I’m teary-eyed as I draft this post. But I am ridiculously grateful to know that her handmade gifts will be part of us always, and that my sons have a connection to her too through those blankets. (Younger Son gets the green-and-white one someday.)

So…I now ask you Ben Huberman’s question: What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store bought?

Thanks to all of you for your time! Have a great day.

Joanna

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11 thoughts on “Post-A-Day Inspired–Handmade Gifts

  1. It’s funny, because when I first read your line about best homemade present ever, my mind went immediately to the crocheted baby blankets I received from residents when I was their chief resident. And then I read on and see that was your best gift too! I think it’s the fact that someone cared enough about us that they took the time from their own busy lives to make something so detailed for us. I still have those blankets. Thanks for sharing your own baby blanket story. 🙂

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    1. My pleasure, Carrie. I think handmade baby any-gift are as much a. Oon to the crafter as they are to the recipient. I also enjoy crocheting scarves as gifts. They’re quite portable and easy to work on anywhere, and pretty fast to turn out. Thnx!

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  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Okay, in response to your question my mother crocheted both of my kids baby blankets. Noodge 1’s is green because we didn’t know what we were having. Noodge 2’s is blue because we decided to find out the sex of the baby and was told a boy. Wrong. She loves her blue blanket from Nana anyway.

    Now, for a funny story. During the Christmas season when the Coffee King and I were engaged I decided to make many of my gifts because I was working two jobs and he and I were saving every penny for this wedding. I made my crazy, old, grandmother an apron because she always cooked our family’s Sunday macaroni dinner. I decorated it with a Christmas theme and spent my time and energy on it. She threw it in the garbage. When I arrived at my mother’s house on Christmas day my mom was wearing it. She’d rescued it from the garbage.

    I do keep all the homemade gifts my Noodges make for me, though. 😉

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    1. I love kid gifts–Older Son’s got better once he started woodshop in high school, lol.

      Why did your grandmother throw out the apron you made her?

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  3. It truly grabs me when I think about all the good people in our lives. Glad you had experience and memory of one too. ❤ ❤

    Ha. My best homemade gift was a baby blanket. White. A popcorn effect. My daughter had just been born and my sister-in-law came to the hospital. As we visited she insisted on finishing the blanket in the hospital so she could present it for baby.

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    1. Love it! I have a white, handmade baby blanket I picked up at a consignment shop when my kids were small. Figured I’dgive it as a gift. I love it. It’s still hanging in the closet.

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        1. That zigzag pattern is pretty popular. I have a few other items with that pattern. After I wrote this post, I realized all the items I have were all gifts from special people: an afghan from Hubby’s grandmother; another from my father’s great aunt; a pillow from my best friend’s grandmother. I don’t crochet that pattern myself. It involves counting. I’m too ADD, lol. Be well, Tess!

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          1. Thank you, Joanna. I love hand-made gifts from special people. At this time in my life I don’t n.e.e.d. anything, bit a small handmade item might just make my day.

            Have a good weekend and be well, too. ❤

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