26 years in the making (let’s hope)

Let’s take a trip back in time. The year is 1995. TLC’s “Waterfalls,” “Mariah Carey’s “Fantasty,” Madonna’s “Take a Bow,” “Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It” (come on, you know you loved it!), and Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” (very poignantly, but unintentionally released just 3 weeks after the horrific Cary-Grove bus crash in my town) topped the charts.

You could find my high school self sporting chokers, flannels (um, this never went away, as I writing this while wearing one), Steve maddens, scrunchies, a leather jacket, baby doll dresses or short skirts with thigh highs, and round sun glasses. And I saw all of the top three grossing movies “Die Hard With A Vengence,” “Toy Story (first pixar ever!),” and “Apollo 13” in the theater.

Now that you are snuggled in closely with the mid 1990’s, I can share where my story begins.

My aunt was in town from Georgia, and I just loved everything about her. Her southern drawl (even though none of the rest of our family has this accent), her sweet smell, her interest in my teenage life, and her general sense of “coolness.” On one particular day of her visit, Aunt Shelia picked up the yarn from my mom’s current crocheting project and asked me if I wanted to learn how. Like a true teenager, I said yes! Despite many pleas from my own mother to learn.

I felt so special with my aunt nestled close to my side while she showed me how to wrap the yarn through my left fingers while holding the needle in my right. It was easy enough, just a single crochet. But I was mesmerized. Before long I had a couple of rows, and I couldn’t believe I had created something!

We ventured out to Frank’s Nursery and Crafts (one of my favorite stores EVER as a kid and teen. Just thinking about it now is giving me super happy nostalgic feels) to buy yarn for my very first blanket. After eyeing skeins and skeins of every color imaginable, I chose a creamy pink for the bulk of the blanket and white for borders on each end.

We got home, and I went straight to work. Push through, turn, grab, pull through. Push through, turn, grab, pull through. On and on I went. By the time my aunt returned home, I had finished the entire white bottom. I was on a role! I’d be done in no time!

Let’s take a trip back in time. The year is 2005. I was seeing Star Wars Episode 8 and The Chronicles of Narnia in the theater. I was listening to “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani, “Since You been Gone,” by Kelly Clarkson, and “You and Me,” by Lifehouse….which ended up being in MY WEDDING VIDEO. Because yes, 2005 was the year I got married. And you guessed it, the blanket is not finished. I start joking about how, perhaps, it will be a baby blanket for my first child. And by now I have grown tired of the giant swatch of pink that this blanket has become, so I change it up a bit and get a blue, pink, and white ombre skein. Only further pushing the baby blanket idea. I’ve got a lot to do the year I am getting married, but I’m 1/3 of the way through the blanket. I’ll be done in no time!

Let’s take a trip back in time to…2020. This is going to be a great year! Nothing weird or world ending is going to happen! For some reason I can’t recall any movies or music that came out…hmmm…it’s like the world stopped…but it must just be me. But I’m fairly certain the main fashion craze was pajamas. Anyway, I’m going to work on my blanket again! By now, it may have to be a baby blanket for one of my two CHILDREN’s children, since they are now 10 and 7. Oops, oh well.

Then, wouldn’t you know it, somehow 2020 turned out to be kind of stressful. Weird. So despite having lots of time at home, it fell by the wayside into a poor, tired puddle in the back corner of the family room, collecting dust once more. Until one day, when my 7 year old daughter saw it and said, “Mommy, why don’t you finish it?” I told her I might just give up on it. I don’t even like the colors anymore. It’s not the best/softest yarn. And I’d rather just start something fresh. “But I love it! I would use it!” And that’s when I decided, I had to finish the darn thing. Even if it took 25 years since I first laid fingers on it.

It was meant to be a Christmas present, but with not being able to work on it while she was awake, that made that idea very difficult. But I finished as much as I could and wrapped it in a box. When she opened it, tears came to her eyes, and she said “Awwww….mommy…you didn’t have to do that.” And I cried. It was worth the crazy amount of work I had put into it the last couple months. Literally working on 2/3 of it in the last 2 months, when it took me 25 years to do the first 1/3!!

Unfortunately…it’s still not finished though. It hit a literal snag and parts of it and my sanity began to unravel. I got some of it fixed by a friend and began again. More unraveled, and I attempted to fix it myself. This thing is no longer the masterpiece I had hoped for. It’s got spots that have been stitched over and over to try to get it to stay together. It’s wider in the beginning than towards the ending because of learning how to finish the rows better. And accidentally switching to a smaller needle halfway through. But gosh darnit, I’m going to finish it! It will most certainly be filled with lots of love. Swears and tears too, but lots of love.

I’m really hoping lucky number year 26 is the magic year. It will be pretty amazing when this finally becomes the blanket my daughter and I read under every night. Even if it is when she is 18 😉

10 thoughts on “26 years in the making (let’s hope)

  1. This blanket has grown along with you and your family. Kathy has a few UFOs (unfinished objects) around the house so I know what you are talking about, The thing is, they eventually get done…some day some year. You will finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was such an awesome slice Natalie. I was with you through all those musical journeys. Funny how music can completely transport us to a specific place in time. I remembered roller skating in middle school to One Sweet Day.
    I love all the witty play on words. There’s so much voice and sarcasm in this piece! I can hear you telling it lol.

    I can’t wait to see the finished product. It will be the ultimate labor of love. Don’t give up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliments.

      Music definitely takes you back (I even wrote a slice about that several years ago!). Unfortunately one sweet day will forever be about that Cary bus crash in my head, sigh.

      And I’m not giving up! I am almost done with the last pink skein and then just the white to go!! For reasons unknown, more holes keep popping up and unraveling, but at this point, I’ll duct tape or weld the damn thing together to get it limping over the finish line!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to look up skein! 😂 I faintly remember the Cary Grove bus crash, but I know it’s forever etched in your memory. Bone Thugz and Harmony’s Crossroads always transports me back to a horrific accident that killed a few girls in my hometown. Music has that amazing memory attachment to it.

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      2. Etched forever for sure. Lived only a couple miles away. My family all thought I went to that high school since we lived in Cary, so they were all freaking out. They didn’t know I actually went to school in the other town over. I did got to confirmation class there though and it was rough for a long time.

        Crossroads came out only a few months after the crash too, so it also makes me think of it. I’m sorry it makes you think of the crash in your home town. Music most definitely attached memories. Almost eerily so.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The blanket will be a great finish and as imperfect as its final years in the making have been. If there is one thing slicing for 31 days has taught me, it is that you CAN find the time if you really want to. Who knew I had 2+ hours every day in which to write? I sure didn’t, but somehow I found them (the house is a disaster, but…). Take your slicing time and finish the damn blanket!!!!
    I so loved reading you and sharing life with you this month 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds great. My mom was going to quilt blankets for each of her 5 kids for 8th grade graduation. She got my older sister’s done in time for college graduation. Then she paid someone to put the back on mine in time for my grad school graduation. I’m not sure if she ended up making quilts for the youngest 3 kids or not. I do treasure mine though.

    Liked by 1 person

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