Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It's interesting how a simple item, gesture or need can turn into a family tradition. 
For as long as I can remember, Grandma McGee made potholders. She learned to make them from her mom. Grandma grew up in a poor, large family in rural Oklahoma. By necessity, nothing was wasted. They knew how to recycle and repurpose long before it was popular to do so! She raised her own family through the depression so frugality was a mandatory way of life for her and she never lost that trait.  Scraps of material became quilts and potholders, worn out blankets or towels became the potholder middles. For birthdays, Christmas, "just because", she would gift you with a pile of her homemade potholders. And they were great potholders, easily up to the tasks in a busy kitchen!
A number of years ago Mom started thinking about how we all relied on Grandma to keep us supplied in potholders and how Grandma wasn't always going to be here (Grandma has been gone 16 years now). So she learned how to make them and soon had taken over the family tradition of supplying everyone she knew with potholders!

I mentioned to her a few weeks back that I was running low (hint, hint Mom!)  Next thing I know she has dozens of them piled up in her sewing room in various stages of construction. She's passed them out to family, neighbors, Dad's bowling buddies and probably others I don't even know! When you give my Mom a hint she definitely catches on!
Mom's work-in-progress.
She had 6-8 potholders that were Grandma's, that were in her home when she passed. They are gently used and priceless to us.  I took one and plan on framing it along with a handwritten recipe of hers to display in my kitchen.  My sister took a few, also. Such simple mementos of a woman who was so precious to us.
Potholders from Grandma's kitchen.
Mom tells me I need to learn how to make these, to keep the tradition going. In fact she has written down her instructions for my use. She's shown my sister, too (my sister doesn't sew!) As our daughters love getting the potholders, too, I guess it's something I should get serious about. In the meantime Mom and her sewing machine are keeping the family tradition going!


  1. Can I have a weenie dog one for my girlifriend Cuz?

    1. You'll have to ask Marcia, she got all those!!