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I know you’ve probably heard the old expression “if these walls could talk.” I was driving the other day and happened to notice my husband’s old hat sitting on the dash beside a new hat that my daughter won at the Floyd County Cattlemen‘s supper the other night. I had to snap a picture of them.

 I couldn’t help but notice the wear and tear on the old hat and then the fresh new hat with no dirt, no manure, no sweat stains on the new hat. It made me start thinking about all of the things that old hat had probably seen/heard in the last five years of its life. I’m sure my husband's hat would tell stories of being outside doing chores, working on equipment, watching our daughter at sporting events, and possibly even a date with me. 

We often wear hats that tell something about who we are or what we love. You might see a parent wearing a hat that sports their child’s team, a busy mom wearing a hat that says “mom hair, don’t care”, an employee wearing the brand of their company on their hat, or a farmer wearing their favorite seed hat.

My dad has always worn a hat. For many years you would only find him in a white Crow’s hat, in fact he wore it so much my little cousin thought he was a chicken farmer because of the bird on the hat. Some of my favorite memories are of him coming in the house after a long day of work, throwing his hat up the stairs and asking my mom or I to wash it for him. Even though he doesn’t wear that same white Crow’s hat (he switched over a few years ago when my brother started a trucking business and now proudly sports the trucking hat) I hear him do the same to my own daughters now and it makes my heart happy. Once it is washed it sits on an old olive green Tupperware canister to dry and get the shape back.

I can’t imagine all of the things his hats have seen, they would tell many stories. I have a vivid memory of him sitting in the front of an ambulance the night that my grandfather was in a car accident, he had his white Crow’s hat on, but it was tipped at a different angle than he typically wore it. I can see him smirking watching my nieces and nephews and my own children show their animals at the fair with his hat on. I can imagine his daily trips to the Farmer’s Co-op, bank and to grab a cup of coffee have included those hats. His hats have seen the lows of volatile markets, hail wiped fields, fences needing to be mended from Flood Creek, and the highs of a healthy calf pulled from a mama cow having trouble, higher market prices, a game winning shot by a grandchild, a blue ribbon won and years when everything went right.

When my grandpa passed away in the car accident I mentioned above his hat fell off while they were putting him in the ambulance.  I remember watching my brother run to the middle of the blacktop to grab Grandpa’s hat and he held on to it for the rest of the night. Once we returned home from the hospital my dad asked my brother for the hat.  I think back to that moment watching him hand that hat to my dad and what it really meant. The things that hat witnessed and the stories it could tell from the days before while grandpa dealt with the grief of losing my grandma and the many loads he hauled while trucking and the laughs and tricks that probably occurred while he was wearing that hat bring back a flood of memories. I am blessed to have one of each of my grandpa’s hats in my possession and they offer me great memories of their fun loving spirits.

My niece often wears this hat. I’m sure if her hat could talk it would tell stories that would include her roping with her friends on the ranch, trail riding with her family, camping out while working for the Vee Bar and stories of many nights of laughing with her friends.

While I know many of the people reading this might have a stack of hats that they’ve been bugging their spouse or roommate to look through or get rid of, just remember to take the time to really think about all of the places those old hats have been, the stories they have heard, the memories that they provoke and the highs and lows they’ve experienced through their life. They might just hold a real special meaning to your special someone.

I would love to hear about that hats in your home and see some pictures of the wear and tear and stories that go along with them. 🙂 Share away!

From the gravel road-

Jen

2

For as long as I can remember my mother has quilted. I can remember watching her in the winter as she sat under a big, brightly colored quilt that she was stitching by hand as a gift for me. I wanted gold colored thread with a teal colored quilt, I remember her struggling to get that thread to cooperate as it was not very easy to quilt with, but she didn't give up on it and now I have a wonderful memory and keepsake that I will always have to cherish.



A few weeks ago when I went to pick my girls up from a cousins sleep over that had occurred at my parents house, I sat in the living room in awe of all of the memories that were strewn around. One of my girls sat under a quilt made by mom snuggling with Grandma's dog.

Another sat watching an Ipad wrapped in Grandpa's new quilt from Christmas. I couldn't help, but thing of all of the memories that were surrounding our family with her handmade quilts.

I am blessed to have several quilts that Mom has made for me and now even let my girls use some of them. The one pictured below currently on my bed and is one of my all time favorites! I just love the bright colors!

Not only have I been blessed to be the recipient of many of my Mom's quilts, I have had the opportunity to have her stand over me and teach me how to sew and quilt myself! I now understand why she loves giving quilts as gifts because they are such an amazing keepsake and getting to see the response of the recipient is awesome and great for the soul.

Wedding quilt I made for our niece.

Another blessing that my Mom has given us is that she has taught ALL of her granddaughters how to sew and quilt. In fact that is one of their favorite things to do at Grandma's house. I know this is a skill that not all children have the opportunity to learn anymore, I hope they pass it on to their own children some day.

At this point all of her grandchildren have received a quilt, most are made specifically towards their favorite colors or sports teams. Do you want to know the most important thing though? Beyond their bright colors and fabulous patterns is hours and hours of love. One of these large quilts takes so much time to create that I know she pours her heart into each one and making each quilt as individual as possible.

Behind every quilt is a story and a memory that will last years and years to come and I hope and pray that someday my great grandchildren will someday snuggle up under one of these family heirlooms and get to hear stories of their Grandma that worked many hours to create keepsakes for her family to enjoy.

Love you, Mom, thank you for sharing your creativity with all of us!

Do you have a favorite quilt or family heirloom? Do you know how to quilt or have any quilters in your family? Maybe you have memories of watching family members sew or quilt. Comment below and tell us about it.

From the gravel road-

Jen

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