Mildred on a pedestal

Of the many, many things Marlene left for me, most treasured I would have to say, are the photo albums – family archives that span multiple generations.  Begun by Aunt Hilda, the collection runs deep.  And as it happened, this record-keeping hand-off from Mum occurred just as I was embarking on Deb Hoss Knits, my knit design enterprise.  At the time, grappling with my branding, as it werealong came my maternal ancestors offering themselves up.  I named my first pattern Marlene, and the rest followed one by one. 

 c 1905  The Steig-Stepat clan, first generation immigrants from Germany.  Matriarch  Johanna  (Stepat), surrounded by her adult daughters –  Louise ,  Martha ,  Gussie ,  Hattie , and  Flossie , and granddaughters  Hilda , Erna, and  Mildred .

c 1905  The Steig-Stepat clan, first generation immigrants from Germany.  Matriarch Johanna (Stepat), surrounded by her adult daughters – LouiseMartha, GussieHattie, and Flossie, and granddaughters Hilda, Erna, and Mildred.

In the photo above, my grandmother Mildred is the sweet little girl in the front row sitting on the grass.  I'm reworking the design named for her these days, so she's on my mind, and I find myself gravitating once again to the family albums.  Memory has a way of flattening out time, as if all versions of ourselves may simultaneously exist.  And since my own recollection of Mildred didn't begin until she was well into her 50's I'm grateful to find her there.  

Celebrating a life well lived, I'm thinking of Mildred now, and often – keeping kindred spirits alive.