day 254: textiles

My parents are leaving in three weeks to go to Portugal, providing the volcanic ash clears enough by then.  I have written a little before about my heritage, and I am thrilled that my mom and dad will have the opportunity to go to this place and get in touch with our ancestry.  They will also go out to the Azores, where both sides of their families are from.  I am predicting tears.  I am predicting experiences that will change them.


My grandparents, unfortunately lived during hard times, and with their immigrant backgrounds none of them finished high school.  They all, at one point or another, worked in the textile mills in that area of the state. I remember driving by these now-abandoned old brick buildings and not really catching the history there.  Kids never get things like this.

They worked at looms, sewing machines, and other jobs that were available.  It was tough labor, and of course they were overworked and underpaid.  But they made their way in this new country, and provided for their families the best they could.

They wove wool together.  They made sweaters. They made patterns.  They connected pieces together to make a whole.  They made fabric.  Yes, they certainly made my fabric.

8 comments

LisAway | April 30, 2010 at 12:31 AM

That factory looks so much like the ones in Greg's hometown that were also abandoned for many years before they resomethinged them and made them into an AMAZING mall (I posted about that, where we saw that movie, Odyssey whatever, whatever with the live orchestra) Can you tell I woke up way too early this morning? Brain not functioning.

That's a neat heritage and awesome that your parents get to go back to the home of their ancestors. Amazing how far you can come in a few generations, thanks to those ancestors.

Connie | April 30, 2010 at 7:35 AM

It's hard to comprehend what our ancestors went through to create what we are today.
I hope your parents have a great experience on their trip.

Heidi Ashworth | April 30, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Another excellent analogy. You are so good at those. Have you seen Who Do You Think You Are? or whatever that TV show is called wherein celebrities like Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Broderick return to the lands of their ancestors? Very interesting show--lots of tears. It really is amazing when you get to see first hand all those strands that a fabric make.

Kazzy | April 30, 2010 at 8:49 AM

I watched it once. It was really touching. Brooke Shields descended from Louis XVI. Cool!

wendy | April 30, 2010 at 11:09 AM

That will be an awesome opportunity for them to go back and visit that area.
I love hearing about the struggles and challenges that our ancestors went through.
It humbles me for sure.

Dona | April 30, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I love your analogy and learning a little about your family history.

The Way I See It | April 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM

That was really touching. Makes me want to dig deeper to find out more about my heritage. YOu are such a good writer and you capture emotions so well with words.

Luann | May 2, 2010 at 7:45 AM

How wonderful that your parents can go. I'm sure it will be amazing for them.

Someday I want to go to Ireland. That's where my blood flows from.