Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Birthday, a Suit, and a Walk

Last Monday was my birthday.  Thank goodness my family didn't put 46 candles on my cake.  Instead, there were only three--one for the past, one for the present, and one for the future.  Bless their hearts.

My grandfather was born in 1901.  Here he is with his family in Germany, probably in the mid 1940's. (My father is the sullen looking boy standing behind his little sister).  I only met my grandfather a handful of times before he died.  I remember that he smoked cigars, was rather short and round, and that he had an "office" in his home right off the front entry.  This "office" was actually his sewing room.  My grandfather was a tailor.

He made clothes for others, as well as his own family.  He had to sew uniforms for Nazi officers during WWII.  He also made the wool suit my father is wearing in his wedding photo.  My father still has this suit...and it still fits!  Well, everything except the sleeve length.  He jokes that his arms must have grown over the years, because the sleeves are now a bit too short.  So he asked me if I could lengthen them.

My grandfather was a master at his craft.  I marveled at how well-made the suit was.  Welted pockets, button plackets on the sleeves, and a fully lined interior.  Much of it was sewn by hand.  This suit was made back in the day when pride was taken in workmanship.  Buttons were sewn on so that they wouldn't ever come off

Because my grandfather had left generous seam allowances, I was able to let out the sleeve length about 1 1/4".  Here is my father, in his newly altered suit.  He was quite pleased with the results, and I am just so amazed that he can still wear it.  It just goes to show that true quality and workmanship never go out of style.  I also felt very honored to have worked on something that my grandfather had made with his very own hands over 50 years ago.  I wonder what he would have been thinking while he made that suit, had he known his future grand-daughter would someday also add her own stitches to his creation?

Visiting my parent's home is always a fun excursion for us.  Since my mother passed away almost three years ago, it holds a lot of bittersweet memories.  I found myself getting misty-eyed when I reached for some spices in the kitchen cabinet, and found my mother's unmistakable handwriting on them.  The kids love visiting their "Opa"  because he lives out on five acres in the country, surrounded by beautiful woods.  And since there was a break in the rain, we decided to go out and enjoy a walk.  My brother and his son, Isaac, were also visiting.

Checking out the pond that my father made some years ago...the kids found lots of salamanders, much to their delight!

Because my father's property borders timber land, there are lots of beautiful trails to hike.

I just love those it wrong to covet my daughter's hair?!?

Coming back down the mountain...

Sophie and her Opa

We had a wonderful day.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE all these pictures. And I LOVE that you got to spend time with your dad and brother to celebrate your birthday. How neat, that not only does your father still have his suit from way back, but that he easily fits into it! You must have gotten those seamstress genes from your grandfather!! :) Happy Birthday!!