As for Vena, Vena Nelson was born in 1927, which in itself is amazing to me. To be around during that time and fashion must have been awesome. She grew up in Missouri with many sisters and brothers. Farming was her trade along with the store her father owned. She tells stories of her time there, people buying groceries on credit and never paying, sneaking into the store for cigarettes and candy and the six heads of cattle she saved up to buy before she got married. She only had a single change of clothing back then. She delivered mail on horse back, they had no cars. Can you even imagine dusty pathways instead of roads. She lived off peanut butter and crackers, which she will not eat now at all. I don't blame her though, if you don't have to why should you. Eventually, she was married to a family friend and moved out to Yuba City,California where she has lived for about 62 years. She has worked hard to get where she is now, a retired union cannery worker.
Once a month she meets with her fellow cannery women workers and they compare stories and have lunch. Its quite a scene when these little old ladies get together. They are funny, loud , and don't take crap from no one. And why should they, they have earned the right to do and be what they feel. It's been a real thrill hanging around with her. I enjoy see all her friends, I always ask what lotion they use and it amazes me how good they get around at eighty-five to ninety years old. Most of them are still driving and living on there own. She's been living alone since diabetes took her husband of sixty odd years about five years past. Vena was driving up until she broke her wrist in January of 2009. I guess eating cup o' noodles and dollar hamburgers from Burger King will make you pass out eventually, which is what happened. As she fell she broke her wrist. That's when Jon, her grandson, my fiance, and I came into the picture. We have our own apartment in Grass Valley about thirty-five miles from her house, which we keep for sentimental reasons I suppose, but most of our time since has been spent here with Vena. We didn't come alone though, we brought our furry children Stogi and Sadie, our dogs, Roach the cat, two finches and the latest addition Nugget our chicken.Talk about a house full.
Together we have worked it out so Vena doesn't have to be alone or go to a old person warehouse, or nursing home, which she adamantly opposes. Me too! It's difficult at times and I miss my freedoms but I feel it's worth the trouble for a little old lady. Besides we have a lot in common and tons of fun. Thrift stores, yard sales, the swap meet, sewing and senior discounts are daily life around here. And we enjoy it, I hope you will too!
Sew now you know who we are and what makes us tick. All these experiences are what make us who we are and cause these bursts of creativity and cause us to collect all the fabulous items you will soon see. I never would have imagined that my counterpart would be an eighty-two year old lady, but life moves us in mysterious ways. I never before really had the patience to write, sew or draw on a regular basis until now. I thank Vena and my current situation for that gift. Stay tuned for our creative collection of items we hand make together, our thrifted finds and daily happenings of our lives.