27 Dec 2011

tracking down a family heirloom

This Christmas, there was a mysterious parcel from Portland, Oregon under our tree. No one in our family knows anyone from Portland, and my dad was being quite secretive about it. He wouldn't let anyone open it until my sister and her family arrived for the day.

Inside the box was a faded old rug that I'd never seen or heard about before. My dad explained that my grandmother hooked the rug in the early 1960s. He remembers her giving the rug to the Nelson's, the family who sold them the farm in rural Alberta. As a Christmas surprise to our family, my father tracked down the rug. It was with one of the Nelson children in Portland.

It's quite a bit more faded than my dad remembers it, and it's a bit shabby, but the handiwork is impressive. The rug is my grandmother's artistic interpretation of the property itself, which was called "Stonewall Farm", named after the stone wall that was built around the farmyard. As is common in this region, the rocks were pulled from the field to create more arable land. Stonewall Farm was one of the few places in the area to repurpose these rocks by creating a wall -- an early example of upcycling, before the term existed.

So now the question is, what will my parents do with the rug? I think they'll likely get it framed and find a nice place to display it. Any other ideas?

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