My Aunt Val has passed away. She lived a long life of 93 years in the small town of Harlem Springs. There are many people with many, many memories of her. Among the many that I have will always be the memory that her hands were seldom idle. She was always using them to work or to make something.
She was a good cook, and I remember family gatherings at her and Uncle Bob's house, the table loaded down with good food. She was known for her Lazy Daisy Cake. Just a few days ago, I went to my recipe box and pulled out her recipe for sloppy Joes, the best one I have ever found. She and Aunt Ruth always made the sloppy Joes for the food stand operated during the Carroll County Fair by the Methodist Church at Harlem Springs. She was always willing to share her recipes and they could often be found in the recipe booklets printed by various publications.
She was always working. She was the janitor for the Harlem Springs Grade School and made sure there was a clean and bright environment in which the kids could learn. She cleaned houses for people and I am sure she made them sparkle. She drove the bookmobile all around the county, meeting and greeting people everywhere. She worked in son John's farm machinery business, where she got to know and help many farmers. She was a whiz at hanging wallpaper! She would stretch out the roll of paper, attack it with a brush full of homemade paste, fold it up, and up the ladder she would go! She would slap it on the ceiling or wall, match the seam perfectly, and smooth it out like silk. She made a lot of houses cleaner and brighter. In the last few years, when staying in Glendell, Ariz., with son Bob, she enjoyed volunteering at a local thrift shop along with daughter-in-law, Ellen.
She loved crafts and knew how to do so many! She crocheted beautiful doilies of all sizes, designs and colors. She knitted so many different things. Every new baby in the family could expect to receive a sweater set and booties. She knitted afghans for her children and all her grandchildren. She made slippers, angel dolls, pineapple patterned tablecloths, Christmas ornaments, beautiful Christmas cards, and many, many more things. Her hands were always at work on a project and when it was done she gave it away. One of the things she told me about that she had made recently was prayer shawls. She missed being able to make all the things she used to due to her eyesight failing and problems with her hands, but she still found things she could do. She didn't let those problems stop her.
She enjoyed giving and sharing all the things she made with everyone. As we look around our homes we all see things that she made for us. We have all been touched by her hands. She touched the lives of so many people in so many ways and there will always be many memories. Billy Graham once said, "God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with." Aunt Val gave from her heart by way of her hands.