Ida Margaret Jaeger was born on 1 Jan 1919 (Illinois) to Fred Jaeger and Ella Martha Marie Jonas. Fred was originally from Germany and Ella was from Morton Grove, IL – the first generation in her family to be born in America. Ida was 1 of the 4 girls that Fred and Ella had. All the sisters raised their families in Chicago, IL.
Ida was my maternal Grandmother and she was the most important person in my life. Biologically she was my Grandmother, but in all actions she was my Mom. My parents divorced while I was still a baby. My father remarried quickly and had another child. My older brother and I spent the day with Grandma and my half-sister spent the day with her maternal Grandma. Grandma Ida was the constant in our lives. She made us breakfast, got us ready for school, gave us dinner and got us ready for bed. Pretty much everything a mother would do, she did.
I was one of the youngest grandchildren and when everyone was at school, it was just me and Grandma at home. I was her remote control before they had remotes. We spent our days watching her soaps and game shows. As she watched all of her shows, she continuously crocheted. Making many afghans for the family.
One night, my cousin Erin spent the night, she was a year older than me. She must have woke earlier then I did on this day. I remember waking up and she was in the living room, crocheting with Grandma. I was so upset. I asked Grandma, “how come you won’t teach me?
Her reply was, “You are too young!”
Erin was 5, I was 4. To me, it did not seem like a big deal. I just wanted to be able to crochet like Grandma. Well, I must have put up such a stink because Grandma spent the afternoon teaching me how to make a chain to start and then from there we went into the counting of your stitches and how it was important so that your afghan comes out even on all sides. Well, being 4, I did not want to count. My first creation was made of this thick red yarn and looked more like a dress for Barbie, instead of an afghan for her. Within the week, Grandma had pulled my “dress” apart so that she could use they yarn in a afghan she was making. I was so upset!
Grandma died just before my 9th birthday, 17 Apr 1980. Saddest day of my life. I never really tried to crochet after my first lesson. Well, not until I was in my 20’s. I was pregnant with my second child and wanted to make an afghan for the baby. I bought some yarn and made a very simple blanket for the baby, it was not beautiful, but I made it and a few scarves for my daughter. I tried to do some fancy blankets with a pattern that was on the paper from the yarn. I got through 3-4 rows and it just was awful. I pulled it all apart and started over with a basic double stitch. I did make a beautiful afghan for my nephew Ryan’s first child. At the baby shower, it got many ooh’s and ahh’s! I was so excited that after all these years, I was able to make something as beautiful as my Grandma did.
I have a few afghans that my Grandma made and they are very important to me. I have the one she made for my first “big girl” bed. My aunt sent this to me when my oldest daughter was big enough for that “big girl” bed. I never let my kids use it because it was the only one I had at the time. I have acquired a few more over the years and they mean so much to me. To have a piece of her with me every day.
Please check back on Treasure Chest Thursday for some pictures of my beautiful afghans.