Love From the Past, in a Lost Treasure– Found

Celinda's grandchildren

Celinda with her children, twins Margaret and Mabel, with younger brother, Kent 

I was recently talking to a second cousin of mine who told me the story of how she found a piece of Grandma Olson‘s lost lace. Marian Olson Boag is a descendant of my grandma, Celinda Olson, a lacemaker.  Marian is the granddaughter of Kent Olson, one of Celinda’s sons.  

She says:

“I was climbing through the rafters of Kent’s old barn where we milked the cows.  I was cleaning out the loft, and found a metal box that had lost its lid.  I decided to rifle through the box to make sure there wasn’t anything important in there before I threw it away.

The box was full of garbage, magazines, newspapers, burlap sacks, twine, straw and it had, nestled in everything else, a mouse nest. There were mouse droppings all over everything in there.

In the old rusty box, I discovered a delicate hand-knitted bag. Rolled up inside the little bag, was this perfect piece of hand-knitted lace.”

Celinda Olson Knitted Lace

Gift From the Past–Celinda Olson’s Lost Knitted Lace, Found

I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. An incredible feeling came over me. It was pretty special. I imagine that Grandma was very happy the lace had been found.

The sack had a few holes in it from the mice chewing through it, so it really was a miracle that the lace wasn’t ruined. I figure it was at least 50 years old at the time, and I’ve now had it twenty years more. 

I cleaned it, and stowed it away for safe keeping. I told my mother about it years later.  She told me to keep it, which is good… because I would have had a hard time giving it back! 

No one had any clue that it even existed, and no idea why it was ever put in the barn.  Finding that lace was such a blessing, and to know the love that went into making each tiny stitch just makes me feel close to her. I don’t know how it was lost, but I’m so glad it was preserved so I could find it.  It’s such a gift to have something so beautiful of hers.  I love it.”

What a treasure.  Uncle Kent’s barn is not far from the log house my grandmother lived in as she knit her lace by lamplight.  A beautiful piece of her love, for her granddaughter, made it home.

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