Do you love baskets? I've sort of an obsession with them, myself. I suspect that some of it has to do with the fact that I can stuff so much, well, 'stuff', in them! I'm not sure how many of them I actually have, as they are stashed in different cubby holes all around my house. Some of them are new, some are old. Several are white oak baskets handmade in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas.
My favorite basket, the one in the chair, belonged to my great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Young. She was born during the Civil War, the exact date not known. She came to Arkansas with her parents in the late 1870's. She married and homesteaded with her husband and nine children. I like to imagine her using this basket, filling it with the beautiful flowers that she grew on that homestead, the very property where we now live.
When I look out my back window, I can see the place of their original homestead house. Later, they built a bigger, more elaborate house on another section of the property. Her home burned many years ago, but I own several of her possessions, including this basket. I never knew Mary Elizabeth, but a little of her lives on through her descendants, a few still living that remember her. I never knew her, of course, but I think of her, imagine her, when I see this basket.