Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Memory Lane

The biggest project on my summer "TO DO" list is to deal with two huge piles of random stuff from my grandmother's house that have been stacked in my living room and hallway for way too long. She passed away a couple of years ago and I was the relative living the closest to her home, so the bulk of what was left, after everyone took what they wanted and the charity truck picked up the clothes and furniture, got stashed in my living room and hallway. The piles took over my living room almost completely at first, but I've whittled it down to the two piles, and was able to condense that down to one pile yesterday, with everything FINALLY out of the living room. (YEAH!!!) At this point I have it down to mainly pictures and paperwork. There are a few other things I am finding it hard to part with- her jewelry box with a little bit of costume jewelry left in it, her hair brushes, a few of my grandfather's things, but it's mostly pictures and papers.

The boxes I sorted through yesterday contained her recipe clippings. My grandmother had a major sweet tooth; the majority of the recipes by far were for DESSERTS! She clipped recipes from the paper and magazines, labels on cans and chocolate chip bags, and sent away for recipes from "Mr. Food". Some of the recipes dated back to before I was born. (Some of them probably go way back even before that, but only a few of them are dated.) She loved to entertain when she was younger and was very active in her church and missions program. She would have missionaries visit and stay with her, or at least eat with her, quite often back in the day. (I don't remember the visits personally but she told me about it.) I'm sure she fed them some desserts that were out of this world.

I remember hosting a shower with her once, how she prepared and planned. She could carry out a theme, that's for sure. I found some themed items from her church that she probably contributed ideas to. She attended several Mother/Daughter banquets and kept the invitation and other items from one that had a sewing theme, "Pattern for Living", from 1964. It was joyous to look at; the way they incorporated sewing into the banquet was so clever. They gave out the menu and favors in an envelope made up to look like a pattern. The favor looked like a little apron with flowers in the pocket; the flower pot was a thimble. The tickets were a section of a tape measure.

I almost cried when I found an autograph album she used when she was 18. Several of her friends signed it and she wrote in it like a diary. Unfortunately she wrote lightly and in pencil so it's hard to make out, but what I can read is priceless. I'm hoping to work on figuring out everything; maybe I'll be able to post it one of these days. (Adding it to the "TO DO" list...)

The pictures are wonderful, too. She gave me a lot of her pictures, especially the older ones from her childhood and early adult years, before she died. That still left a whole bunch for me to go through now! Family gatherings, vacations, her grandchildren, her sisters, holidays, and flowers. She took pictures of every bouquet of flowers anyone ever sent her. I'm hoping to scan all of them with a picture scanner my mom gave me, then I can send them out to any relatives who want them.

It's both hard and comforting at the same time to go through her things. I miss her so much and this makes me think of her even more, but it's almost like she's still here. It's so frustrating that I can't call her and ask her the stories behind some of her things, though, like what she remembers about that Mother/Daughter banquet, or what she wrote in her autograph album that I can't make out. I dream about her, about when she was a young woman. I didn't know her then but I dream.

4 comments:

joven said...

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Kim said...

Hi Joven:
Thanks for your comment, and I looked at your blog. There isn't much there! Are you planning to update more in the future? I'm curious about you; not much info on your profile page, either. I like to follow blogs where I can get to know a person, like we're friends, but this would be a one sided relationship! ;)

Vegan Aide said...

You are, funny, Kim (above comment, not the blog post).

My Mom passed a few years ago so I know what you are going through and how rich those memories are. It's tough. Perhaps you can find a way to make a picture collage or textile of some quilt-type-sort to store some of those memories that you want to keep, but not keep in a closet. My heart is with you on this one.

Kim said...

Hi:
Thanks for commenting. :) The collage is a good idea; I have so many wonderful pictures. One other thing I've decided to do is put her hats (four of them, from the fifties!) up on the wall in my daughter's room. I didn't know what to do with them for the longest time, but they are too special and pretty to give up, so I'm glad inspiration finally hit. This will honor and make use of them rather than having them take up space in a closet; I think even Peter Walsh would approve.