The Things She Carried

Over the holidays I had the opportunity to visit my recently departed Grandma’s home and take anything I wanted.  I thank my Uncle for this as the master of her estate.  He drove me over and let me leisurely browse, all the while hoping I’d take more, more, more.  An odd evening as I wasn’t sure what I should be looking for, what would have meaning in my own life and quite practically, what could fit in our suitcase.

Grandma owned a lot of things as I suspect everyone does by the age of 94.  She had beautiful furs and hats, new stockings that could only be worn with garters and lots and lots of rubber band balls and paperclip mounds.  Sifting through her condo I couldn’t help but think of Heather at VintageFrenchChic who would have gone mad for some of Grandma’s treasures.  Being more Sally Bowles than Betty Draper myself, her clothes and handbags weren’t right for me but I did manage to bring home a few items that moved me in some way:

The Things She Carried

Classic.

The Things She Carried

Unopened American Greetings Gift Wrap. 25 cents.

The Things She Carried_MG_7167

The Things She Carried

A devout Catholic, I doubt Grandma would appreciate me hanging this portrait and palm cross in a bathroom – which i did – but I hope she’d at least approve of its ranking above Elvis.

The Things She Carried

I don’t know the history behind this handkerchief; perhaps it was bought for Grandma merely a year ago, but it is detailed (to include my hometown of Sturgis, SW corner) and the pink makes me think of her. It will hang nicely in the dining area where I seem to have curated a geography-themed corner.

Maybe because it was the holidays, I also took some of her very old glass ornaments.  Unwrapping them from their decades-old tissue brought back a pleasant wave of memories.  I look forward to that wave rushing over me year after year as I hang them on our own tree.  I also can’t think of Grandma without thinking of Easter so I took some table linens that I will proudly display when presenting her Potato Salad and Cirak to our family and friends.

As an unsentimental old fool, I tried not to put too much weight on the things she carried.  While I picked and plundered, I stared and wondered.  I hope she was happy in that Lazy-Boy chair watching her beloved Detroit Tigers.  I hope she slept easily with the heat cranked down to save pennies.  Did that toaster still work after all these years?  What do you do after you’ve mastered every single configuration of solitaire?  I should have written more.

Goodbye Grandma. I take a piece of you with me.

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2 thoughts on “The Things She Carried

  1. You know me too well…I would have LOVED to go through all those vintage things. How lovely you were able to pick out some things that you can remember your grandma by. And I love that first picture!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Stay Little Valentine Stay | Black Panty Salvation

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