Friday, December 10, 2010


Letters are expectation packaged in an envelope. ~ Shana Alexander
Two envelopes recently brought the past from both sides of my family to the forefront.

The first...I was paging through one of my mother's knitting books and found an envelope, yellowed with age it had "get copies made" in her writing.  I opened it up to find old negatives.  I took them to be developed curious as to what would be on them.  Modern technology didn't know what to make of old negatives so it took two weeks to get them back!  They were photo's I had never seen before.  One photo was of my maternal  grandfather with three of my cousins and an unknown woman.  The second, taken the same day, is my grandfather with one of my cousins.  The third was my grandmother and grandfather holding my cousin obviously at a birthday party.  The fourth photo is of my mother and father cutting hay with a scythe.  As soon as I saw it I remembered her telling me about haying that way and that it wasn't hard because once you started you would get into a rhythm.  So I made copies to put into the Christmas cards to the cousins.

The second envelope was put into my hand at the annual VFW bingo.  The woman (K) who gave it to me had once dated my older brother.  They broke up and she married someone else.  I babysat all three of her children.  Her son is my nephews godfather.  So suffice it to say that the families have been friends for many years.  She said "I just recently found this and while it is too late for #1 daughter to use it at her wedding, I thought you could put it away for #2.  Your (paternal) grandmother gave me this for my high school graduation".

I opened the envelope to find a linen hankie with tatting around the edges. 
My grandmother use to tat, crochet, quilt and make rugs but K was not sure if my grandmother had done the work on this or not. 

 Either way it was wonderful of her to have kept it these many years (40+) and to give it to #2.  

When my grandmother gave this to K she was a widow living in a house without indoor plumbing, heating/cooking with a coal stove, and surviving on a railroad pension.   I am not even sure if she had electric then although I know she did in 1970.  My point being that even though she had little she found a way to commemorate a graduation day and the thought was appreciated.  I know that kids now a days would laugh at receiving something similar for a graduation present and would toss it out.   I think later they would regret the loss of what could have been a family heirloom.  #2 just turned 16 so she will not be using this at her wedding anytime soon but this will go into her hope chest, right beside the afghan made by her grandmother for her first child.  I love these links to the past.


cyndy said...

What treasures!

If you have time, please scan the photo of your mom and dad and send a copy my way? I know M would love to see it.

PS...Was hoping to find your Christmas music on the margin this year like last...

Sandie Knapp said...

I so much agree with you Judy. What wonderful treasures from your past, to be passed on and hopefully treasured by the young ones coming up next. I doubt if at any time, in the history of man, that families have been so disconnected as they seem to be today. I know that is not true with all of them, but it is of a large number. I wonder if they have any idea what they are missing out on. I'm glad to have things that tie me to my past, and keep my lost loved ones close and in my present.