Apr 15, 2018

One man's junk

is now my treasure.  I've been helping my cousins go through Aunt Helen's house, and brought home a few things they were throwing out.  We took a very large crucifix and other religious items the boys offered to Carole.  When delivering them, I mentioned to her that her bedroom is starting to look like a chapel.
 
This was a screened trough she was filling with corn for the deer, hasn't been used in several years since her boys blocked the steep steps to the back yard.  It was at the curb!  After lining the bottom with two layers of landscape fabric, I see a coat of white or bright blue chipped paint with Creeping Jenny and Vinca vines cascading.
 
My grandparents were from Italy and Poland, all came with nothing.  The only time there was a gift given was when they became citizens.   As time went on and the children became adults, that frugality stayed with them and rarely was anything purchased that was not necessary. 
 
So my mom's and her sister's rhinestone jewelry, rarely worn, are now with me.  The only glamorous items they owned.  Even when they could afford a little splurge, their parents' way of life was still a great influence, and if anyone got a gift or new shoes, it was the children.  Back then, mothers sacrificed all for their children.  It was understood that bringing a life into the world required 15 years of selflessness and total devotion, the absolute and most important task on earth.  So for me to own what must have made them feel as beautiful outside as they were inside, is a privilege.
 
I have Baba's and Nona's pearl collars that dressed their plain sweaters, and the other pieces were mom's.  When in today's world we get what we want, and credit cards make it all possible, can you imagine how meaningful it was for a woman back then to own a few special pieces?  So although they are costume jewelry and tossed aside by others, I can see how important and treasured this jewelry was.
 
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21 comments:

blueladie said...

What a beautiful post. We have lost so much in the name of progress and the passing of time. Cathryn

Mugwump Woolies said...

Your vision for the planter is wonderful...but, those precious pearls and baubles...they are beautiful! The lovely pearl collars would be perfect on a jewel neck sweater...even today. I hope you will wear those three strand pearls whenever the fancy strikes you...and the rhinestone pieces a well. They are so classic. I wear my mother's pearls all the time...even with jeans and a chambray shirt! Enjoy them and the tangible connection they are to the women in your life!
Robyn

Robin in Virginia said...

What treasures you shared with us, Marly! I like your vision for the trough. The pieces of jewelry are timeless with wonderful stories attached.

Jacqueline said...

Great treasures, great memories.

Heritage Hall said...

If only the young of today could understand the "value" of such
treasures and their significance. They just "shine" in their individual
beauty in your photos...and, yes, are as classic today as then...timeless.
Thank you for remembering and sharing.

debbie haggard said...

Wonderful treasures and remembrances of your maternal family. So happy you are able to be the keeper of such precious items.

capecodgirl565 said...

When my grandmother died many, many years ago and her daughter cleaned out her house, taking anything of any value, I went through the leftovers and took many small seemingly insignificant things that meant a lot to me just because they were in the house, something I saw everyday (my sister and I lived with her for a while and attended school there while the place in NJ where we lived, although very nice, became the focus of race riots)things that reminded me of her. I still have all those things and each time I look at them, I think of her. The black stenciled rocker where she sat with her cat in her lap while my sister and I watched Dark Shadows on the tv, a little Stangl pottery pitcher with a holly leaf on it, a cutting board my grandfather made, and the table and chairs that no one wanted where we sat with her and my aunt playing card games. To me, those are the things that matter, things that evoke the memories. Glad you found some treasures!

Kristen said...

Lovely pieces Marly. Glad you rescued them.

Barbara Shores ~ Village Folk Art said...

Hi Marly, as always I enjoyed your story. My grand parents came from Warsaw, Poland. They too lived very meager lives and provided for seven children. All of them were very frugal in their adulthood. I do not have much in any material remembrances, mostly all memories of the close family gatherings and they are priceless. Mother and her siblings always spoke in Polish. We children never knew what was being said. But actions spoke louder than words. So we children attempted to fill in the dots. Sadly, we did not learn to speak Polish as we were in America and we needed to speak as an American. How wonderful for you to have those treasures.
Hope all is well with you, Thanks for sharing, Barb

Diane Prenatt said...

What a beautiful reflection, Marly. It takes love to pay that much attention to small things.

Ms Peppercorn said...

I have my Baba’s cameo. I wore it in high school on a light cream blouse with a ruffle at the neck and a blazer with a velvet collar that matched the velvet bell bottoms. I would always do my hair up like a Gibson girl on the days I wore it. (Sigh) As always, thank you for sharing. Xoxo

Barb said...

It is wonderful to have the treasures of your family. I am glad that you treasure them. I always feel bad when I see some things that are put in an antique shop. Guess nobody wants them. That trough is going to look great!

3millplainrd said...

I am so glad that you see the value of these pieces and what they meant to your relatives. They are very pretty.

Truus said...

Love those items you got from your family.
It is such a pity that todays young people don't see the value of these -not only in money but also as a treasure.
Beautiful will this with flowers .
Have a great day
Cheers, Truus from Holland

Vera said...

What wonderful treasures and stories Marly. Vinca will look fabulous in the trough.

C M Designs said...

So happy for you to be able to have the beautiful treasures from your family.
I can see your trough now filled with beautiful greenery or flowers.
I hope you had a warm weekend and that it will return in the near future.
Charlotte in Va.

Barbara said...

I love how you have your Mother's jewelry now and can enjoy it. You are right on when you speak about how back then Mother's and Father's sacrificed for their children because I know mine did.
Blessings

Vickie said...

Your post really touched me Marly. I read it twice.

Carol said...

Your treasures are beautiful, but the fact that you love and appreciate them and the family history of them is even more beautiful, Marly! I can't wait to see the trough spruced up and filled with vines or flowers--it will be just lovely :)

P.S. Hate to tell you, but I just saw snow here--it may be headed your way!

Rugs and Pugs said...

The trough will be so cool filled with flowers and vines.
BEAUTIFUL jewelry. Lucky you.
Lauren

Maggee said...

What a nice post! I have much around me everyday that I inherited from family... and I nor MY family do not take any of it for granted! My grandparents were born in the US, so I would have to go back further to find my immigrant ancestors... but anything left behind by family is precious to me. And I love that Trough!! Your plans for it sound delightful, bringing you joy in the warm season!! Hugs!

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