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Thursday, September 2, 2010

The haul

So here it is, Dumplings, the haul from my parents' recent move. I didn't pull a huge number of items, simply because my mother and I have very different decorating tastes. She leans towards the French-y Poo and Shabby Chic, and you know I'm a boho contempo girl through and through.

I'm keeping her set of Franciscan Ware (above). The pattern is Hacienda Gold and was produced from 1965 through 1983. I don't how many place settings I have - thank God for Replacements.

This is a small wooden box that always sat on my father's chest-of-drawers. He kept his favorite family photos in it. When they told me they were downsizing, this was the one item I wanted more than anything else in the house. Growing up, I would ask to see his "treasure chest" and sat contentedly for ages looking at the same pictures over and over. I think Dad was surprised to learn how much it meant to me.

This is my grandfather's medal for serving in the Battle of the Bulge - The Military Order of Ardennes, Grand Cross of Homage. He served as an MP and participated in the liberation of two concentration camps. My grandfather was Margaret Bourke-White's personal escort when she photographed Buchenwald. I never knew of any of this until I was in college. Some experiences are just too painful to discuss.

In his personal effects was this souvenir silk handkerchief, hand-painted with the American, French, and British flags. He brought it back for my grandmother. He was madly in love with her from the moment they met and wrote her the most beautiful letters during the war. Reading them, I was amazed at his writing style. So elegant for a man whose education stopped at high school.

After the war, my grandfather joined the civilian police force eventually becoming the Chief of Police of Kokomo, Indiana and then Sheriff of Howard County, IN. These are his CoP ID and Sheriff's badge.

I thought I'd given this away and was so excited to find it! I bought this kilim bag in Bath, England during my college semester abroad. I paid 80 pounds for it in 1988 - a fortune for me at the time. You can bet I'll be sporting this in the very near future.

Sorry for the wonky shot - this was one of my grandmother's summer handbags. It's not my personal style but it's in pristine condition and I want to have it just because.

One of my BFFs, Susie, suggested I keep any costume jewelry for The Pea to play dress-up. Thanks, Sis! It wouldn't have occurred to me to save any but the most valuable pieces.

Here are a few of the photos of my uber-stylish grandmother I promised to share. Nana felt that you should look your absolute best each and every day. She and my grandfather were not wealthy, but she took great care in building a phenomenal wardrobe. (That's yours truly in the bottom picture.) My mother has many more photos, including an ah-mazing one of Nana in jodphurs. I'll try to locate it for you.

As you can see the sartorial apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Here's The Pea all ready for pre-school this morning.

And an outfit from last week.

There are still a few boxes to unpack, so I may be writing a follow-up post. Thanks so much, Dumplings, for accompanying me on my stroll down memory lane!


David said...

Great dishes! My bud Rich has his mothers Wedgwood Midwinter Sun, I love that era.

I think you brought home exactly what you should have, things that mean something to you, and things that are fun.

The Pea is looking cute as ever. You'll be shooing preschool boys off your porch in no time.

Belly said...

The Pea looks darling!
Browsing through all these stuff must have been extremely emotional. How great it is that you get to keep some! Your grandparents seem so elegant, and FYI- straw bags are totally in fashion now :)

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I love your finds and what they meant to you! A wonderful post. Oh, and how darling is your little girl!!!!

nkp said...

That's a wonderful family history, what a great man your grandfather was, Raina. I too think you picked wonderful things to cherish. Maybe it's a good thing that your mother didn't throw anything away after all? ;0). Enjoy it all.

Oh, and I love the Pea's boots. Fabulous!

my favorite and my best said...

eat the pea!!! eat the pea!!!!!
kilim bag= best. thing. ever.

grandfather= solid dude.

treasure chest story= puddles of tears.

only a movie said...

I love every bit of this post, and that Pea is the frosting on the cake.

Coté Provence said...

Love this post. Your grandfather was a hero, plus he wrote love letters to your grandmother.... oh my god, how romantic!
Treasure every items you find .
and what a beautiful girl she is that little pea of yours.

Sally J said...

It appears that my mother grew up in the same time as your grandmother as evidenced by the clothes. She too, was always impeccable in her dress and appearance, and told me often that one didn't have to have money to have class. She sure did! Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I'm glad you got to go through her things while she is still here. That's a blessing.
Great post!

erin@designcrisis said...

for so many reasons, this post brought a tear to my eye...

your family is awesome and amazing!

A Perfect Gray said...

Raina, I know this was not meant as an overly sentimental post, yet my heart absolutely swells over this one and your last one. Little treasures - maybe only important for the memories they evoke; little bits of shared lives. sorry I gush. I just think these posts were some of the most beautiful ones ever.

Thanks so much for giving us that gift. Donna

autrichenoire said...

The Pea looks uncertain about this nefarious sounding pre-school business.
Family history being passed down is a good thing.

Naomi@ThirteenandSouth said...

Wow, what treasures! That wooden box especially tickles my fancy. That and Pea's moccasin boots. I actually have a similar pair, but I haven't seen them since the move!

karly / said...

I'd say Operation I'm About To Smack A Hoarder Upside The Head didn't turn out so bad after all. Excellent take away... now I just want to have cocktails with all of your ancestors. Lots of cocktails.

Robin said...

This entire post is a treasure, you came away with wonderful finds.

I have a lucite/bakelite/basket purse similar to that one, scrounged at a flea market for about $15. Doesn't hold much but super cute for summer. If we ever meet up we'll have to both sport them when we go out for summer cocktails Even if it is winter.

Oh, and I'm coming over to kidnap The Pea.

Julie @ Chapman Interiors said...

We should drink a Manhattan in honor of your swanky grandma, how fun and pretty. Too bad being feminine and dressing up everyday now is like trying to heard cats into a pool.
And then we should continue drinking to celebrate how much you and your kiddo are IDENTICAL. creepy almost.

hush said...

All of it, so lovely! Such treasures! Thank you for letting us stroll down memory lane with you & yours.

susieq said...

I'm tearing up. The treasures are perfection. The store of your grandfather made my heart both swell and break. I cannot imagine the things he experienced and the horrors he saw.

The Pea could not be cuter -- I'm telling you, get that girl into acting!!

Dave said...

What a wonderful post. I love FAMILY, even though they are such a royal pain in the ass.
Your daughter is a doll....pangs as I only have sons......praying for daughters in law to love.

The Down East Dilettante said...

....and we loved the stroll.

Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage said...

I love that jewelry! and The Pea is cute as pie.

Bromeliad said...

How awesome that these items have been unearthed and will be properly treasured.

Michelle said...

How sweet and touching! Your grandparents sound like very amazing people.

Paul Anater said...

Thanks for posting all of this Raina. Being handed down objects with a story to tell is one of life's great pleasures. Your grandparents sound like they were amazing people.