I have fond memories of visiting my grandmother when I was a little girl. My grandmother's house was a treasure trove of little trinkets to discover and nooks to explore. Back home in the Adirondacks, my sisters and I spent most of our time exploring the woods, so it was always a treat to visit Grandma on Long Island. From the embroidered napkins in the dining room, the figurines in the entryway and the hatboxes in the attic, my sisters and I occupied ourselves for hours just exploring all the wonders. We were introduced to a world unknown to us. A world of hat pins, garters and girdles, fine china and silver.
When my Great Aunt, who lived most of her life in Florida, moved near us, her house introduced us to the novelty and tackiness of kitsch. Her furniture was the color of rainbow sherbet, her decor was gold and gaudy, but oh how fun it was to imagine her bright and floral world. Where my grandmother had pearls, my great aunt had plastic.
At home, the place to explore was my mother's jewelry box. Whenever she was away from the house for a bit, I would run into her room and carefully dig through the pretty things. I would try on her rings and wonder when in her past she wore them. I carefully examined every necklace and bracelet for any glimpse into my mother's past. Who was she when she was younger? I liked to imagine I could find the younger version of my mom in that magical wooden jewelry box.
Nowadays I don't have any places to visit and discover the treasures of the past. My grandmother and great aunt have since passed on. Occasionally, when I make it back home, I still take a peek in my mom's jewelry box. Now I have my own treasures to collect, my own connections to the past. I've even acquired some of my grandmother's and great aunt's trinkets. I'd like to think that someday my own daughter will root through my jewelry box and imagine what her mommy was like once upon a time.
(left-to-right: Hummel figurines from my great aunt, misc. figurines from my grandmother; a sock monkey made by my grandmother, my dad's childhood teddy bear, my Cabbage Patch Kid who has been with me since I was 3 or 4, Barry the Beaver, my first stuffed animal, who wears my hospital bracelet around his neck; a small collection of perfume bottles from my grandmother)
(left-to-right, top-to-bottom: my jewelry box with a picture of me and two of my sisters; cameo and pearl jewelry from my grandmother; a collection of lighters from my great aunt; my small collection of my special jewelry; a small, misc. container; a pretty ceramic container made by my grandmother; a pearlized pill box and fox tie tack from my grandmother; my grandmothers favorit clamshell earrings and a pair of teardrop costume earrings)