Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Photo a Week...

Get your glasses.... your cuppa ...   and put up your feet my dears..... for this is a long story... made much shorter of course, but...still.... it does have to go on ... and a bit more on yet...   .... in order to get the actual "feel" for things...

Heirloom is the theme for this week.... and I don't have many of those.   I never met my Dad's family...  except one cousin who was older than our Mom..  who came from Quebec to British Columbia (all across Canada) to live with us when Mom was very sick with pneumonia.  She never went back home.  Georgette arrived with plenty of clothes, perfumes, powders, shoes, hair rollers (actually, the most hair stuff you have ever seen in your entire life!) , etc... ... but, that's about it.  Don't get me wrong...we 3 little girls loved it!  But, ...there were no heirlooms.

(of course, I don't have to actually tell you this part..but it's fun to relate and today...I feel like telling a story ... )
When she wasn't home, we tried on her gargantuan Dolly Parton sized bras... clomped around in her lovely pearlized, pastel high heels...and spritzed and puffed ourselves with her wild smelling perfumes and powders.  As if she didn't know...hahahha....with telltale dustings of powder having settled on her otherwise immaculate dresser..    (we learned a lot about housekeeping from her!)  ... but, she never did say anything.  She loved us ... and she loved to play with our hair; try to teach us a bit about some of her feminine ways, (we were such wild tomboys) and in general just be a wonderful friend, confidante and almost a surrogate Mom while ours was unable to even lift her head off the pillow.  We have a couple of photos of my sister with a frizzy perm that Georgette gave her...that was months of fun...  our cousin always wanted to be a hairdresser.  However, she never did take the course, ... made plenty of money as a top notch waitress and that's what she did for many years once our Mom was on the road to recovery.

She lived with us for several years... was such a hard worker at whatever she did and always dressed up beautifully when she went out.  She is now in her nineties... still lives in her own apartment... still looks all "done up" ... and is wishing she had gone into politics ... 'the system needs changing' and 'if she were 30 years younger'...man, I bet she'd be the person to do just that!  Georgette for Prime Minister.  She'd sure as heck get my vote!

On to the other side of the family and the other side of the world.....

Mom's family lived in England, so we never met most of them either.  As a matter of fact , she never saw her parents again once she left home shortly after the war.  Couldn't afford to go ...and even if she could... my Dad would never have allowed it...in case she got smart and didn't come back... hahaha...... well, I laugh now..but, at the time it didn't seem very funny.  Good thing we can put the "fun"ny back in dysfunctional years after the fact, isn't it?

In the 60's, I managed to save enough to get Mom and me on a plane for England... and off we flew. We almost didn't go because her Mom had died only 2 months previously...and her Dad had been gone for several years.  But... she still had a sister ...so we decided we would still make the trip.  We had a month of beautiful weather... did a lot of sightseeing; the sisters got to re-aquiant, and I met a few cousins... along with several people Mom had known in her other life ... the life before meeting my Dad as the dashing Canadian soldier... who later turned out to be not so dashing... or maybe he was the same guy all along, but she just didn't see that.... as is often the case.... love is blind and all that stuff and nonsense ...

My aunt was not in the best of situations either ... uh, oh....  this is getting too long to go into another segue about another unhappy marriage... suffice to say... she came to visit Canada later as part of a tour group which her scheming husband brought here...   only to go home and realize he had duped the group and monies were owing...which she had to help pay..etc, blah, blah.. and on to a few years later when she decided to immigrate ... by herself ... bringing only the youngest of her kids with her. The others were already on their own.  You can't believe the shenanigans a Brit had to go through to immigrate to Canada!  It would have been easier if she had been a refugee with absolutely not a farthing to her name and who would immediately be a burden upon the system.  Anyway... after many months, running to years...she got here.  Loaded down with anything and everything she could carry, box, ship, etc.. which of course, was not much in the scheme of moving your whole life.

She carried in her hands these vases and this tea pot.... for the sole purpose of giving them to me.  Eldest female descendant of the family.  She has all boys....

I love my teapot... silver .. and it tarnishes, but I love the blues and purplies ... yes, I meant to say purplies.... so don't polish it much...
I never use it for tea... just for flowers or to look at behind glass where it usually sits... or to hold in my hands and marvel at the fact that somebody, somewhere, made this pot by hand all those years ago.  It has one small "ding" in it... been there for years...but, in my eyes it is perfect.






















































And.... my two little ancient vases... which she also carried all the way in her big bag slung over a shoulder...  the woman was tough as nails... I wish I had more of the toughness genes in her and in my cousin.





































All the way from England it came... after having lived there for so many years... it is about 200 years old; imagine that..... .. and for all those years it survived intact. One day I found a blind dog wandering around outside and brought it into the house while I tried to track down owners. One wag of its fluffy tail and my dainty little antique vase bounced right off a low table onto the floor...note the one missing "toe".  I do feel I let the side down a bit by not being careful enough in its safekeeping.   I'm very careful with my "stuff" and my "things", but do love to use them... .. missing toes and all....  yes, sometimes they are in the curio...but, they also bring me joy when in use as intended.  Some have said they think this may have been a dainty champagne flute...  I have yet to use it as that..     ..... hmmm...

13 comments:

frayedattheedge said...

What a wonderful story! I never had any realtives on my Mum's side, as she was an orphan, and my Dad's family was very small. I have some 'heirlooms' which I acquired from my Mum and Dad over the years - I knew my sister and brother weren't interested in them! As for using things ... I have a crystal vase which I have had for about 35 years - I use it constantly - it even survived sitting on the floor with dried grasses in it when my son was a toddler!!

Twiglet said...

How beautifully you told your story there - even the difficult bits! Your heirlooms are wonderful treasures, thanks for sharing it all.

Terra said...

Oh what touching family stories you shared here. How fabulous that your relative safely brought the teapot and 2 vases to you, so you have family heirlooms.
The teapot and lilacs are very beautiful.
I am so glad that you took your mom to England to reconnect with her sister and other relatives.

Serena said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your 'heirloom' post, Vee. Georgette sounded like quite a character...what fun!

That's why I had a bit of trouble with mine too because I had no extended family in my life until I was around fourteen when Mum took us back to England in '73 for a holiday but also with the view that we may move back there to live. Dad stayed here in Australia to look after the house and possibly sell up and follow on if Mum gave the okay that we would stay. It was only then that I met my Grandmother, Aunties, Uncles and cousins for the first time since I was only four years old. Mum made the decision to stay in Australia and, later, some of her family migrated to Australia also...my Grandmother came too and it was fun getting to 'know' them. I didn't know any family on my Dad's side until I was about 17 when his sister, her husband and their daughter came for a holiday one year. Their daughter (Dad's niece) ended up meeting my Mum's brother during their visit and they married two months later. lol

Enough about me...I LOVE that teapot and I remember commenting on it's beauty in previous posts. The colours in it are just perfect...so if you ever tire of it (yeah, right! lol), you can always send it DownUnder to little old me....it's such a treasure! Those vases are lovely too.

julietk said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your Dolls and Bears.
Glad I came across your blog :-)

Elena said...

Ha! We must be in story-telling mode as I was doing the same today! I do love yours and what wonderful treasures. Thanks for sharing!

julietk said...

I am happy you came to visit my blog, thank you for your comment on my Dobby. Yesterday the follow button kept malfunctioning when I tried to use it. Today it is working fine :-)

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

What a great story. Imagine never seeing your parents again and moving to a new country!
And cheers to Georgette; how lucky you all were to have her, huh?
I love the teapot and the vases; I can't believe they've made it this far...

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

What a wonderful story! Love the teapot the vases everything. :)
Hugs

MaryO said...

Oh my goodness, I'd say these gorgeous things were well worth carrying across the ocean in a shoulder bag! How fortunate you were to receive them.
Loved your family stories, too. Much more interesting than mine I think.

Jennifer Rose said...

that is such a great store :D gorgeous teapot!

JudiA said...

Honestly Vee, I think you could translate the phone book into an engaging story - I loved every word. What beautiful treasures you have, broken "toes" notwithstanding.

Krista said...

I'm blown away that those delicate vases made the journey without breaking. They are lovely. And the one with the lilacs is simply magnificent. The photos are brilliant!