(Before I go further, let me stress that it is VERY DIFFICULT to pick only 10 things to go in this box. And that these are by NO MEANS the MOST significant things in my possession, which leads me to think there may be a Part 2 in my future, because this feels rather like Sophie's Choice.)
Here's my imaginary box.
Picturing it? Good.
I am including a large sub-category to #1 on my list which may or may not be cheating, but I'm doing it anyway, because there are several very special items inside this bookcase that you can't see.
These are my favorites of the favorite items in here:
My mom's Shirley Temple doll. My mom got this doll for Christmas in the mid 1930s. It was an expensive gift, and the whole family went together to get it for her, but she never liked it or played with it, preferring soft baby dolls over this hard doll. It is in excellent condition because of that.
This is Sunshine. She belonged to my mom's brother, my Uncle Bradley, and I played with her a lot when I visited my great aunts (can you tell by the lovely dress I once made for her out of scraps of fabric?). When my great aunts both died, my uncle didn't want Sunshine, because it always kind of embarrassed him that he had had a doll, so he told me I could have her.
This is my great aunt Daisy's kidskin doll. She LOVED that doll, as evidenced by her holding it in the photograph, where she is about 2 years old. When I was a child, she talked about getting her fixed up with a wig, but she (fortunately) never found one that suited her when she would look at the Ben Franklin store. I love her. (By the way, this is the same Daisy who had a pet chicken as a child, said chicken being allowed to roost on the back of a dining room chair at night, newspapers spread on the floor under her.)
My great aunts had an aunt who lived to be 99 years old. She lived on the farm she had lived on most of her life up until her last five years or so, when she moved in with her son and his wife. When we visited my great aunts, we would often go visit Aunt Bessie. She lived in a two-story house that had two front doors, sitting at right angles to each other; one going into a parlor and one going into another room, but for the life of me, I can't remember what room that was. Dining room, maybe? We always entered through the back door, into the kitchen. She kept a pan on the back of her stove where she scraped plates and gave the scraps to the barn cats outside, which I thought was pretty fascinating, as we just gave OUR cat canned catfood. She lived on the bottom floor only by this time in her life, but the upstairs was just as she left it, with bedrooms that had ornate beds with enormous, fluffy featherbeds on them. We loved going up there and rolling around on those featherbeds, and when she moved to her son's home, I BEGGED my parents to get me one of them. They didn't for many reasons, the least of which was that I'm pretty sure the headboard would have touched the ceiling in my little bedroom, if not gone right through it. Oh, one time, my friend Lynnette went out to Aunt Bessie's with us, and she and I dared each other to lick a salt lick block we found out in the pasture behind the house (which we both did).
This little cup was Aunt Bessie's mush cup, and she drank her mush out of it every morning when she was a child. She gave it to me, and it is a precious possession.
|The raised glass is a bear. It didn't photograph well.|
These are my great aunts, Edith (or Ecie, as we called her) and Daisy. This is one of the last pictures of them together before Ecie's health began to fail (she died in late 1978, Daisy in 1983). I still dream about them being alive and visiting their house, where I spent so much time and have such warm memories.
2. and 3. This also belonged to my great aunts. This is a real, honest-to-goodness telephone switchboard. My great aunt Daisy was the telephone operator in the small town of Urich, Missouri, from 1929 until the office closed in 1960 and the town went to direct dial telephones. Her sister was the night operator from 1939 until the office closed, and when they retired, the telephone company gave them the switchboard. My brother and I have many happy memories of us playing on the switchboard at their house (they kept it on their glassed-in porch).
The dog is mine. It's Nipper, the RCA mascot, and when I worked at RCA Records in Nashville, EVERYONE seemed to have one of them in their office but ME. When artists would visit the offices, they would always stop and sign Nippers, and I REALLLLLY wanted one. My office was across from the mailroom, and one day, I came in to find a Nipper sitting outside the mailroom door. It sat there for a week or so, and no one seemed to have a plan for him, so every day, I would move him a couple of inches further down the hall and closer to my office, until one day, I grabbed him by the ear and pulled him inside. He's been mine ever since. He isn't signed by very many artists, as I acquired him about a year before I left the company and moved to LA, but he is signed by Eddie Arnold, Lorrie Morgan, Clint Black, Martina McBride, Aaron Tippin and Restless Heart, among others. Aaron even gave him a palmetto tree tattoo like the one he had on his own arm.
4. Books. We have a lot of books. This entire wall is a built in bookcase, loaded with books and photos and other nice things. These shelves hold mostly my books, like my Sue Grafton collection.
5. As many of you know, Joplin was hit with an EF-5 tornado on May 22, 2011. Over one-third of the town was damaged or destroyed, 161 people were killed, and over 1,000 injured. The dance studio where my daughter spent much of her time was one of the many businesses that was destroyed. Her beloved dance teacher, Miss Karen, had passed away from cancer less than five months earlier, and all of it was quite a blow to Emma. We were able to salvage a few things from the studio, and this is my treasure: Karen's reading glasses were still in the drawer of her desk in the office. I keep them in my kitchen window and wear them when I'm needing to read something smaller than the big "E" on the eye chart, and I think of her every time and miss her.
6. This is also a memento from the dance studio. Miss Karen used it as a prop when the little girls were doing the "Monkey See, Monkey Do" dance. It was still in a cabinet in the studio, covered with tornado snot but otherwise unscathed. It sits in my living room, on the floor by the fireplace.
7. We took a delightful family vacation 12 years ago to eastern Pennsylvania to visit my husband's sister and her family, then drove through upstate New York, visiting the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and Niagara Falls before heading for home (you can read about the story of how my son was involved with the big blackout of 2003 here; go ahead, I'll wait). While driving along the shore of Lake Ontario, we stopped to visit Golden Hill State Park and got a tour of Thirty Mile Lighthouse. It was such a delightful visit that we bought this watercolor print before we left.
8. When we got married almost 22 years ago, my husband bought me a dozen roses and had them waiting for me in our hotel room in Kansas City on the first leg of our honeymoon. He also gave me the hobnail jar and told me that, when the roses finally dried out, we would put the petals in the jar and have them always. It was very sweet, until I had to fly back to LA from Kansas City with them between my feet the entire trip. My husband took the picture of me in our backyard in Ventura with the wedding license and the roses in my arms before we left for Carmel for the rest of our honeymoon. I found the framed print of 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, which were included in our wedding ceremony, in the gift shop of a restaurant in San Luis Obispo where we stopped on our way to Carmel.
9. These are the graduation plates each of my kids made when they were in pre-k. I love that both of them included a cat in their picture; Kyle drew Helen, who died in 2003, and Emma drew Fletcher. It's also interesting to me to see the difference in their skill levels, as Kyle was 6 months younger than Emma at this same point in their pre-k years, and you can see it in the details of the pictures.
10. We might have, at some point, gotten carried away with refrigerator magnets. It started with just a couple of them, because everyone needs some magnets on their fridge, and escalated when we started buying them every time we traveled. There are also a few pictures on there. And a lot of fingerprints. Don't look too closely.
I hope you imagined a REALLY BIG box.
According to Piper's rules, I'm supposed to nominate two bloggers to take this challenge, so I shall nominate Marisa at SquaareKat and Kristi at Thankful Me. No pressure, ladies, it took me 6 weeks to get mine done (sorry, Sarah!),plus I still have an outstanding post to do for Vanessa (I haven't forgotten, really!).
Link up your Ten Things of Thankful, right here, right now.
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine
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