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Showing posts with label imagination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label imagination. Show all posts

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Traveling Trunk





This traveling trunk came from my Teal grandparent's home, although when I first met it, the trunk had been passed down to their youngest daughter, Lela.  Almost 50 years ago, she saw some work I had done on a smaller trunk that had been given to me and asked me if I could "make hers pretty." The trunk was already travel worn and weary by then so that was a tall order for someone who knew little about working with the rusted metal corners.  Antiquing was in vogue then so she wanted me to antique the trunk with a base color of pink!  Cringing a bit at her color choice, I agreed to work on it.  Years passed, and Lela died.  Since her only son was stillborn and no one else wanted it, the trunk escaped being thrown away and came to me. That was early 1994.  Our family had just returned from living in Indonesia, moved to the Houston area, and started a business.  We had 3 grown sons and a very busy family life. The trunk sat for many years.

Now our sons are married, we have 5 granddaughters, and another grandbaby on the way. We are selling this house to move to one we have bought to share with our youngest son and his family. In the process of cleaning and clearing, we have passed on or given away many family things that have stories.  The trunk is big and in ill repair, and at first, no one wanted to take it home with them.  But this week, it will go to our oldest son who is a very talented artist and craftsman.  If anyone can make this old trunk look like the treasure it is, he can.  Because it is a treasure. There are so many stories it could tell.

 I can wish that I had paid enough attention years ago to ask the questions I now have. Questions such as "who was the original owner of the trunk?"  It could have belonged to either of my grandparents because of the times in which they lived.  Thomas Jefferson Teal was born in 1877.  Ida Mayfield Teal was 7 years older, born in 1870, making their young adult years the time when this barrel stave type trunk became popular for traveling. But it could also have belonged to their families.  I know very little about these ancestors. So it is too late to ask the questions.  I can only know that the trunk may look empty but that it carries a world of stories inside.

I can't wait to see what it looks like after my son imagines the stories.








Saturday, August 8, 2015

Swinging

 Joe added something important to our garden this week - a tree swing for Nora!  She has not yet been here to try it when it was cool enough to be out there.  106 - 108 degrees this week is forecast!  But it is almost mid August and we are looking forward to swinging and singing before long. We have a front porch swing that all of our granddaughters enjoy.  Recently, Maddie took her root beer float out to sit in that swing.
I remember the swing on my front porch when I was Maddie's age, and also the swings our little boys loved when they were growing up. There is magic in pumping your legs to swing higher and feeling the air rush past. There is such sweetness in remembering the calls to "Swing me higher, Daddy!" and "Please push me." I know our age is one of cell phones and tablets with online games and countless diversions that can be held in their hands, but I so want to offer our sweet girls the choices of spending time outdoors, finding beauty in nature, letting imaginations fill their stories with wonder. I want to encourage them to watch for the caterpillar and chrysalis and butterfly, and which plants are good for that. I hope they will make necklaces from 4 o'clock blooms, crowns from sticky weed, and make mud pies. I want them to love rubbing herbs in their fingers and knowing its name by the way it smells. I long for them to collect rocks and seeds, to feel the wonder of cool wet dew on bare feet,  and listen for cicadas in the trees in summertime. I want to enjoy eating watermelon and popsicles on the back porch with them, watching for bird nests, listening to birdsong, planting Morning Glories and Moonflowers, using a watering can to give the flowers a "shower."  And swinging.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Four O'Clock

It is four o'clock in the afternoon on this Thursday, September 5, 2013.   I am not referring to the time of day in the title above but to the sweet old fashioned flower by that name.  I am remembering sticky, hot September afternoons many years ago when my sister and I sat on the swing in our screened front porch and made our own breeze as we pushed off with our feet to swing back and forth.  There was no air conditioning inside the house, so the shaded porch with its green painted wood floor and blue ceiling was as cool as we were going to get unless we ran through the sprinkler. I can hear the creaking of the chains which held the swing, the song of the Katydids in the Chinaberry tree, and see the shrubbery nestled up against the house on Sunset Street.  Sitting on the porch meant being close to the flowers.  Mother's flower beds held huge hydrangea bushes in the back yard, forsythia, Hawthorne, and a few rose bushes with annuals like Bachelor Buttons and Touch Me Nots and Old Maids in between.  But in front, just on the outside of the porch screens, Cape Jasmine and Four O'Clocks thrived. 

 I loved watching for Four O'Clock flowers to open in the evening air, knowing they would close by the next morning. I liked to pick the flowers, careful not to tear them at the base, and stack them in rows, making decorations and necklaces. I can smell their fragrance, light with a hint of vanilla, and feel the cool tissue papery petals.  They came in all colors - magenta, yellow, white, but the coral of the flower in this photo is the one I remember best. When they went to seed, the hard round black nubs were easy to collect and replant.  

I think the seeds of loving to garden were collected and planted while I was stacking the Four O'Clocks.







Friday, June 14, 2013

Ladies Day at the Spa

When any one of my granddaughters is here, we have fun. But when all 3 of the younger girls get together, there is never a dull moment.  I may leave a few prompts or props for them to find (new stuff in the dressup trunk, empty boxes, beads and shells with the art supplies, and plenty of fresh fruit and veggies for creating snacks), but the ways they come up with to use those things never fail to keep me laughing.

Last weekend we were grateful for heavy afternoon rains on both days.  But climbing trees and dancing in the rain changed to indoor play when thunder and lightning deemed it necessary.  Undaunted, they retired to the bedroom where the dressup supplies are kept.  A few minutes later, when I checked on them, I found Skye with her turban wrap reclining on the chaise lounge and was told they were having a Spa day!  Furthermore, they needed cucumber slices for their eyes.  What's a grandmother to do but slice up a garden fresh cucumber and deliver?

Maddie and Jordann added their veggie beauty aid and lounged on a mountain of pillows.


But apparently the under 10 set does not require lengthy lounging.  In fact, it makes them hungry!

So they ate their cucumbers, which probably beat anything else for a refreshing treatment!

I love being a grandmother! Who needs a day at a real Spa?  I don't need cucumbers to make me glow!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Headed for Fall, Remembering Summer

At the beginning of the summer, when the herb and vegetable garden was producing plenty to pick every day, Maddie and Skye loved helping with the harvest.  One day they asked if they could have a farm stand in the front yard.  They had the sign all ready to go:  Tomatoes were 50 cents each, bunches of Basil were advertised at 10 cents, and mint for 2 cents per handful.  Peppers were 30 cents, and underneath the large "OPEN and SALE!"   lettering was the enticing "1 Free Water with each purchase!"
A couple of neighbors helpfully shopped from their market, and they happily counted their proceeds as they chattered about how much more fun that was than a lemonade stand.

Now, at summer's end, I think about our long hot Texas summer with record breaking drought and am thankful we had those weeks of bounty before the garden said "no more."  I pick up the sun hats they wore that afternoon, and move the little round table to a spot until they are ready to use it for another project.  And as grandmothers do, I carefully put the sign in a good place for keeping. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Imagination

My younger granddaughters know what they want to do when they come to visit.  The dressup basket is always the first stop after I claim my hello hugs and kisses.  On a recent visit, Maddie modeled glamor with one of my old skirts, a garden hat, sunglasses, and glittery purple ribbon,picking this outfit out of all the scarves, jewelry, tutus, aprons, and yards of fabric in the basket. Skye and Jordann joined in the fun as they modeled for us with a fashion show. I love watching them choose and create and pretend.  There are so many toys and games to choose from in the market today.  Many of them are fine choices, educational, and challenging.  But too many of them offer children little choice, squelching imagination in an electronic stupor.

  Maddie, and Skye, and Jordann, keep on creating!  Here's to your imagination!