Ok, so on to volume 2 of the Heirloom Scrapbook. The previous posting told of my grandfather’s adventure to Canada as a very small boy. Now, we have advanced a few years to my father’s page. As you can see my dad was born on Armistice Day. I love the picture of him standing on the porch in his little suit coat and hat. He almost looks like he himself is ready for the army. This was the earliest photo we could find of my dad.
As a bit of nostalgia, I decided to investigate what the news headlines were for that day and prices for the basic necessities of that time.
Now here is the funny part. If you knew my family, you would know we hang onto everything. Some people would call us pack-rats; I prefer to call us ‘keepers of sentimental items’. It is a known fact that people who grew up in the war, or grew up with no money, tend to ‘hang onto things’. Ok, ok, so I have another disease that I have inherited, however to my defense… there are far worse diseases I could have… so I’m not worried about curing these ones just yet.
Ok, so back to the story; when my Aunt Peg (my dad’s sister) passed away, some of us had the ‘honour’ if you will of going through her belongings. Now, keep in mind that I am a nostalgic person who also likes to hold onto sentimental treasures – so I had an absolute hay-day. Peggy liked to hide things, so every day was a treasure hunt going through her closets and drawers. We found a book with a little bit of cash in it, so we literally had to go through every single book before we got rid of any. Low and behold, we came across an envelope that said “Fred’s Curls”, and inside was a cluster of hair from my dad’s first haircut. I immediately tucked that away with my other newfound belongings to bring home and as you can see – I’ve incorporated it into the scrapbook.
You may remember I intended that every brother and sister would all have the same embellishments on their pages – so it was only fitting that they got a lock of hair. The really funny part was watching Holy and I separate the locks of hair into nine separate piles, and then we had to carefully tie them together. In case you are wondering….Yes … it was lots of fun. Just ask Holly. The scariest part was making sure the cat didn’t jump up onto the table of nine carefully separated and untied piles of hair.
This next page represents each of my dad’s siblings. At the time that I made the scrapbook, three siblings were living, all others had passed. At present, only one sibling remains; Aunt Marion, whom we lovingly refer to as Clora. ‘Clora’ is the nickname my daughter Niki gave to her one time while she was visiting. (Pictured in bottom row – I love this picture)
Aunti Marion lived in London and she would come to Forest and stay with gramma and grampa for days at a time. She is a feisty ole sole and on one of her visits home, Niki wanted to go over to see Aunti Marion and great gramma and grampa. Aunti Marion loves kids and it is amusing watching her interact with them. Sitting around the table was myself, gramma, grampa, Aunti Marion and Niki. Niki proclaimed that she wanted to play school and she would be the teacher!! - “and that’s that!” – proclaimed Aunti Marion, which was one of her favourite sayings.
Aunti Marion turned out to be quite the class clown and antagonized the teacher as much as she could. Niki tried to keep her patience with Aunti Marion’s constant interruptions of ‘teacher, is it recess yet?’ No. ‘teacher, is it lunch time yet?’ No. ‘teacher, what is your name?’ Miss Rinker. ‘teacher, what is my name?’ UGH… I don’t know… You can be Clora! To which I replied, ‘is her last name Septic?’
Well we got into the laughter, but Niki was having trouble controlling this class at which point she snapped the ruler on the table. Aunti Marion has been Clora ever since. (one of my previous postings, I told the story of a Heaven & Earth design called Dear Santa; I have since named this piece Clora because Clora gave me an unexpected cash gift and I used that money to buy this piece and all the floss – so I’ve decided it would be her namesake).
So now… onto my grampa. One of the things I remember most about my grampa, besides his constant smile on his face was his pipes and pipe tobacco. So I was so happy when I found a picture with him smoking one of his pipes. He was always hooking rugs. Every single child and grandchild of his has received one of his creations. His picture was put in the paper to display a rug he made for a fundraising event for the local Kineto Theatre. Grampa used to sweep the theatre clean after each and every show. He got paid a total of 50 cents for the entire weekend full of shows. Any little treasures he found while cleaning, he always kept aside for me. So back to the rugs: did you happen to notice the pieces of yarn. Yes – we found them when we cleaned out Aunt Peggy’s closets.
I was so excited when I found scrapbook paper that depicted skeleton keys. Grampa’s house had so many cabinets, doors and drawers with the funkiest locks and keys. I used to go over there and just play with the keys. Great fun for a 4 year old.
The picture in the far top right is Grampa as a young boy and if I were to put a picture of Aunti Marion’s son Brian beside it, you would swear they were twins. That’s one thing that I discovered making this scrapbook was the amazing family resemblances. My goal is to make a page showing exactly that; all the resemblances that are close to being twins.
The bottom left corner is grampa trying to make ‘Clora’ laugh when she was a little girl. She was upset about something and it didn’t take long for him to turn it around for her.
Now Gramma was always quilting, so I wanted this page to represent that. At the time, I couldn’t find scrapbook paper with a quilt design, so I made my own (surprise) with scraps of paper – much like you would a quilt. The hat pin, and sewing novelties came from a sewing tin that I acquired from… you guessed it… cleaning out one of Peggy’s closets. I told you I had a hay-day.
I love the old vintage picture of gramma on the swing with her sister. Gramma is about 8 years old in the other picture.
Now my one regret with this page is that I cropped the bottom right picture of gramma. I wanted a close up of her, but realistically – the picture would have been more fitting had I not cropped it because she was standing beside the fridge and they had to buy one of those fridges where the freezer door was lower so she could reach into it. This picture made me burst right out laughing when I saw it because it reminded me of how much she ‘shrank’ in her years… and then that reminded me of all the stools carefully placed around the house for her. It wasn’t funny that she shrank, but it was hilarious to see her little figure beside the fridge.
I dug around to find the original photo of her standing beside the fridge. It still makes me laugh….
This next page holds many memories and it’s funny when we drive past the house, we still refer to it as gramma and grampa’s even though it was sold well over 20 years ago. The same goes for Aunti Peggy’s house as will most likely be the case with my own parents some day…
The trees in the bottom left picture bordered on their neighbours lawn and grampa always made sure they were meticulously trimmed. I used to call them the umbrella trees and we would spend hours playing in their yard. The two photos were a permanent fixture in the dining room and no matter what redecorating was ever done, those pictures were hung in the exact same place.
The cookie jar greeted you upon entering the house and it now resides with my sister and will inherited by Holly someday. The old push peddle sewing machine resides with Clora and to the best of my knowledge, it still works.
Now the teddy bear; this was Clora’s when she was a little girl, but for some reason it wanted to remain living with gramma and grampa. In their spare bedroom there was one wall that was literally a closet. The entire wall was shelves – hidden behind yards and yards of curtains. When you were only 4 and you stood in front of this closet, it seemed absolutely HUGE. And you were never sure just which curtain the bear would be hiding behind. Simple fun. Do you think children have as much fun these days creating memories as such?
One thing that is not in the picture, but was so amusing was the book shelf/cabinet that was also a permanent fixture in the dining room. The top of the cabinet held old cigar boxes filled with pencils and this is what the great grandchildren used to play school. The amusing part about this cabinet was the pull down doors. When you opened the left side to remove the cigar box and then closed it – the right side would pop down. When you closed the right side the left side would pop down. This would amuse (or frustrate) children for great lengths of time.
These next two pictures are of Gramma and Grampa's Golden Anniversaries. Each milestone, we always held a celebration. The picture of gramma kissing grampa on their 65th Wedding Anniversary in my brothers convertible is one of my favourite pictures of all times.