Saturday, December 18, 2010

To Grandmother's House ~ Revisited

I posted this last year and it is as relevant this year. I added a paragraph and some Victorian pictures. Please feel free to use them-click on them to enlarge and save to your files.

When I was growing up, we lived next door to my grandparents.  They had an old shingle house with a formal parlor in it.  It was a magical place. In the summer it was cool and private, and I was allowed to go in there and read all I wanted.  The shelves were filled with flowered poetry books, boys adventure stories and other wonderful things.

 There were two closets, one on either side of the fireplace. In one there was a Civil War uniform. I vaguely remember faded flowered wallpaper over white painted wainscotting and the fireplace wall was all white paneled. There was a tinder box and a bed warmer on the hearth. The furniture was victorian and dainty and pretty. There was a piano-out of tune, but pretty too-did it have flowers carved into it?  On one wall was a picture of a boy in a straw hat, by Thomas Sully. The floor was worn wide boards with rugs on it.

Christmas eves my grandparents had a party in the parlor, with a tree and sweets hand made by grandma. Mom played carols on the piano and we all sang. The fire crackled and we opened hand-made gifts wrapped in old ironed paper and ribbons.  That was my job, to iron the ribbons and paper. We made popcorn garlands. Grandma made potato divinity and stuffed dates.  I don't remember having a whole meal, though if we did, we ate it in the dining room. Grandpa twinkled and told stories, and the uncles teased us all. That's filed away in my memory for ever.
Grandma died on September 1st the year I was 13.  That Christmas Grandpa wanted us to have the party in the parlor like before. It was sweet and sad till Grandpa brought out the gifts. They had all been wrapped by Grandma before she died. There was a purple apron and a string of purple buttons for me-my favorite color! I still channel Grandma at Christmas. She and Grandpa, who died the next year are close to the surface of my heart.

I haven't been in the parlor since 1974, just before I moved to Colorado for 20 years. Now it is out of my realm--other family members live there--but I have my memory. They say long-term memory is the longest lasting...I have my own traditions now, and I hope that I retain the spirit of those long ago Christmases. I glean gifts from around the house or make my own. I reuse paper and gift bags. I don't iron anymore, though!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season.  Stay warm and cozy!


  1. Hi Sherry, I hope your blogger problems are a thing of the past. I loved reading this story about grandma's house and the parlor. Such nice memories. unfortunately, I don't have any long term memory of my childhood. I do know that every Christmas was spent at Mammaw's place in Mississippi where all the aunts and uncles and cousins would be gathered. A table for the adults, one of the kids and a little table for the tiniest cousins. Those were good times. Mammaw made the best divinity and I've never had any since. She's been gone since 1988. Every other Christmas until I was 14 was spent in Michigan/OH with my mom's side of the family. Now here I am on the other side of the world celebrating in my own way. Hope that you are having a season of warmth and happiness. Best wishes, Tammy

  2. What a lovely and dear recollection.;) I liked that you ironed the ribbons, how extraordinary. You describe the atmosphere in the parlor so well, I can almost feel I am right there with you...
    I know what you mean about having your own traditions, but still remembered the ones from your childhood with sweet nostalgia...

    I love the slide show of your house on the sidebar and your new look here.;)

    If I do not get a chance later on, I would love to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year dear Sherry,

  3. I love your new blog look, Sherry, and I especially love that I can read it now! Yay! :)

    Your Christmas memories are wonderful! As I read them, I was reminded of the holidays spent with my great-grandmother and grandparents and how very special they were. I still reuse ribbons and tissue paper wrapping. :)

    Hoping all is merry at your house!
    ~ Zuzu

  4. Lovely! Thanks for sharing! By-the-way, I love your blog background!

  5. Dear Sherry, such beautifull memmories, you have- of loving family traditions, with the loved ones- such treasures.
    I wish you a very happy christmas, and a wonderfull new year, Sherry.
    Hugs, and thanks for this year.

  6. Thank you all who have commented by email. It's so nice to hear from you all!
    I wonder when I will have comment capabilities again? It's been weeks, as you may know from my frustrated post!
    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

  7. WOW! What neat memories of a simpler time! And even more special is that you still carry some of those traditions and keep your grandparents close in your heart. Thank you for sharing your Christmas story!!!!


    Romeo and "her"

  8. What sweet memories. Thank you for sharing them with us and the beautiful postcards! Merry Christmas! Twyla

  9. Hi Sherry! One of the things I love this time of year is all the happy memories it stirs. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!!!

  10. Sherry,
    These are beautiful! Thank you for being a follower of my blog & bringing me joy with your comments!! Merry Christmas!

  11. hi sherry,

    those are great memories. sounds like a lovely place & time.

    wishing you continued merriment, good health and of course, treats this holiday season.


  12. Sherry,
    I so enjoyed this post. It triggered sweet memories of my own.


Please stop in and say Hello ~ I love to hear from you, my friends!