1.03.2009

A Little Green, But A Lot Blessed

I've decided that I got the raw end of the deal.


There are 7 years between my big sister and me, and I can remember countless occasions where I busted out the "everyone likes you better than me!" argument on her. She has a different opinion, since I was the baby of the family and had a tendency to be a little spoiled, but I can remember getting so mad that my mom would just "hang out" with Michele all the time, or that she would get to go do stuff and I wouldn't. Never mind that I was 11 and she was 18......but, that didn't seem to matter to me at the time. Now I get that my mom would have much rather had a girly talk with my teenage sister than play Chinese jumprope with me....but, whatever.

Anyway....the whole "everyone likes you better" monster crept back on my shoulder just yesterday when I read this post written by my beloved sis on her blog. You should go check out all this stuff that she put on here....
Why?

Because it is all the stuff that I DON'T HAVE!!

My sister is a lover of antiques. And she is a fantastic decorator. Her house leaves my house in total Wannabe Land.
And her antiques? Not many are antique store finds....they are heirlooms. Heirlooms that I DON'T HAVE!

She's got dishes, furniture, and well, dishes and furniture. All which were lovingly handed down to her by various family members.

She claims that it is because at the time that we were "putting our names on stuff," she was a young adult....so, she knew what was worthy of the taking. She got the hundred year old china and depression glass. Me? Not so much. The things I scrawled my name on (probably with a crayon) were Coca-Cola glasses and salt-n-pepper shakers shaped like cartoon dogs.

So, am I bit envious? You betcha.

My sister did graciously "share" a portion of these beautiful antique green glasses that were my grandmother's, because she felt pitifully sorry for me and my Coke glasses when our goodies were being dished out. (I really do love my glasses, so thank you very much, Mich!)

It is so easy for the little green monster to begin to take over. I've been pegged in the family as the one who appreciates the more "practical," while Michele gets the "beautiful." And it is probably for good reason. My home is very practical, minimally decorated, and if I had anything nice it would most likely be adorned with a lightsaber or legos.

But, this is where I have to insert my change in attitude. It is so easy for me to get all "I want pretty dishes from Aunt Fay" and "I didn't get a plate from Grandpa Sib." But, as I look around my quaint little house....I see the things that I did get.

Mine are much more practical....but no less from the people that we loved than her pretty stuff is. So....because I love my things so much, too, and just need a reminder that my family does like me (therapy is not in order at the present moment)....here are a few of my favorite things....

1) My dad painted this. Isn't it beautiful? It hung in our dining room when we lived overseas and I have always loved it. When Kirk and I bought our house, my dad dug it out and had it reframed for me. It hangs over my mantle....love it.




2) Kirk's grandmother is a seamstress like none I have ever seen. She's an even better quilter. She taught me how to quilt, in fact. I have been given stacks and stacks of her quilts. All of them are tidily tucked away inside several chests that I have. Each are hand pieced and hand quilted....amazing. And the rate that she could turn these puppies out was superhero-ish. Her eyes and arthritis will not allow her to pick up a needle anymore.....so what I have is it. This one is my favorite. I know that it isn't really "cool" to hang quilts up anymore, but I have tried and tried to take this one down and I just can't do it. I love it too much....so hangs it still does.



3) This is a small portion of my Nanny's bell collection. Her bells were one of those things that I picked out when I was a kid...fascinated by all the shapes and sizes and colors. It was a known fact throughout the family, that one day.....I would get the bells. She even started to refer to them as "our bells." When she died, my mom and I carefully boxed them up and I lovingly looked over each one....remembering how proud we were of our bells. I also got her china cabinet when she passed away, so our bells sit in it here at my home, just as they did at hers. Love that.




4) These are the green glasses that Michele shared with me. Supposedly they are worth something.....to Mich and I they are....worth lots of memories of our Granny.



5) And these are my Coca-Cola glasses.....fabulous aren't they? I sure thought so when I was a kid. I think my Granny collected them at garage sales and auctions.



6) This desk was made by my Grandpa Jack for my Nanny. It sat in her kitchen for years and was painted a lovely shade of mint/pea green. I begged for the desk when she passed away and got it. Kirk stripped it and refinished it for me. I think it is beautiful. My dad didn't even recognize it without its green paint!



7) This is my Nanny's honey pot. My Grandpa Jack and I shared many a slice of toast slathered in honey from this pot.....she knew I loved it. When she passed away....we found a slip of paper in it with my name written on it. She wanted it to be mine.



8) My Great Aunt Fay never had children of her own, and my mom and she always had a very close bond. Aunt Fay had remarkable things. My sister got her china....so pretty. And because Aunt Fay wanted to give me something "comparable" for a wedding present....she gave me her silverware. Our family still uses them everyday.

(Aunt Fay is still going...at 96 or 97 years old...I lose track. She is also the one that gave me toothpaste for Christmas that I mentioned here. What a great lady!)

9) My Grandpa Jack was, not only an amazing carpenter, but a gifted artist. He went through a stage where he painted a lot of still-lifes, and my Nanny had a lot of them displayed in her kitchen and dining room. When they both passed away, everyone in the family got at least one of his paintings. I'm so happy about that, too. I think that is what he would have wanted. This is the one that I picked. I hate fruitcake...but, I love it in this painting!



I am blessed....really, really blessed. So, I'll lay off my sister...I'm so glad that she was given the things that she was. She adores them, and it is as it should be. Even though my eyes flash green every once in awhile!!!!

7 comments:

Mich said...

I am not even going to go there...
or maybe i will. You see my picture, that Dad painted is somewhere in transition and has yet to be fixed for me(are you reading this Dad?)... and that desk...well I totally want it now because it is beautiful! In fact I'm jealous of all you mentioned, so I guess we are even! :)

Seriously, I knew you had several "treasures" yourself...you just needed some reminding.

It was fun, huh?

By the way ...Everyone so loves you more!

Love ya!

Mich said...

oh, and one more thing...your house is beautiful too! This "pratical stuff" is bologna!
So there! :)

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

I think you have beautiful stuff too. I told Michele and now I'll tell you that I am so jealous that you have such neat stuff with such precious memories. You are blessed!

Becky said...

First off, who cares if hanging the quilt is "cool" b/c it is just beautiful! Secondly, those coca-cola glasses just might be worth something...you never know.

I loved seeing your favorite things. I need to go through my house and take pictures then label them so I can remember who gave me which peice.

Isn't being entrusted w/someone's treasure the most wonderful thing. It's like you're being given a compliment b/c they know you also will treasure and take care of it.

I think my sister (8 years my senior) and I are very similar to you two. Isn't it funny how envious we get before realizing we could never truly love and appreciate what they've been given like they do...and vice versa.

Libby said...

hey! I found your blog through Kristen and I really enjoyed looking through it! Love your header!

Jenny Sipes said...

Hey Amber I am Jenny...I work with Michele. I love your blog..you and Michele are very creative...and I too love that desk..I love antiques...

I have a question...
Did you design your page? And if so how much would you charge to do one for me, with a signature added...

Anyway love your blog...Have a blessed week!

Jo said...

Hmmm...Between you and your sis, you do have some treasures, for sure!

Michele mentioned Nanny's salt and pepper shaker collection in her blog. I think you both got to share those quite a while before Nanny passed away, didn't you? I remember those well. It all began after Nanny and Papa Jack got married in 1950. We, as a family, used to go on "Sunday drives." Back in those days, there wasn't a lot of entertaining places to go, per se, but a lot of "knick-knack" shops to check out on our drives. We, the four of us kids, and Mom and Dad, would always pick out S & P shakers for her. As you know, there were a lot of them. When we lived on the farm, we had a divider between the dining room and kitchen that had 3 long shelves built in, on the kitchen side. The shakers resided there without being disturbed much, until cleaning time came (on a regular basis). Since they were in the kitchen and near the stove, they got greasy and dusty very often. I turned out to be the head S & P washer, and had to be "oh-so-careful" not to break them. And I didn't. (Not that I can recall, anyway.)

The desk that Dad made looks very beautiful. And I have to admit, looks a far sight better than that antiqued pea green color. (Sorry Mom and Dad.)

I love your Coke glasses. Never have seen any quite like that before.

And, the bells....what memories those dredge up! I think everyone in the family contributed regularly to that collection! I remember when I went to Bangkok to visit you all, I found some bells there to take back to Mom, along with some things to add to my own collections.

You know, some people only think of the monetary value of "things" collected. And, I admit, that it IS interesting to find out just what something might be worth, cash-wise. But, the value of the "things" that we have that have been passed down is not valuable to us in cash so much, but in sentiment and memories.

Enjoy all your memories...both old and new.

Luvya!
Aunt Jo