Friday, February 17, 2012

Cheerful Mementoes

(Is it just me, or does "mementoes" look funny? Mementos. Mementoes. Perhaps we should just say memorabilia and be done with it.)

All winter long, we've been linking up with Planet Penny for Reasons to be Cheerful. Penny (who started this weekly review-of-all-things-happy mainly to get us through the dark days of the chilly season) has announced that next week will be the last Cheerful linky party for a while. So I'd like to start off by thanking Penny for this pleasant tradition. It's given me something to look forward to each week, and, more importantly, has helped me to look for (and appreciate) moments of joy - even when life seemed bleak. (I guess that makes you my first Reason this week, Penny.)

Of great comfort and cheer in the last two weeks have been the loving and thoughtful comments left here, by readers and friends around the world, in response to my posts about my Mom's death. Thank you all, so very much, for your prayers and kind thoughts during this difficult time.

All of my other Reasons came from my parents' house, and travelled home with me from California a few days ago. In the general clearout that accompanied my mom's transfer to a nursing home (and her unexpected passing away a few days later), I fell heir to some wonderful little treasures which give me great joy:

First, my mom's old juicer. I don't know where she got it, but I love the size and the heavy green milk glass - and the "Sunkist" inscription on the side. Part of my California childhood, now transplanted to Wisconsin, it will be used often and lovingly. (I suppose an electric juicer would be more efficient, but Mr. M and I like to use hand tools as much as possible.)

Next, Mom's darning egg. Family legend has it that once upon a time Mom used to knit sweaters and argyle socks for Dad. I never saw her knit anything, or darn anything for that matter, but this darning egg was always in her sewing basket and always fascinated me. Now it has passed to me, and who knows? Perhaps it will inspire me to knit a pair of socks (if only for the pleasure of learning to darn them with the help of this charming tool).

And here's a very useful item: my Mom's old rolling pin. This has been part of her kitchen equipment for as long as I can remember. As a child I learned to roll out cookie dough and pastry with this wooden behemoth, and now it will find a new life in my kitchen. (I actually needed a new rolling pin and had almost ordered one from Amazon. I'm so glad I waited.) I love the peeling red paint on the handles.

Then there's a beautiful little square plate covered with happy roses. (I'm a sucker for square plates.) No one in the family knows where this plate came from, or how old it is - I suspect it to be a memento from one of Mom's relatives. But it's pretty and cheerful and will remind me of Mom whenever I use it.

(Not pictured is a lovely soft grey cashmere cardigan from Mom's closet. Dad told all the female family members to help themselves to any of Mom's clothing they liked, as the rest would be given to charity. I wore Mom's sweater the day I flew home and felt just a little closer to her each time I looked down at it.)

Not a great inheritance by the standards of some; just a few useful, beautiful items that remind me of my childhood and my Mom. They make me cheerful.

What's making you cheerful this week? Share the joy by leaving a comment below. And don't forget to hop over to Planet Penny - where you may see her beautiful Valentine's bouquet and a cunning little Alice doll, and find links to other Cheerful posts.

A happy weekend to all.

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  1. You've come away with a priceless inheritance, in my opinion!! What a beautiful and meaningful little selection of items (I especially like the juicer...I'm a California girl too).

    Anyway, I'm glad you've made it home safely. Welcome back!

  2. I'm so glad my "bright spot" blogging friend is back. Very special items you bring home with you. I LOVE the rolling pin!

  3. What lovely things, all priceless I should imagine.....I've never seen one of those eggs before, but then maybe that's down to the lack of my darning of socks. It is a great inheritance, as it's YOUR inheritance.

  4. What a wonderful selection of objects, each one made more beautiful by the memories attached.

  5. It just goes to show the best mementoes of all are the memories. What precious items, I think the rolling pin is my favourite, memories of learning to cook with your Mom.
    One of the best reasons to be cheerful I've had from running this linky is 'meeting' up with people like you. I love your blog and will certainly be visiting regularly! Don't forget, there will be one more next week, hope to see you there,
    love Penny x

  6. I too have Mum's pin, and think of her when I use it. The juicer is wonderful [I do not understand the fascination with electric juicers!]
    When you get to England, pop round with the egg and I will teach you to darn socks

    blessings x

  7. I like the useful everyday items that remind me of my bread board, my whisk, a milk jug...

    Each time you use them you'll be thinking of her!

  8. Precious things that will link you to precious memories, better by far than any other kind of inheritance.

  9. Useful, beautiful things to remind you of your Mother. What wonderful objects to have near you!

  10. I'd say that's a wonderful inheritance! I have a similar collection of mementoes (sorry, much nicer word than memorabilia in this context) of my grandmother Eva and they are among my most cherished things.

    I love darning, but I don't think I'd knit socks just for the pleasure!

  11. Precious keepers... I especially love the sweet plate and the darning egg. :-)

    Gentle hugs,

  12. You chose well, each time you touch these objects you'll think of your Mom. I really like the rolling pin and juicer. I'm like you I like tactile objects and prefer to do things by hand.

  13. The Goatmother has some nice things like that belonged to her mother and her grandmother. It does make you feel close, doesn't it? I am so glad you have those things! The Goatmother also has a green clear depression glass juicer sort of like your milk glass one. It wasn't from a family member, so not so special, but she loves it and would rather use it than any old machine! Very cheerful things you have this week in the midst of some daunting uncheerful things. You are a keeper, Mrs. Micawber. :)

  14. I think you came home with lovely things that will always remind you of your Mom. I really like the plate.
    I lost my Mom in August and as I was cleaning out her room I found some hankies. I always hated hankies when I was a kid, but Mom was never without one. Grandma made several for Mom with crocheted edging. Others were gifts. I had to bring them all home. (I have some of grandma's too). I also brought home 3 beautiful teacups. There were a couple of other things, and all of them make me happy cause they say Mom to me.
    Getting some cleaning done at home is making me happy right now.

  15. what lovlies. I adore the juicer and the rolling pin most of all.

  16. P.S. I inherited a lot of domestic lovelies (as I call 'em) and I am reminded of the wonderful women in my life. Sometimes I unexpectedly get reduced to tears when I use them. Those days are few and far now that the years has turned into a decade and a half, but tears still happen.

    I wish I had a sweater to wear that belonged to my mom. The thought never crossed my mind to keep a piece of clothing. What a wonderful memento.

  17. I think you have inherited a fortune! Those items that your mom actually used are so precious!!

    I am just like you and treasure the day-to-day items of the past. As I use them or see them in a museum I can't help but think that 50 or 100 or more years ago a woman just like me reached for this item and used it to tend to her own or her families needs. When it is connected to our own families makes them priceless treasures. I get warm fuzzies seeing your lovely new momentoes!

  18. How awesome that you were able to bring home things that not only remind you of her and help you feel closer to her, but also things you can use! We, too, prefer doing chores with our hands rather than electric tools, whenever possible, so I have a special fondness for your juicer, too!

  19. Sue, how wonderful that you have tangible mementoes (yes, I think it looks weird, but so does mementos - why did I never notice this before?!) of your mom and your childhood. Love the kitchen items, and to have a sweater she wore - very precious. Prayers continue for you and your family.


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