Thursday, August 9, 2012

Everything Old is New Again. . .

I'm a big fan of things "retro" or "vintage".  I especially like things with a story.  As I've mentioned, Dave's mother (Dee) has moved into a nursing home, so this past weekend we helped his dad move into an apartment with less upkeep.  During the sorting and packing, there was a lot of "remember when..." stories about items we dug from the back of closets and cabinets. 

In a kitchen drawer, we found a paper sack containing four linen kitchen towels, obviously never used.  Without weighing you down with a bunch of family details and connections that really don't matter to you, we pieced together that they were a gift from Aunt Hope to her mother (Dave's grandmother), probably Christmas of 1973.  Why they ended up, still in the sack, in Dee's kitchen nearly 40 years later is unclear, but they are now in my kitchen and will soon be returned to one of Aunt Hope's sons.

We also brought home three pieces of furniture that have memories attached.  When Dave's grandparents moved from their farm in the Texas panhandle in 1971, their dining table was cut down and converted to use as a coffee table.  It has been in Dee's house since I started hanging out there in 1976 and I've always admired it.  This is where Dave ate many meals as a child, then where I colored pictures and played games while babysitting his little sister, where the nativity was displayed at Christmas. We can still see the small scratches that our dog put in it in the late 80's. (We buffed them out as much as possible and sat something on top of them. We still haven't admitted it to Dee, so keep that to yourself.) The grandchildren's little fingers grabbed the edges as they learned to walk.  I love the history of this table and the idea of our grandchildren and even great-grandchildren playing games on it.

The other two items we inherited from the move are a set of chairs with a circular history.  My maternal grandparents had a pair of aqua side chairs that I remember well.

This picture, taken at Christmas in 1964, is the only one I could find where the chairs are visible.  That adorable munchkin in the foreground is me - age 3 - and in the background you can see one of my sisters and a cousin sitting in one of the aqua chairs.   In the mid-70's, my grandparents owned a travel trailer and spent the majority of the year in Arizona or on the road, so they decided to sell their home and furnishings.  At the auction, Dave's parents bought the aqua chairs.  This was before I had even looked twice at my future husband.  So for thirty-seven years, give or take, my grandparents' chairs have been in my in-law's house.  They have been re-covered, but they are still in great condition.  One is now in our living room (next to the coffee table) and the other is in a corner of the guest room/library/sewing room (small house - the rooms have to multi-task).

I plan to eventually have them restored (would that be re-re-covered?) to a 50's-style fabric, but for now I'm just enjoying curling up in my "new" chairs with a book and some memories.


  1. Love this post! I have memories too - I remember when Grandma and Grandpa got these new chairs - they were sooooooo fancy - I remember sitting in them for the first time :)

    Vintage is good and Memories are even better!

    Sis Teri

  2. I love the old pic of you! So cute! Those chairs are terrific! We recovered and re-covered an old chair from DH's parents last year. It looks great and its nice to have heirlooms in the house. I love vintage, too.

  3. I love that chair and the old photo is adorable. I am guessing you were a child of the 60's :)

    When my aunt passed away at 97 we found brand new clothing in gift boxes that were never even worn. She grew up during the depression and would wear old clothes until they literally had holes in them....LOL We are wasteful today (I know I am).