I think you can get a good feel for a person from what they loved or collected. My grandmother, Rose, recently passed away and we’re saying goodbye to her this week. When I look around at my house, my style, the things I love they are all influenced by her. Her spirit and her style can be found in every room in our home and in most of my own collections.
I remember that she was always collecting something. First it was mushrooms. Anything and everything mushrooms! She was the queen of tchotchkes and knick knacks. And I couldn’t get enough of them. Always moving them around and asking questions like “where’d you get this one?” or “why is it so small?” and most often “can I hold it pleeeeeeeeeeease?“.
Then came the early 80’s and she casually mentioned that she liked deer to someone. Then it became an explosion of deer collectibles. Instead of a bird, she put a deer on it!
Over the years the deer slowly started getting pushed to basement only to be replaced with houses. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of houses. Christmas villages, Italian countrysides, and all sorts of ceramic dwellings.
Later the houses got replaced by teas pots, which were replaced by Italian chefs. I’m pretty pleased to report that the teapots sought sanctuary at my house. As did her wedding china, which we use nearly every day. [I’ve been wanting to get my first – and probably only – tattoo of her china pattern with a message in her handwriting from a card I saved.]
The Italian chef collection slowly grew to include wine knick knacks as well. She loved really cheap, really sweet red wine. This past Christmas I tried to update her wine with something a little more expensive. She wasn’t having it.
I feel really lucky that a number of her collections and keepsakes were passed on to me. One of my favorites are her bowling pins and patches. She was an avid bowler and loved to play cards with her ladies club. Her shoes always matched her bag and the accessories had to be perfect.
My heart hurts. I desperately want to call her up and talk to her about how sad I am to have lost my grandmother and my confidant. But I guess I’ll have to settle for trying to find some piece of her amongst these things.