Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Generational Hand Me Downs

Carnival time at Kate's place again. The topic: Generational Hand-Me-Downs. She's a bit blue lately so I've kept it light.

I resisted the temptation today to go all philosophical and talk about how my forbears have handed down their strong moral fibre, their impeccable ethics, their affection for each other . .

My grandparents weren't wealthy people and since we left them when I was 11 years old, the opportunity to salvage a few odd hand-me-downs was limited. There are no jewels or riches, just a few knick nacks and the family Christening Dress - actually I've been flatoutsky and haven't had enough time to really give this a lot of creative thought. I did manage to keep a few little things that I'll be able to pass on to my folk when they feel the need for some reminiscing . . right now they're more interested in Guitar Hero and PS3 . . .

So now I have the chance to post a couple of old treasures that have made it through three generations and hopefully will kick off for a fourth!

The chair was my paternal Grandma's and was once part of a threesome. A Grandfather Chair, and a Chaise Lounge but the other two were jumble saled . . .I don't like the colour of the Queen Anne Chair but haven't got round to restoring it yet. The little dress is our family Christening Dress, it has been worn by me, my two brothers, my sister, three nieces and one nephew. The other neph grew too fast and it wouldn't fit . . besides, he'd have died of shame being Christened in a lacy dress!

Do not laugh. This is a regulation Tablespoon, a tbs for those who know the importance of the measure. Plastic ones were broken or dribbled on by babies for entertainment but this has survived almost 100 years! It's one of my most prized posessions and is still used daily!

I remember my mother sewing curtains with this monstrosity. A hand driven Singer sewing machine that my Grandmother lent to her when they moved into their new house when I was about knee high to a grasshopper . . . It's now a glorified door stop (with it's lid on of course) but I didn't have the heart to see it go in the garage sale.

Part of the White Shelley Tea/Coffee service that is intact after 70 odd years. I've cleaned it and bleached it but haven't ever used it for it's intended purpose. I do remember the vicar coming to my grandma's house and this being brought out just for him along with posh chocolate biscuits and little triangle sandwiches. I wonder if he ever appreciated it . . .one day I will do High Tea!

This is just cute. It's a little Chinese Perfume bottle, sent to my Aunt many years ago by a long lost Uncle. It's accompanied with the most delightful hand painted and hand written gift card. I don't know who he was but he clearly loved our Daphne!

My Grandfather's field glasses and medal. . .he was blinded by a grenade blast during the first world war and retired injured. He never would abide a Guide Dog . . pity, I think he would have lived beyond his 73 years if he'd been less sedentary . . . I like the irony of field glasses for a blind man. I have his braille dominoes as well . . .

And last but not least, the cake stand that didn't make it into last Thursday's "Glass" theme. Well used if only for birthdays and special days. A little chipped and worse for wear but I love it. Clare's Lime Chocolate Cheesecake looks great on it. Oh . . and the darling little bells that my Nana collected on her mantle. Naturally, because they're all glass, they remain safely secreted away in the glassware cupboard!


Candie Bracci said...

Great post and great stuff with a hint of humour.Loved the old sewing machines.

Have a nice day :)

Miladysa said...

What an interesting and enjoyable post! You've surpassed yourself here Lass!

I ohhed and arrred through the lot of them :D

I might even join in LOL

Mrsupole said...


You're invited to please join us in the fun and post a real ghost story this Friday the 13th. Then post the title at Auntie's site at or Mrsupole's Place at to link up with others. We should have a spooky good time. Lets see who can out spook who.

The ghosts are gonna love this and so will you.

Please share this with as many ghost loving fans as you can.

Thank you,
Auntie and Mrsupole

Mrsupole said...

I really enjoyed seeing those family heirlooms that you have. From one of my grandfathers, I have a set of pink sheets. The other one, nothing. From one grandmother, I have a doll she bought my oldest daughter (not even for me), and from the other grandmother a set of real Silverware. Not much from them.

I have wondered if this is why I am a packrat and save everything for my daughters and the grandkids. I even tell them what they will get. I guess my grandkids will get a lot, if we still have it. And with this economy, we may not. But I think the most important thing they will have of us is memories of time spent with us. We work so hard to spend time with them. Something neither of us had with our grandparents. I think you will be the same way with your grandchildren. We are so thankful that they want to come stay with us whenever they can.

Hubby always takes the grandsons to get their haircut. I take them all shopping at Costco and Target. But most of the time we just spend it together talking, cooking, and going out to family dinners each month at a restaurant. They may not know how precious these moments are, but someday they will. Time is precious.

Loved your post today.

Ces said...

I like the spoon, the tea set and chair. I especially like the sewing machine. I learned to sew on a sewing machine just like that. That's the only thing that survived the burnt houses and it is at my parents' home in the Philippines. All my children's generational treasures will be from my husband's side since I came here with nothing but my nursing uniforms, a $100.00 bill and 75 cents in change to make emergency phone calls.

Anonymous said...

Very cute, thanks for playing.

We have a spoon, pilfered from my great-grandmother's camp (that's a whole other post, the hand-me-downs from that side of the family - much more intrigue, there) that is one of my prized possessions.

JMLC said...

I have a friend who has as a treasured hand me down, her grandfather's army fork. She swears by it.

Brian Miller said...

great post. love the field glasses and imagine that he would have some amazing stories to tell, maybe over a game of braille dominos.

the sewing machine is nice as well. my mom actually used one as we were growing up. it was fun to watch the moving parts. think it bit the dust though.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful collection - a hundred year old spoon is quite somethinG! And the sewing machine is just goregous - as is the perfume bottle!

i beati said...

what treasures and a story for everyone .Glad you are the KEEPER.SAndy

ian said...

73 was not a bad age for your grandfather to reach.

Not many heirlooms in our family, but I do have my grandfather's National Fire Service helmet - he was a London fireman all through the Second World War

Baino said...

Candie, when I actually looked around, I have loads of little things that have been handed down, many more than I realised! Trash to most but treasures to me.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery Miladysa! Go for it.

Mrsupole. I'll see what I can do given the time and it might be a Saturday post for me . . .too many FF's to ignore this week.

God don't talk to me about Grandchildren! I'm barely coping with motherhood! Shame about your grandparents. I saw one set every week for 11 years the others during Christmas and Whitsun but I lived with one set for a school term before we emigrated to Australia and of course we visited a few times as well. They were both very different but very influential on me . . less so my siblings who didn't really remember them. Sadly my kids only have their father's parents left but they're close and visit as often as they can. Clare is the only 'granddaughter' so enjoys special favour!

Aw Ces, that's the awful thing about a fire. The house and contents can be replaced but not the treasures and personal effects. They can have your lovely dishes and paintings, that's a huge legacy.

Kate weird that I love a spoon but I think about where I came from whenever I use it. I remember my grandma making cakes and stirring sixpences into the christmas pud with the same spoon! (Well it was prolly one like it but . . poetic license and all that)

JMLC I have my dad's dog tags and weird little things from his army days .. .really must give 'em a polish.

Conor I broke my little toe bashing against the singer last year! It's a door stop these days.

Sandy, i'm not a great 'collector' and none are of any value but they all have a story.

I don't know Ian, as i get closer it seems too young to die! A helmut. Fantastic! Bet that's a talking point.

Jay said...

Oooh, so much to comment on in this one!

I love the Queen Anne chair, don't even mind the colour, though I would prefer a nice soft, deep rose pink for it.

The Singer reminds me of my own childhood, when the sound of the sewing machine (along with the sounds of the knitting machine and the clack of Mum's hand knitting needles and the crackle of an open fire) was the background 'music'. I have two like it, and can't part with them, though I use a modern electric now. I did use the hand machines to teach my sons to sew, though.

As to the spoon and the glass, those are my favourites because I love the vintage household objects which are still used and loved. I like pressed glass, especially jugs.

I have a few military mementos from my Dad too.

Annie Ha said...

my mother has a sewing machine quite similar to that one

Grannymar said...

We had sewing machines exactly like that at school!

You have some lovely mementos to pass on. I hope the young folk appreciate them as they get older.

laughingwolf said...

neat stuff as mementos, baino :)

Bimbimbie said...

My mum had the same sewing machine *!*
Loved seeing your family treasures and hearing their story ... family intrigue with the beautiful perfume bottle, priceless all *!*