Sunday, May 1, 2016
This traveling trunk came from my Teal grandparent's home, although when I first met it, the trunk had been passed down to their youngest daughter, Lela. Almost 50 years ago, she saw some work I had done on a smaller trunk that had been given to me and asked me if I could "make hers pretty." The trunk was already travel worn and weary by then so that was a tall order for someone who knew little about working with the rusted metal corners. Antiquing was in vogue then so she wanted me to antique the trunk with a base color of pink! Cringing a bit at her color choice, I agreed to work on it. Years passed, and Lela died. Since her only son was stillborn and no one else wanted it, the trunk escaped being thrown away and came to me. That was early 1994. Our family had just returned from living in Indonesia, moved to the Houston area, and started a business. We had 3 grown sons and a very busy family life. The trunk sat for many years.
Now our sons are married, we have 5 granddaughters, and another grandbaby on the way. We are selling this house to move to one we have bought to share with our youngest son and his family. In the process of cleaning and clearing, we have passed on or given away many family things that have stories. The trunk is big and in ill repair, and at first, no one wanted to take it home with them. But this week, it will go to our oldest son who is a very talented artist and craftsman. If anyone can make this old trunk look like the treasure it is, he can. Because it is a treasure. There are so many stories it could tell.
I can wish that I had paid enough attention years ago to ask the questions I now have. Questions such as "who was the original owner of the trunk?" It could have belonged to either of my grandparents because of the times in which they lived. Thomas Jefferson Teal was born in 1877. Ida Mayfield Teal was 7 years older, born in 1870, making their young adult years the time when this barrel stave type trunk became popular for traveling. But it could also have belonged to their families. I know very little about these ancestors. So it is too late to ask the questions. I can only know that the trunk may look empty but that it carries a world of stories inside.
I can't wait to see what it looks like after my son imagines the stories.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Sunday, April 17, 2016
I think of all our jobs and moves and the places we have made our home in the 52 plus years of our marriage. We have lived in Oklahoma, East Texas, Oregon, Indonesia, Thousand Oaks, near Los Angeles, California, all 3 major cities in Texas (Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston) and smaller towns surrounding those metropolitan areas (Missouri City, Kirby, Sugar Land, Plano). We have had small houses and larger ones, small gardens and larger ones. Although some places may have been
more familiar to us than others, in every place we made a home. The presence of our family and the ways we lived and loved each other there made each place a home no matter what the neighborhood looked like. We found friends and neighbors, churches where we could worship and serve, grew gardens and and gathered around kitchen tables as our family grew and changed.
After many years of moving frequently, we came to Sugar Land and although we have moved once during the time, we have rooted here. For 24 years we have loved being part of this community. Now we move again, not too far away (still in Fort Bend County) and because we have been in this area for so long, we already have a number of friends in our new area. We are still near our church. We will miss this home and our garden, but we look forward to planting a garden as we make our home in a very different place. We are excited to share our new place with our youngest son, his wife, and our 2-year-old granddaughter. I am thankful for all the homes of yesterday, for this time in this home today, and for all our tomorrows in our new home.
I include a link to a post in one of my other blogs: Transplanting
Saturday, April 9, 2016
When I was sorting out saved stuff in my closet, I came across several items loosely wrapped in a piece of tissue paper, itself saved from a long ago gift. I held the bits and pieces in my hand and realized they made a collage, a portrayal of my emotions and mixed feelings about leaving this home and this part of my life. There were pieces of a lovely painted glass globe a friend gave us many years ago that was a tiny painting of the lovely old East Texas Victorian house we bought and moved to for a far too short time. During the months we were there, I researched and wrote the history of the place, submitted it to the historical society, and received a State historical marker - not for me, for the house. In a later time, the pretty piece was knocked from its stand, leaving only shattered pieces which I kept.
There were some pieces of filigree silver jewelry from our time in Indonesia, all tarnished and worn. There was a tiny safety pin with beads strung on it, one of the many "friendship pins" that our youngest son and his friend exchanged in first grade, when we lived in yet another place. And there was a piece of foil where that same son had written "To Mom, Love Ben." I do not remember what it was attached to, but I kept the crumpled paper with his writing during his college days. All these were folded in the wrinkled tissue printed with the name of shop where it was used to wrap a purchase: Things Remembered. I decided I would keep my little packet but I really do not need these reminders. They are indeed, "Things Remembered."
Saturday, April 2, 2016
pomegranate flower heavy
with one rain drop
promise of scarlet fruit
forgotten October pumpkin
collapses in decay
green sprouts inside
wind troubles pond
orange fish swim away
muddy rivulets chase each other
lemon blossom bobs,
wafting fragrant promise of bounty
In honor of this season of Spring and Easter, why not try a new beginning and write a poem? If you don't want to write, then explore the writing of a new poet, or an old familiar one. The last few years, I have come to love the poetry of Mary Oliver, Ann Weems, and Luci Shaw.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Nora holds a basket that is a small picture of this old and familiar coupled with new experience. She is carrying her happily retrieved eggs in the Easter basket that was mine when I was her age! Something that was loved and passed down and kept. Our Easter traditions are a bigger picture of that for me, and of course so much more important. I am grateful for old stories and new ones, and most of all for the most powerful gift and story of all time, of Jesus' life and death and resurrection.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
We celebrated Nora's Birthday yesterday. She is now 2 years old. Grandparents from Tennessee and Texas (that would be us), aunts and uncles from both sides of her family plus her cousin Skye were all here to enjoy the balloons and bubbles that were floating everywhere. There was a chocolate cake, a candle to blow out, the birthday song, and of course, presents. Among our gifts to her was this apron with lots of polka dots and pockets.
I made it from 2 sizes of red and white polka dot fabric, so it was reversible. This apron is actually gift from 3 grandmothers. I, her paternal grandmother, found the valentine print in my own fabric stash to make tiny pockets. The other 2 pieces of fabric were cut from scraps of fabric from my own grandmother's quilting scraps. That means Mary Clyde Terrell, Nora's great great grandmother is part of the gift. Her daughter, my mother, Opal Terrell Teal, Nora's great grandmother (for whom she is named), contributed to my grandmother's quilting scraps from her own sewing although she did not quilt herself. Plus, she kept the box of fabric pieces for years before handing them down to me! She is the third grandmother represented in the gift.
I like thinking about the stories behind aprons and quilts and grandmothers. I am glad Nora's first apron has a story. She just likes wearing it!
Nora Opal Parker