Table Settings, Tablescapes

Wait, There’s More!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor sure there is more to this New Year’s Eve table other than it being created around the centerpiece of holly trees and finials that has inspired  each of my December tables.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo, this one begins with the china that is one of the few things I have that belonged to my mother.  It is not likely what I would have picked, but it is dear to me because of the memories it evokes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t remember ever having seen her use the little salt cellars.  I found them in a cabinet after she died and have no idea of their origin, but I held on to them without thinking about how their gold trim was a perfect complement to the china.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Fostoria glasses were also Mother’s, and the soup spoons came from my  mother-in-law’s kitchen.  From her I have even fewer things than from my mother, but she left me with a heart full of love.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe wine glasses have a story starting with the one in the middle. Years ago I was with my parents in an antique shop in North Carolina where they were then living.  For whatever reason the glasses caught my eye and when Daddy saw me holding one and turning it this way and that he said, “Sis, if you like those, why don’t we get them?”  Done, and so began my collection of mismatched etched stemware.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven the napkin rings hold their own story and remind me of the time when a daughter and I were to meet in London and go on to the Cotswolds.  At the last minute, her trip was cancelled thanks to an unexpected business decision, but I went on since my ticket was nonrefundable.  It turned out to be a wonderful solo adventure, and the napkin rings were a purchase at a small shop in the middle of nowhere filled with handmade items.  That explains the attraction!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, that’s the story of the table, and for me remembering the people and places that each piece represents makes it a great way to end the year.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Tablescape Thursday


Imagining: the Olson House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo matter how many times I visit the Olson House, I am intrigued by its history, the people who lived there and the art it inspired.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI imagine a young Christina Olson shrieking with delight to the creaking of her rocking horse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI imagine her sitting in a sunlit kitchen gazing past her red geraniums to the world outside.

Olson HouseI imagine her brother Alvaro walking through the blue door after a day’s work,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAone that may have seen him putting his dory away for the season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI imagine their friend Andrew Wyeth sitting in the kitchen with Christina and Alvaro enjoying their, perhaps, silent company.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI imagine Wyeth looking out a second floor window toward the St. George River and finding subject for his next painting.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI imagine him sitting in this room painting Christina’s World, which would  become his most famous work and inspiration for the creative output of many others.

Yes, the Olson House gives birth to many imagined wanderings, but there is a reality here, too.  


Olson Houseand Andrew Wyeth have left this place for another that they share.  Their presence here together speaks volumes about their relationship, one that I can only imagine but much of which is told through Wyeth’s art.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


The Importance of Telling Stories

This photo, taken by a very good friend, introduced a wonderful post by my daughter  about telling Little Linsey stories to her daughters.  I loved this because her stories refresh my memories and because in the telling they become a part of our family history.  I can add even more stories and I promise, Lins, only to tell your daughters the good stuff!

 I am a storyteller, too, with four generations of stories to tell.  They are  about my mother, my daughters and grandchildren, and I tell a few to my mom every time I visit her.  I always hope they will  trigger a memory and that she will have something to add.

Of course, I tell her about our family and how lucky she is to have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I tell her about the Christmas I got a bicycle and my brother got an electric train and between the two of us tooting our horns, we probably woke up everybody in the neighborhood.

I tell her how excited we were when Daddy came home and asked us how we’d like to move to Florida.

I tell her about the houses we lived in, at least the ones I remember.

I tell her about the trips we took when I was a flight attendant with Delta and had passes that would allow her and Daddy to fly.

I remind her of how much we loved her fried  peach pies and chicken and dumplings.

I tell her of the time when she and Daddy lived in North Carolina and the girls came to visit and wore overalls and straw hats and picked blackberries.

As she listens to the stories, sometimes she smiles; other times she has a far away look, and I wonder if she is remembering or if she is somewhere else.

When I have told a story or two or three, I ask her to tell me one.  Hers is always about being a child on the farm.

My daddy called me Jo.  I guess he wanted a boy, but I was the third girl.  He needed help on the farm so he always said, “Come on, Jo, come go with me.”  He never asked my sisters to go with him.  I liked being with him.  He always called me Jo.  

“And,” I ask, “tell me about your mother.”

She was a good cook and always kept a clean house.

That’s about it these days except that when I ask about my daddy, she says he was a good guy.  When I ask her what made him a good guy, there is not much more to the story.  Fortunately, I have my own memories of him and know that what she says is true.

Yes, telling stories is important, and I am glad my granddaughters ask my daughter to tell Little Linsey stories.  I wish I had asked my mother to tell more stories while she could still remember.

Do you share your stories?

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