Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hidden Gems

While over at my mother's house the other day I went on back to my old room to snoop see if I'd left anything. :) My mom is overcoming pack-rat-itis and going through things to give to Goodwill and to sell at our neighborhood garage sale in June.

I found a nice sized basket to use to put Marshal's toys in (we're finally accumulating a nice amount) and some things she had to see and not give away but sell at the garage sale (some gorgeous tiny Japanese plates...like the kind they put soy sauce in for dipping...they are from our trip to Japan years ago)...and right before I was going to leave I spied a mostly empty clear storage container that had something bright and colorful in it. It almost looked like...BEADS!

And sure enough. VINTAGE beads no less. They were my great grandmothers (aka Granny) and while they probably have no monetary value, they do have memories attached. I can totally see my great grandma wearing these when they were strung. I've started going through them and finding the ones I think I can use in my own designs. There are some really beautiful ones in great condition.

There are some funky beaded earrings and then this set that looks like resin with lots of sparkles in it. She only wore clip earrings.

She was such a great lady. Living through the Great Depression (and what was so great about it again?) gave her some fascinating stories and funny quirks. I wish I could find my old high school report where I interviewed her and my two grandmas about their experiences. My Granny still had her grocery logs showing how much she paid for things like eggs and milk!!! Talk about a pack rat. We obviously come by it naturally.

Both her and my grandma (her daughter) talked about how sugar and marshmallows were rationed so it was always a treat to get them. And how they weren't allowed to turn lights on at night and if they drove they had to do it without lights or with the lights covered up except for a small slit.

They had Japanese neighbors who they used to trade food stuff with, but when WWII started they were afraid to eat anything their neighbors had - in case it was poisoned. I don't blame them, but it would have really sucked to be Japanese-American. One day they came and took the family to the intern camps (we had several in this area) and they never did come back - their land/home was sold. :(

My other grandma was a Rosie the Riveter with Boeing. Her husband at the time, my paternal grandfather, was in the Navy and she was home with two (I think...she had four total eventually) kids. She was essentially a single working mother.

I love history and it's amazing how something as simple as beads can link us back to our past.


Anna said...

Meg, your family and mine sound similar! My husband is finishing the clean-out of gram's house & bringing lots of interesting things home (she was also a pack-rat from the Depression). We have the button box (love it) & her old costume jewelry. He also found a Winston Churchill commemorative plate along with a school paper his mom wrote about V-E Day when she was 9! As for the Rosie the Riveter...it wasn't my grandma, but her sister who moved from OK to CA to work in the factory!. I, too, love the history...especially the family stories!

CastoCreations said...

They do sound familiar! :) I thought of you when I was writing this. lol And when I think of all my mom's special button collections.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome story. I am so fascinated with the WWII era...most of my library contains WWII research content. The sad thing is that all those stories are dying with the owners...soon all we will be able to refer back to for them is books, so it is so awesome that you are willing to share your Gma's experiences :)

CastoCreations said...

I'm not sure what it is about that era. It has always fascinated me - even as a little girl. :) Although I do love most history, in general.