Friday, January 21, 2011

Vintage hankies

Last spring, my mom and I went to a local fairgrounds which holds an antique/garage sale each spring.  One of the items I came home with was this octagon shaped box.  It's about 1/2 inch thick and about 10 inches across.

I love the cover of the box, a little English cottage.  It also looks like an old hand-tinted black and white photo.  I have a "thing" for those old tinted photos.

I currently display it in a shadow box in my dining room.

Much to my surprise, the original hankies are still inside.  A gift that has never been used.  What kind of person was given this gift, to save and never use.  Perhaps they were saving it for something special... an occasion or another person.  It reminds me of my grandma's, they always had a hankie in their pockets or up their sleeves.  The both grew up and lived through much tougher times than we do, even now.

My maternal grandma was my "Grandma C".  She had long, long hair.  Down to her ankles.  Every morning she braided it into two braids and wrapped it around her head.  She was independent, and although my grandpa passed away when I was 5, she never learned to drive... she rode the bus everywhere.  She had Fiestaware, the original stuff.  Every time I look at my pale, yellow Fiestaware plates, I think of her.  When I was in elementary school she lived with our family for a couple of years.  She was the kind of person that accepted everyone for "who they are".  She passed away in 1997.

My paternal grandma was my "Grandma Maleng".  She went to school in the late 20's early 30's to be a teacher.  Just like Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie, she taught at a small school here in our county but could only go home on the weekends.  It was a long ride home by horse and wagon.  She was engaged to marry my great-uncle when he was killed in a logging accident... she actually married his brother, my grandfather a few years later.  In the 50's she went back to college to get her teaching degree, obviously requirements had changed between the 30's and the 50's.  She always wore a scarf on her head because she didn't want to "catch a draft".  She passed away in 2004.  It would her 100th birthday this May.

They both would have saved those hankies too.

Ready for the weekend,
Chris at Red Gate Farm

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  1. I love to know your history. I have none.

    I have no stories to tell, and I love hearing yours. Are you going to show your hankies?

  2. Thanks for sharing the history of your grandmothers. I love grandmothers! I still have some of my grandmother's hankies and I must say, I don't use them. They're too special! Maybe I can use them in our bedroom when we redo it someday.

    Love the photos!


  3. It sounds like your grandmothers were wonderful ladies, Chris! I loved reading about their interesting lives!
    Have a great weekend!
    ~ Jo :)

  4. I wish that whom ever owned those hankies had used them. I use to keep things too, but know I use everything. What if tomorrow never came, how sad it would be for my kids looking at all my precious things and thinking poor mom she never got a chance to use them. Now my personality is all over everything and I know they will cherish these things I love and use because they see me using them on a daily basis. I really enjoyed my visit today.

  5. What a sweet little hankie box! I loved your stories about your grandmothers, my maternal grandmother didn't drive, either.

    Thanks for visiting House Revivals and for your sweet comments. I am following you back.

  6. This is great! We love the story of your grandmas...they were "Summer Kitchen girls" for sure! My mother-in-law said the other day, "don't save it for a nice occassion...tomorrow might be your last day, and it would be a shame not to have used it" Love it!! Thanks for sharing your stories!
    Karla & Karrie

  7. Hi Chris ~ Both your Grandmas sound like they were lovely ladies! Aren't they the best? I had such a special relationship with mine - she lived with my parents my entire life until she passed. And yes, she always had hankies up her sleeves! The artwork on the box is so beautiful, just the kind of cottage I would love to own. Hope you have a fabulous weekend ... we're expecting MORE snow so I'm happy that you won't be able to refund your Airline Ticket!

  8. Wonderful post, because Grandmas are special! My maternal Grandma always had a hankie up her sleeve, and a "babushka" on her head when she went somewhere. She passed away in '91, and I miss her alot!
    Have a great weekend!

  9. Did you know that women used to send a hanky when they sent someone a letter...can't remember the reason now...just what they did ..

  10. That was a sweet post. I miss my grandma's so much but I will get to see them again one day:) Love that hankie box:)

  11. What sweet stores of your grandmothers. I love the hankie box! I have an old framed print with the image as your box top.

  12. Perhaps the previous owner was like me, I keep treasures in pretty boxes too. What a very delightful box - one I know you'll treasure for years. Love the stories on your grandmothers - miss mine!

  13. Chris,
    These are wonderful pictures and stories. Treasures.
    And thank you for your sweet comment!

  14. It's wonderful having that sense of history with our families. Your grandmothers both look like they knew how to have good times.
    Love the hankie box. the image is one used on many boxes and tins, I have an English Bisquit tin with the same image.
    Thanks so much for sharing on VIF!

  15. I love to hear of family history's, My mum also had that image but on the old English type placemats that are for hot plates the ones made of a cork material ! Wonderful post ! Have a great day !

  16. Love this post Chris! Both women are beautiful and full of life. What great photos you have of them. I just love the fishing and burning scenes. Real life. Strong ladies for sure. I would say your Grandma Maleng was onto something with the scarf on the head--since she lived to be 93. My Mamaw would have had those handkerchiefs too. She also carried a little plastic cap that folded into a plastic envelope. She used this when it rained :)

  17. My mother would never wear her best nighties... she was always saving them to "go to the hospital to die in", much like the lady to whom the hankies belonged, I bet!

  18. Isn't it wonderful how certain objects evoke such vivid memories? I wonder what our grandchildren will say that they remember about us?

  19. Ohhhh they would have used those hankies alright - one to wipe the fish goo off so you can grip your tackle box better when coming in and one to wipe off the gunpowder when loading up again ;)

    I have my moms hankies and I use them in the woods all the time for all sorts of things, she'd be proud..i hope!

  20. Lovely story, wonderful family memories. Your grandmothers looked like they loved life

    Have a great week!

    Glad & Celia


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