Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Forget-Me- Nots

Antique autograph books and journals. Upper left autograph book is Mary
Williams, gold and brown.
From time to time I'll share the wonderful contents from my collection of autograph books, journals and scrapbooks. They are wonderful time capsules of history that capture the memories, emotions and hopes and dreams of the young women who kept them. Besides the beautiful handwritten sentiments the pages are sometimes filled with hand drawn pictures, small photo's, floral cut-outs and little surprises tucked inside.

Presented to Mary Williams by her friend Florence, October the 23rd, 1879.
                         The first entry is from Florence;

                     I have looked your album oer and oer
                    To see what others have written before
                      And now I write that others may see
                       These simple words -remember me.
                              Your true friend, Florence

They seemed to be more sentimental in their messages, more poetic in the late 1870's to early 1880's compared with some of the other albums that I have from even the late 1880's to the 1920's.

                                                     Tis' not the value of a gift,
                                               That friendships hand may tender.
                                                Tis' not the things intrinsic worth
                                                 Though gems of rarest splendor
                                               That calls the hearts best gratitude
                                                     Or wake a deep emotion
                                              The simplest flower may be the gift
                                                    And aim a life's devotion.
                                                                    Your true friend,
                                                         Mary A.Wetmore        Oct.29th,1879

                                                                       To A Dear Friend, 
                                                                May heaven's blessings on you wait,
                                                                  While journeying to thy rest.
                                                                May you while in this vale of tears, with
                                                                   happiness be blest,
                                                                And when about to close your eyes
                                                                   In deaths last final sleep
                                                                May you be seen to smile with joy
                                                                   While all around you weep.

                                                                  Fine wishes from your friend,
                                                                         Fannie Wilson           Jan 26,1880

                                                  Your book is a garden plot
                                            In which all your friends may sow
                                            Then let me place in that fair spot
                                              A simple flower, Forget-me-not.

                                        Elizabeth Amesbury      Dec 25th, 1883

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Bright Light

To infuse an object of your inspiration with your Spirit, your true, essential Self, you focus your love upon it and that action moves you to create. No matter what my Mom focused her attention on it was infused with love.

Lill-Sie Knower on river boat tour -Sacramento,CA

Lill-Sie Knower
She was an amazing woman and her legacy was the love of her family and friends, of people she touched in all walks of life. Her light brightened many lives.
          Born on Long Island, NY she grew up in a neighborhood with many ethnic backgrounds and
          she was known to go door to door seeing what every one was cooking, hoping to get a taste.
          Helping a German neighbor prepare food for the many teachers that boarded in her home she
          learned to cook. Her potato pancakes were legendary and her pie crust as well.
          This is where her love of cooking began and she loved exploring different cultures through
          their cuisine. An avid collector of cookbooks from around the world she read them like novels
          and her family and friends were the willing testers of all kinds of wonderful dishes. Never be
          afraid to try. I don't think there were many things she didn't like. Everything she made was
          from scratch. She was allergic to preservatives and just knew they weren't good for you. To
          her preparing good and healthy food for family and friends was another way of expressing

          She carried this love on to strangers as well. If she saw a homeless person she'd bring them a
          meal. Stray cat- no problem as there was always canned food in the trunk. I remember once
          when I was a kid driving in the car one stormy evening and she saw a homeless elderly
          woman going through garbage cans. She stopped and bought hot coffee and food and
          took it the woman. Then I saw my Mom take off her coat and help the woman on with it. They
          hugged and we were soon on our way. You helped wherever you could with whatever you had
          as there was always someone less fortunate than yourself.

          Bean as she was affectionately called loved to explore and go...anywhere and everywhere. As
          kids we never had a moment to be bored. She kept us hopping with excursions to local
          museums, farms, historical sites and if not local we'd go by car, bus or train. Her love of
          learning and life kept her and us active. My parents were transferred cross country 10
          times and many regional moves in between with my fathers job. She loved to move and
          experience different parts of the country. Always something new to learn and see. Life is for
          living, experiencing in all its forms.

          Music was her other love. A gifted pianist, classically trained though she preferred Gershwin
          to anything. She had a flowing and beautiful touch. She enjoyed all sorts of music and was the
          rare Grandmother who enjoyed listening to Metallica at full blast with her Grandsons in the
          car! She played the piano for her small church in California and their joy for her music
          delighted her. It was another gift she could share. Before her passing last September she had
          been learning all 31 pages of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue so that she could play it for me on
          my birthday. Instead I played a CD of it for her as she took her last breath on this Earth.
          Music was in her soul. I like to think it helped carry her away.

          Friends and family gathered at our home on the Mesa for a Celebration of her Life. The night
          cleared of earlier clouds, stars lit up the sky and everyone shared stories, memories, laughter
          and tears. One friend remembered an evening from years earlier when we lived in the
          mountains. It was snowing, the dirt road we lived on was like a tunnel the snow was so high
          on either side. Our little home appeared from under the pine trees and lights glowed in the
          windows. He remembers the feeling of welcome at the sight of the light through the snow.
          To me that "Light" symbolizes her and how she made everyone feel. It is my Inspiration
          to continue on her legacy of light. Love you forever Mom and this blog is dedicated to you.