Parsley and Memories

My first experience with herbs was in the backyard of the farmhouse where I lived as as a young child. Parsley was the only herb my foster grandmother grew, but it made a great impression upon me.

I remember picking the pungent stems, just the way she showed me, chewing a few of the curly little leaves while I worked. The taste was pungent, savory, peppery, the flavor of spring, of tradition. My grandmother told me stories as we harvested, of life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when she was young.

She was nearly ninety, when I was born so the tales she told of tradition, of gardening, and just plain living, were nearly forgotten by most, even then.

Some years I’ve cultivated nearly a dozen varieties of herbal plants. This spring, I lacked time and energy for so many, but I couldn’t resist starting a couple pots of parsley, in memory of Grandma Lee.

Parsley loves cool weather. It’s sometimes healthy and full at Thanksgiving, ready for use in holiday turkey dressing. I’ve never planted it in late summer, but perhaps that’s a possibility.

Robins On the Lawn Trigger Memories of Secure Times

Watching robins hop across the lawn seems mundane to some, but for me it conjures the peace I experienced when I was a child, with nothing more pressing to do than study the details of nature playing out in the front yard.

Wherever I am, when I see the robins, a timeless species which doesn’t unnecessarily change its habits, in my mind I observe them from the window of a home that hasn’t been mine for some time.

My parents are there, my pets from that era. Cares were few back then, except for the responsibilities I invented so I would have something to attend to over summer vacation.

Some days life seems exceedingly difficult. But moments with the robins refresh my spirit. I take a deep breath of the summer scented air, and go on living, with a bit more optimism

Forest Sourced Carpeting Anyone?

I’ve always loved moss, since the days when I played under the majestic maple trees in front of our huge white farmhouse.

I built fairy abodes and residences for my Barbie dolls amid the crevices at the bases of the massive trunks. The apartments for these creatures formed by myth or Mattel, came with plush wall to wall carpeting of beautiful green moss.

Not a fan of shag rugs, into which crumbs pass, never to be seen again, though we know they are there, or really carpeting of any variety, I might change my mind if I could bring moss inside.

Petite Petals of Lovely Lobelia

Lobelia always reminds me of calico printed, 100% cotton dresses; summer afternoons spent watching my grandmother can tomatoes. There’s no cooler, more comfortable fabric on a hot summer day than pure, soft cotton. Yet, today, lightweight cotton blouses and dresses aren’t always easy to find.

Lobelia is a plant I discovered through a friend. Now I can’t live without at least one every summer; for the memories it triggers of fabrics and friends, and its own special beauty.

Buttercups Bring Memories of Earlier Days

Buttercups are symbols of childishness and ingratitude according to The Complete Language of Flowers by Sheila Pickles.

I don’t get the ingratitude part, but they do remind me of being a child, of finding true delight, amazement, boundless energy to explore woods and fields when spring pulls back the curtain of winter clouds, revealing a world of green and gold, the color of buttercups.

I remember when I first discovered these flowers, when I was about ten, hiding in a low spot in the field behind our house. I visited them there each spring, then one year transplanted some to the northwest corner of our house, where they grew reliably for years.

I also recall a kid’s book I probably still have in the depths of a closet, I think the title was Around and About Buttercup Farm.

It is said that buttercup juice blisters the skin but that it’s also been used as a remedy to cure gout and rheumatism, and, as a tincuture, to cure shingles and sciatica. (Don’t try any of those cures at home, or anywhere.)

This verse by Thomas Campbell (1774-1844) takes me back to childhood springs:

Field Flowers

By Thomas Campbell

 Ye field flowers! The gardens eclipse you, ‘tis true:

Yet, wildlings of nature! I dote upon you,

For ye waft me to summers of old,

When the earth teemed around me with fairy delight,

And when daisies and buttercups gladdened my sight

Like treasure of silver and gold.

 

 

 

 

Autumn Gold from Alliance, Ohio

This Autumn Gold pattern china brought back memories when I spotted it a few weeks ago.

When I was little, we received some pieces as customer gifts from a local gas station. Several plates and bowls. My mom served my meals on one of the little plates.

I especially like the lovely cream and gold wheat patterned sugar and creamers and coffee cups. We didn’t have those.

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I never realized these dishes were made in Alliance, Ohio.

Christmas Teddie?

I wonder if any of these teddies who posed for a local hobby display this fall, were part of a child’s Christmas, many years ago.

I still have my little beloved Teddy. He came at Christmas, one year when I was really litte . . . I’m not sure I should reveal the date . . .

Did any readers receive a Teddy for Christmas during their early years?

Of Evergleam Frosty Aluminum Christmas Trees and Other Mid-Century Designs

Enjoyed this post about the aluminum Christmas trees of the mid-twentieth century and other unique designs . . .

Discovered it in a search prompted by a co-worker’s reminiscences of her childhood tree which she still puts together every few years. Not every year, as it’s getting a bit fragile, as we all do as we age.  She hopes it will last through her lifetime. She’s not certain her children would even want to keep it and the other traditional decorations she cherishes, in spite of their dilapidated state.

I have a photo of my first Christmas, held in my mother’s arms. We had an aluminum tabletop tree then. I think by the next year, we had the green one I helped her assemble for many years after.

I’ve always wanted an aluminum tree, in silver or blue . . . a local drug/variety shop features a row of them this year, in a variety of colors – less than a foot tall . . . perhaps I’ll indulge myself.

Do you have an aluminum tree, or did you as a child?

Fun Vintage Find – Decorative Plastic Fruit – Triggers Memories from the Sixties

When I was a kid one of the items of home decor I longed for but which my mother declined to purchase was a fresh selection of lovely plastic fruit, attractively arranged in a wicker bowl to tempt unsuspecting guests with it’s succulence.

Becoming more and more like my mother as I age, I now see little sense in fake food or tempting scents of baking pies exuded by glowing candles – I much prefer living plants, edible fruit, attractive artwork, and candles filling the air with the fresh scents of nature.

But when I spotted this offering at a local shop, I couldn’t help but have a flashback to a visit to the home of a friend of my mother, when I first viewed an offering of waxy looking plastic citrus, bananas, grapes artfully arranged in a basket like this.