When I was a little girl growing up, I had a favorite place at both of my grandmother’s homes—their bedrooms. Perhaps because these were places that I wasn’t quite as free to roam and play it made them more fascinating to me. But each had a special draw.
My Grandma Eva (Dad’s mom), had a large “early American” dresser in her bedroom. “Hard Rock Maple.” On top of the dresser was her collection of miniature perfume bottles. They totally intrigued me. Although they were empty, their fragrance lingered. I could stand and smell and arrange those bottles for hours on end. BUT—the BEST item on her dresser was her jewelry box. It was a replica of her dresser. I loved that jewelry box! I would stand on a stool (a padded “early American” footstool, of course), and touch and hold up and put on every piece of jewelry. Grandma would, as she was making the bed and straightening the room for the day, tell me about each piece as I would hold them up for her. Oh, how I wish I could remember those stories. I now have that jewelry box. Looking at it now, you might not see how magical it is—but it still fascinates me. And yes, I have left pieces of Grandma’s jewelry, Grandpa’s doo dads and other memorabilia in that box.
My Grandma Ruby’s (Mom’s mom) bedroom at The Farm held a totally different type of fascination. When I think about her bedroom, I think of the windows open and the sheer curtains blowing with a hot Kansas breeze. It was a crowded bedroom with Grandma and Grandpa’s brass bed and Grandma’s “dressing table.” I would stand on the foot of the brass bed—it has posts and I could “climb” back and forth as Grandma made the bed (“There now, Jolynn, get down—I need to tuck the sheets in”). Grandma Ruby’s dressing table was a little girl’s wonderland. It had a bench where you could sit and comb your hair and (if Grandma was downstairs) you could open the drawer and put on her ROUGE! (It came in a little round box with a small powder puff kind of applicator. How did I think she wouldn’t know I’d been pilfering in her things when I appeared at the dinner table with two very, very red cheeks?
A few weeks ago, my own granddaughter, Danielle, came to spend the night. My husband was in our guest bedroom, which is now the home to Grandma Ruby’s dresser and her antique trunk. Dan called me to see Danielle. She had found an old “cosmetic” bag/suitcase that I had placed with bits of lace, embroidery and tatted items. She was engrossed with the latches on the case and the items inside. She placed a crocheted piece on her head and admired herself in the dresser mirror and peered at her reflection in the case’s old and weathered mirror. (She has already let us know that the “guest room” is actually HER room—in case we might have other plans for it in the future!).
As Mother’s Day approaches, I am reflecting on how lucky I am to have had not only my Mom in my life, but the gift of two grandmothers who loved me unconditionally and allowed me to have a place in their lives and homes to live out daydreams. May Danielle have that same sense of wonder and security as she grows up playing at my house, her Grandma Ann’s and Grammy’s houses.
Oh, yes—I have Grandma Ruby’s brass bed now and I still sometimes “walk” across the footboard at the end of the bed just before I tuck in the sheets.
Happy Mother’s Day. Go make a memory.