Sunday, July 11, 2010

a vintage day


In 1950, there were penny postcards.  Letters cost 3 cents if you sealed them; 2 cents if you tucked in the flap.

I found these postcards I had sent from camp when I was at my mother's apartment today and brought them home. "What are you going to do with them?" asked my husband.

The doorman at the luxury building where my mother no longer resides, called me today to ask whether I would rent the ap't to someone who was having renovations and needed a place for a couple of months.  So I went over there to see what was what. There had been a leak on the outside of the building and there is some damage near the window.  The garbage disposal doesn't work and there is a leak under the sink. The bathrooms have not been redone since the building was built 40 years ago, and the closets and drawers are overflowing with papers and STUFF.    I called the potential renter and gave her a heads-up on her voice mail but I don't think she'll want to rent it.

I cleaned out the refrigerator, threw away notes on little pieces of paper, NY Times magazines from 2005 piled up on the kitchen floor, and god-knows what else. And it made me sad to throw away stuff without even looking at it, knowing
 that my children will do the same thing.  I stuck the "household hints" folder back in the cabinet; loaded with newspaper articles like "how to keep your mahogany furniture shining."  Someday I'll go through them.

I had thought my mother might come back here some day, but even if she does -- with a live-in -- she doesn't need 5 year old frozen pizza or 10 year old shampoo.  I have my work cut out for me...but not yet.  First, a plumber.

I did come home with one treasure.
They're making repros now but this is the real thing: a Toastmaster that I grew up with.  It is older than I am and probably in better condition. I checked the serial # - it was manufactured between June1938 and May 1939.  My parents got married in May 1939 so there you are.  I doubt it was a wedding present; my grandfather had a hardware store and I am sure my father brought it home.
Marty will love using this toaster and I suspect I will, too. But we still need the toaster oven for bagels or thick slices of good bread.

And what, you may ask, have I been doing tonight?  I cannot tell a lie: therapy sewing.  I sorted all my strips into one box and have been thinking about what I can make with them.  No conclusions yet. I have other fish to fry.

11 comments:

Gerrie said...

Oh, my dear, is there no end to the stuff you have to deal with. My heart goes out to you. Now, I want to read those letters from camp.

Terry said...

I found letters I had written from camp among my mother's stuff when she died. I saved them too. Don't know why, except you just have to.

Eva said...

These postcards are moving!
I used to be a collector until I found out that my stash will be someone's burden if not mine; so I took a pledge that for every piece I buy, another piece has to leave. But I still have some self-archeology ahead, and I know that I'll treasure what I'll find.

elle said...

oh dear! I think this will be bitter sweet. Here is to lots of therapy sewing. Nice toaster! Mine calved yesterday. vbs They don't make them like they used to. 8^)

Libby Fife said...

I helped to clean out my MIL's apartment when she passed away. It was very sad to me (on top of the sadness of losing her)that all of her stuff was just being given away and thrown away. I try not to accumulate a lot of things and live sort of minimistically. Now, where are those therapy strips???LOL!

laura said...

therapy sewing is the only remedy sometimes.

what a sad day yesterday was, eh?

were we closer geographically, I'd come help you excavate the

apartment... So glad you found the postcards.
sending hugs

Barbara said...

I had to sort through my parents' house with a lifetime of their things in just 3 days. There was not adequate time to think about what to keep. I'm sure I threw out some real gems.

I love the old toaster. They just don't make 'em like that any more!

Quiet Quilter said...

Thanks for the memories and reminders....

Mother has told me that during the war (II), I was about 2 or 3, I scribbled a note to my dad who was overseas and put it in the mailbox myself, addressed in my special handwriting with no stamp. Somehow she found out that he had received it, with stamp attached. Our mailman had addressed and stamped it for us....

Mother once said that she kept a lot of her little things because of the memories it brought back to her, and we would not have those memories, so we could keep them, give them away, or do whatever we wanted to do with them.

Rayna said...

I showed the postcards to my mother today and she was delighted.

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

the letters are delightful! great toaster! they sure don't make'm like that anymore...
(oh by the way, we should know monday if we got the ney or yeh.. wasn't in friday's mail...) did you mail me your signature block>

Rian said...

I remember 3c stamps, but I didn't know (or forgot) that you could tuck in the envelope and send it for a penny less. Stamps are going up 3c again.

Way cool toaster--you really spiffed it up. Don't envy you the apartment to clean. Been there, done that, the kids will have to do it for us now. Heh heh...

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