Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vintage-y Mama and Papa Goodness

My Mama died a few years ago, and she was very unwell for a very long time before that, so the last time she redecorated her house was, um...a very, VERY long time ago. That means that basically everything in Papa's house now is crazy-awesome in that big orange mushroom, brass, seashell, and wood paneling kind of way.

Interesting fact: On a trip to Graceland a few years ago, Matt and I were stunned to discover that Elvis' kitchen? Looks exactly like Mama's! Y'all, they have the exact same countertops!

Here is some of my favorite stuff:
Big ceramic cat. One time when I was in college, I was saying something to Mama, and she didn't hear my right, and thought that I was saying that I wanted to take this big ceramic cat away with me, and she FREAKED. OUT.

Mama's bell collection. There are two more knick-knack shelves just like this one to the left and right in this hallway, which is so narrow that Matt, who lumbers around like some kind of bear-man, is always just about to crash into them and knock them all, shattered, to the ground every time he goes to the bathroom.

Chairbacks of the dining room chairs. The dining room sits in what used to be Aunt Pam's bedroom, until they knocked the wall out. I don't know what Pam did then.

Photo of my cousin Amy as a child. Cousin Amy was quite a bit wealthier than me, and her parents always generously brought Mama bags and bags of her outgrown clothes for me every time they visited. Amy was older, however I was much fatter, and being forced to try on dozens of her adorable, barely-worn, stylish, too-skinny clothes every few months is among my more miserable memories.

Mama's snowglobe collection. She collected snowglobes late in her life, so that when we were still dating Matt gave Mama that snowglobe of San Francisco there in the foreground.

The 70s-era orange and yellow mushrooms have been right there, in the kitchen, over the wood paneling, for as long as I can remember. They face across the breakfast nook a giant wooden fork and spoon, and a little wooden crate with a plastic hen and a couple of plastic eggs in it.

The Serenity Prayer, cross stitched perhaps by my mother? Its sentiment is well-taken, I hope, in a life in which I, myself, can't control nearly as much as I'd like to or feel called to.

See? Awesome house. And I haven't even told you the best part, that I've spent practically the last 24 hours taking a bunch of Mama's old records, the OLD old kind that's like resin on wood or something, not vinyl, and downloading them to my computer through my brand-new UBS turntable (good story there--more on it later). Papa sees me surrounded by all these record albums and he's all, "Do I go into YOUR house and dig through all YOUR closets?" And I'm all, "I wish you would, if you'd find a bunch of really great and valuable records that I was storing like shit so that they're getting all warped and not only did I find a box and correctly store them upright for you, but I also ripped them all and put them on CDs for you so you can experience their memories anytime."

Of course, Papa is pretty deaf, so I don't think he necessarily heard any of that.


Anonymous said...

Julie - Just found your blog through this post, what a breath of fresh air. I want the mushrooms on my wall!!! Thanks for the smile you gave me. Still chuckling over the memory of cousin Amy and her skinny hand me downs. Mine was Donna. I loved her, but she was so little and I was "big boned"...

julie said...

At least I have the comfort that in my family, which is in the redneck South, even the people who start off skinny eventually get fat.

I know, those mushrooms! Before my Mama died she had all us kids tell her what we wanted when she and Papa were both gone, and she'd write our names on a little piece of tape on the back of that item. My Aunt Pam chose all the china and the heirloom jewels and stuff, but me? I asked for all the kitchen mushroom decor, all the Pyrex bowls, and the seashell chandeliers.

My husband is going to throw a fit.