Monday, July 11, 2022

I think my mom came by for a little visit today

Yep.  I think she did.

A few days ago I started boxing up breakables.  Nope, these are not things that will be going to our little booth at Antiques on Howard.  These are treasures that we will keep forever.

We're getting ready to do a deep, deep, deep clean.  We found someone who has agreed to do the heavy stuff that my 73 year old self isn't as able to do as i once was. (And have just gotten too lazy to do, truth be told).

She's been out to talk to me and look the place over and we were able to come up with a plan that suits us both.  

She's a young, smart, savy small business owner, local to the area who I took to right away.

Once she and her assistant have completed the serious business of getting this little nest nurtured and shining again she'll be coming every couple of weeks to help me keep it the way it deserves to be kept.

It is, after all, our nest.

It holds our dreams, and it holds a lot of memories.

Many of the memories belong to my mom.   

Even though we gave away, and then sold, some of her things, there is a lot still here.   And the stories that come with some of the pieces are sweet.  

Some are funny, and some right down hilarious.

Just like her.

I've taken the long way around to share the story I started out to share.  (This is where my old friend Michael Dean would have rolled his eyes, thrown his hands in the air and said, "can't you EVER tell the Reader's Digest version, Kaye Alan?!").

. . . no.

Anyhoo . . . I'm packing up breakables for a couple reasons.  To get a lot of the clutter out of the way for when Bettina comes, and because I want to move things around.  

The same things have been sitting in the same place for too long.  When that happens they tend to become, I think, invisible.

So, the white ironstone pitchers and Mother's Nippon and Imari are gonna mix it up a little with books, local made pottery, art glass, old teddy bears, wooden butter molds, and miscellaneous "stuff."

While picking up an old porcelain box of my mom's I very distinctly heard her say, "look inside."

I don't care who believes me.  I heard her.

It's not the first time, and it doesn't spook me.  

If you knew Hazel Wilkinson it wouldn't surprise you either.  She was a force.  And apparently, still is.

So, i looked inside.

I'm sure I looked inside this piece before.   Well.  Pretty sure.

When we moved her things here when we moved her out of her apartment into Cranberry House things were tough.  

Boxes of stuff were just left to sit.

And then, in just a few weeks time, she was gone.

Boxes continued to sit.

When a mood moved me, I would open a box. 


Some still have not been opened.

Over time, some things found themselves a new home.

Some things found a spot on a shelf here.

My mom and I had very different decorating styles.  That's not to say I didn't admire and appreciate her home, because I did.  Very much.  It was just a little more formal than mine.

And over time, I have really begun to enjoy spotting an odd little Asian man with a cheerful wizened face that was once my mom's peeking out at me from behind an old pottery pitcher.

The porcelaine box I picked up to box up was, i thought, just stuffed with tissue paper.  

If you gave my mom a gift, she would tuck the tissue it was wrapped in into whatever might be close at hand.  Finding tissue wrap in flower pots, ginger jars, coffee mugs, etc was a family joke my entire life.

So this porcelaine box with tissue wrap in it was nothing to make me think twice.  It just was what it was.

Until I heard that very distinct voice telling me to open it.

No rattles.

No movement whatsoever.

But a very tightly wrapped treasure.

I remember this beach theme bracelet and matching clip-on earrings like I just saw them yesterday when actually, I don't recall when I last saw them

She called it her Ocean City jewelry.

She admired it in a souvenir shop on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, MD when we were there for our annual two weeks at the beach vacation.  I was probably around 10 years old.  My dad went back later in the day and bought it for her.  

I don't think she ever went back to Ocean City without wearing that jewelry.  

She wore the bracelet all day while we were there, but the earrings were saved for dinners out.  

I think it might be time for a trip back to Ocean City.  My mom and dad loved it there.

And so did I.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

July 4th at our house

Thanks to what has become a politicized and scary supreme court

Want to help fight against the move backwards?

Here's just one way - 

The Bitter Southener will donate a portion of sales to help:

‘Power To The Women’ is back AND we now have Hell Hath No Fury & Power To The Women #flags. 

These are our products that help you raise your voice and all of us raise money for abortion funds across the South. $5 dollars from both shirts and these two flags ($5 from each shirt & flag sold) goes to funds and organizations doing vital vital work. 

Right now we are raising money for Kentucky Health Justice Network, New Orleans Abortion Fund, Sister Reach Memphis, Texas Equal Access Fund, and Missouri Abortion Fund, ALL IN TRIGGER STATES where restrictive laws went into effect one week ago today. 

Link to all these products here: