When my mom gave me a little cardboard box and told me that I would love it, I had no idea that the contents would delight me as they did. Inside was a small collection of hand-embroidered postcards that my granddad sent home from France when he was stationed there during WWI. My dad’s father, Oliver Street Norton, bought these delightful cards to send home to his mother. Also inside was his personal calling card that is hand lettered and painted. What a treasure!
Since I have a passion for needlework, I was astonished that you could buy hand-stitched postcards and mail them. When I studied these I realized that the backs greatly resemble postcards of today. The fronts of the cards have embroidered designs on silk with tiny stitches that must have taken a large amount of time. I wonder how much he paid for the cards and where did he bought them.
My granddad was a farmer who served in the military and returned home after the war to resume his farming life. He was a very quiet man, and when he spoke, you listened. He actually listened to opera every Saturday night with his radio right by his chair—very intriguing to me. My grandmother worshipped the ground he walked on, and rightfully so. She was 12 years younger than Granddad, and he had to wait for her to grow up so he could marry her. I have so many memories of their life together on the farm. They grew and picked cotton and made a fun time of it. My favorite times were sitting in rocking chairs under the huge walnut tree in their yard. It was an enormous tree that created a shaded canopy. Conversation was the order of the day.
I wish I had known of this little box back then so I could have asked all the questions about these keepsakes. Isn’t that the way it is? We find these family keepsakes and then wish we had all the details about them. So I choose to remember my sweet Granddad, who bought beautiful needlework treasures for his mother, as a man who loved beautiful things in life, from growing cotton to listening to opera.
Share with me your memories of special keepsakes.