Phones, Stamps, Family Traditions


Photo from the weekend

This little girl of mine really likes phones and we’re not even on the phone that much.  This is an old one that we took the battery out of after she found it in a drawer.  Boy was she happy when we decided to let her play with it.  She has been talking on the phone ever since.

On to other things, or thoughts, or whatever.  The holidays are upon us and I can tell as my thoughts drift towards the past:  relationships, family, holidays, traditions, and the possibility of creating all of these things anew with my own daughter and husband in our home.  What is it that we would like to create together?  I realize that what I remember isn’t so much exactly what we did on each holiday (with the family I grew up in) but more the feelings around those times.  So it makes me realize that what Iliana will remember is the feelings, the love, the sharing that we create around her.  It’s powerful those feelings.

Tonight I organized stamps.  You may think that’s wierd, I did when I first sat down.  With all the things that need to get done around here, I sat at the kitchen table and organized a box of stamps.  They were my mother’s stamps, ones that she had saved from past correspondences with friends and relatives.  In the box were also printed return addresses that she saved.  It took me awhile but then I realized that there was something to be gained by sitting and going through this box of relics.  It really gave me insight into my mother, what was important to her, what things she found interesting, who some of her friends were and where they lived, and some of my families collective history.  In having my own family I am starting to understand what it might have been like for my parents when I was born and later my sister and brother.  The bag with the most stamps in it is the Christmas one and I realized it’s because my mother exchanged so many cards with people around that time of year.  I remember her having a big, wooden bowl with all the letters we’d received from friends and family wishing us and her a happy holiday.

As I came across one return address in particular, my mother’s friend Zelda, I remembered how she sent us knitted mittens around Christmas one year.  I bring this up as I’ve been thinking a lot about knitting and wondering why no one in my family history seems to have knit anything.  Maybe someone did and I’m unaware of it, but I do know this Zelda knit quite a bit.  I still have a pair of mittens that she knit for me.  The pair she knit for my mother I stuck in the washer to felt and turned them into booties for Iliana during last year’s winter.

In the end, organizing this wee box of a stamp collection per se, took me to a whole new place of understanding, learning, and history.  Who knows what the holidays will hold for all of us this year?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


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