I recently was asked to show you all of the artifacts from my grandmother’s house in one fell swoop. The Hostess of the Humble Bungalow suggested it might be helpful to see all this stuff in one place. Good idea. High WASPs revere order, packing lists, and following direction.
It’s not a collection, this. Little is displayed. But in cupboards, on bookshelves, and pulled up to tables you will find:
1. A Tiffany bowl. With my grandmother’s initials. The same as mine, you will notice. My mother did that on purpose, but replaced Louise with Lisa. High WASPs are monogramaphiliacs.
2. A porringer. Matilda probably ate some oatmeal from this bowl. Or threw it on the floor. I mean, babies are babies.
3. A silver shot glass. We also like alcohol rather a lot.
4. Some Chinese snuff bottles. It’s possible we used to like snuff. Certainly we like travel. And souvenirs of travel. It reminds of us life outside constraints.
5. A silver pitcher. Into which I once put some tulips. Although this may in fact be from my father’s side. We don’t keep track the way you think we might. Same was true of the family fortune. It’s all a glossy cloud of imagined abundance.
6. Grandmama’s mirror, English, or Federal from Boston. You all were quite helpful and I thank you.
7. And finally, two chairs. Two, um, wooden chairs. The matching set has been distributed throughout the cousins. I don’t even know who has the other ones. My brother and sisters have benches like this. You know, um, wooden. I believe they are old. But I couldn’t guarantee it.
I put them out on the concrete front walkway of my little California ranch house, in order to take the picture in daylight. Sat amongst the moist lavender and lamb’s ears for a good angle, but luckily the ground had dried out a bit from the recent rains. You work with what you’ve got.
That leaves only a maple bedframe unshown. But it’s where my son lays his head down when he comes home from college. Hence unphotographable. You don’t want to see the bed of a 20-year old. Even if it does feature original fasteners.
Which brings up the question, of course, of original fasteners. In all their shapes and guises, both symbolic, and and in beds covered by tousled boy sheets.
Have a wonderful weekend.