Saturday, December 28, 2019

Waiting for the New Year

Susan Branch is one of my favorite artists. She is a talented writer, illustrator, author and her cookbooks transport me back to wonderful childhood memories. Her Christmas post was about a dinner party that she held recently. As eight dinner guests sat around a beautiful holiday meal, candles glowing, wine glasses sparkling... someone said, "You can always see the kid in a person if you look closely." There was a hush over the chatty table, guests leaned forward looking into the faces of each other. Suddenly they were transported back in time, little girls in party dresses and black patent shoes swinging back and forth under the table...little boys squirming and fidgeting in their seats trying to be good!

What an insightful notion, that inside each of us.... is that wide-eyed child of long ago. Waiting and hoping for snow on Christmas or that one special present under the tree. Thrilled with the simple pleasures of the lights on the Christmas tree or that delicious coziness of flannel pajamas and a hot cup of cocoa topped with marshmallows. 

Let this be our resolution for the New Year, to allow ourselves to recapture that sweet magic of childhood. To keep kindness in our hearts and expect good things to happen. We all need that special quality of youth to give us hope and encouragement for the New Year ahead!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Old Cookbooks

As we get closer to Christmas, my heart wrestles with the holiday favorites. The tried and trues versus the bright shiny new ones I find on Pinterest. I often cave in, trying the new recipes but sorely disappointed with the results. 

I can’t help but remember the pride I felt when I’d help with Christmas cookie making at Grandma’s house, each one cut with old aluminum shapes of Santa, Snowmen, stars and wreaths, also used for donuts!

Her cookbook looked like this, worn out, dog eared, with stains on nearly every page. Turning the pages was difficult, tucked in between the pages were recipes jotted down on envelopes or neatly clipped receipts from magazines or the local Harrison Daily Times. The Cook of the Week column ran for years, sharing the wealth of good recipes from cooks in the area.

Many of the recipes Grandma jotted down were only ingredients, after all she pretty much knew how to stir up a recipe and the really old recipes simply say “Bake in a hot oven until done.”

I treasure the old file cards that Mom, Aunt Burline or Aunt Joy sent me through the years, Woolworth Cheesecake, tomato pickles, Chicken Dumplings, divinity and fudge recipes from a dear cousin now gone. So all you Memory Makers out there, knee deep in your cookbooks and saved Pinterest recipes... try some new ones but don’t forget the old. They’re the ones with a secret ingredient, love!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Bargain Lady

I could tell it was going to be a good one, you could see before you ever got out of the car that this place had all the bells and whistles of a great "pick!" 

The toys that set on the sidewalk out front had been loved, but the colors were still bright and they had the ability to make a child or a "child at heart" happy. I had a tricycle just like this one in the 1950's and my brother ran the wheels of his Flying O tractor!

It was a hot day when we went through Kingston on our way down into the Boxley Valley, but the door was open at Carlton's on the historic square. All that separated us from 2012 and a giant leap back into our past was the old screen door. Even that was a part of my past, I can remember when lots of businesses had the familiar "Colonial is Good Bread" advertised.

The Bargain Lady was just inside, anxious to share the treasures that she'd spent a lifetime gathering. 

Even Jack was glad to see us, he woke up and came over for a pat on the head!

So much to look at... 

Memorabilia from days gone by...

Historic pieces from Kingston's past, this was the old mail window from the original building. 

A penny gumball machine, old pop bottles and jars lined the shelves for sale.

Betty's husband Sam was working on converting this old Huffy bicycle to a gas motor. Patience is either something you are born with or you work hard to master, I'm guessing he falls into the first category!

One of the best things about Carlton's were the Words of Wisdom throughout the store...

These old signs are hard to find anymore, one of these days we won't see them at all. 

If you love antiques, it doesn't matter that this person isn't your long lost Great Aunt. Like an old watch, it shows that time has a way of getting away from you if you don't cherish and preserve the moments. Even though all of these things are slightly worn or chipped, they are priceless. 

The old buildings have stories to tell, all you have to do is step inside and say hello!

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