Thursday, February 4, 2010

hand-me-down thursday

A few weeks ago a package arrived in the mail for me. There's nothing better than a package you aren't expecting. This one was from my mother's cousins, Liz and Mary. They'd recently helped clean out the home of a dear family friend and thought I'd appreciate some things from the estate. The box was filled with so much that I can't possibly put it all in one post, so I'll share more each Thursday this month.
Included in the box was a letter with this information-
"Re: contents of the box, Use and enjoy! We could not bear to just throw these things away. Nearly everything was made by an old neighbor, Effie ____. She was the banker's wife and our maternal grandmother's close friend. Aunt Mildred and Effie were role models for us. Effie graduated from SDSU with a 4 year degree in about 1921(about the same year women were finally granted the right to vote in the US?!)- an era when women's education beyond 8th grade was thought by many to be a useless extravagance. If knowledge is power, women acquiring both was the real fear, in my entirely biased opinion. Anyhow, her mother died in a prairie fire after hiding the children under the overturned wagon, her father died several years later, it was said, of a broken heart, and Effie was raised by unmarried aunts who had the resources and vision to give her the best start they could, with a university education. I raise my glass to all of these women, salut!"
The strawberry on this is a pincusion and the tape measure is real and slips out of that pocket.

The one above likely held clothespins. The drawstrings cinch it up to keep them in place.

I love the pockets on this one.

The letter went on -
"Effie did fine hand crafts for years for the Methodist Ladies' Aid various church events. They had the classic supper and bazaar every fall, did the church suppers, hosted the kids before summer camp, you name it. I have sweet memories of women like Effie and Aunt Mildred, and the food and hospitality they offered in the the old church basement. They had a reverence for education, especially for women, and a spirit of community service (I don't care if this sounds cliche) the likes of which is rare in any age. That's the proud heritage of the treasures you are seeing. Liz and I strive to live up to the legacy of those remarkable women. Please pass on this history. Love, Mary"
I will.
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Tuli said...

Those aprons are GORGEOUS. I can't wait to see what else was in the package.

Susie Sunshine said...

Love the aprons AND hearing Effie's story. I think we'd all have been great friends.

eurolush said...

What an amazing gift from Liz and Mary. So glad they were able to pass on Effie's sewing and crafts to someone who will truly appreciate them.-----> You.

Loved hearing Effie's story...and seeing her aprons. They're adorable!

Looking forward to seeing the rest.

MsCellania said...

Love this post, Wendy.
Women like these were the starch in our history. Their stories don't often get retold these days. What a bright spot in a gloomy, snowy Sunday!