Keeping Memories Alive

Mihoko's bracelets

Mihoko’s bracelets

Not long ago my mother’s dear friend, Mihoko, passed away. Although I did not see her often I knew her for most of my life and she was dear to me. A few years ago Mihoko had been visiting her daughter in Japan and came back with a gift for me – two blue and white porcelain bracelets with Japanese designs. I was touched that she had thought of me. I quietly tucked away the bracelets, always meaning to wear them but preferring to admire them from a distance.

That changed a few weeks ago when something compelled me to take them out and wear them. Too lovely to put aside I now pair them with everything. So much more than jewelry, these bracelets are my memories of Mihoko. Enjoy your keepsakes and allow them to bathe you in the love, perhaps of a lost friend. Wear your treasures now. Don’t put it off for another time.

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Nothing Says Spring Like Kate Spade!

LGH_150401_6344LGH_150401_6343Nothing says Spring to me more than my vintage Kate Spade New York straw handbag. I can’t remember where I bought it – Bloomindale’s, perhaps? I can’t remember how long ago – at least 15 years. None of that really matters to me. I do know that I bought this handbag before I had ever heard of Kate Spade, and certainly before she became the well-known designer that she is today. That could be one of the reasons that it is a favorite of mine and the first thing I pull out when the weather warms. The combination of the colors and the texture are at once classic yet modern. It carries a timeless quality that translates to every occasion and every opportunity to take it out for a stroll.

I bought this handbag simply because I liked it. And that is what really matters when we buy and certainly keep, our treasured pieces.LGH_150401_6387

Photos by Lauren Hagerstrom

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Keepsakes

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My Grandma Eleanor's Longines watch

My Grandma Eleanor’s Longines watch

In Episode Three I share a special keepsake passed down from my grandmother whom I loved dearly. Keepsakes are valuable because they are a way to stay close to someone who was very important in our lives. I’m curious … do you have a special keepsake? Please share your story in the comment section of the blog.

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Something old …

A keepsake from my Grandma Eleanor

A keepsake from my Grandma Eleanor

The saying goes: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… It’s part of the wedding ritual for bridal dressing. But when it comes to keepsakes something old and something borrowed are just as meaningful. I now have my Grandma Eleanor’s gold watch. My cousin gave it to me when I last saw her and I am forever grateful. I loved my Grandma Eleanor very much. She was absolutely charming and lovable and she would always tell me how much she loved me in her distinctive Hungarian accent. Now, after cleaning her watch and taking out a link so that it fits securely around my wrist I feel that love again as if she is wrapping her arms around me with a tight hug and squeeze.

Keepsakes carry their value in our memories of the ones we loved. This watch is a Longines, a Swiss brand with a celebrated history in watchmaking, but its worth is in what it represents to me – not in its resale value. What I will treasure is the daily wrist hug from my Grandma Eleanor.

Do you have any keepsakes from a loved one? I welcome your comments.

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Our mothers’ daughters …

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Lisa with her mother’s sweaters, circa 1950s

This Thanksgiving I will be thinking of my mother, Claire, and all the wonderful things that she has passed on to me, preserving our love.

This story starts with a sweater. Recently, when I was spending time with my friend Lisa, I happened to be wearing the gray sweater that my mother had given me. Lisa asked me about it. It’s such a favorite that I was happy to tell its story. My mother was partial to this beloved sweater. Simple and classic, it has a self-made tie that wraps around the neck – truly unique. My mother had worn it and loved it for years, then passed it to me. This gray sweater has had a long life.

Our conversation reminded Lisa that she had a few sweaters that her mother had passed down to her. Amazing, because these particular sweaters were originally worn by her mother, Jean, 55 years ago when she was in her early 20’s. We pulled them out and gazed at them with great interest; they looked like the clothes we have seen in the films of the 1950s! Lisa said that she had worn them all at one time or another and that her daughter, Sarah, had also worn the sweater with the pink and green flowers when she was a sophomore in high school.

Intrigued, I asked Lisa if I could speak with her mother about the sweaters. Jean’s thoughts: “I had a little girl. I would have loved to pass anything to my little girl … It’s endearing. You want your daughters to have everything you had. I think most mothers think this way.” I, too, am my mother’s only daughter and I know that she feels the very same. Jean also told me that she gave Lisa two dolls that were given to her as a child when she was just five or six. She now has two granddaughters to pass these dolls to, and just like the dolls themselves, one of her granddaughters is blond – the other, brunette. I asked Jean if she played with her dolls when she was young. No, she wasn’t a doll person, but her mother loved the dolls and made all of their clothes.

Lisa has worn her sweaters as I have worn mine. We agree that they are dear to us. In a time when so many things are disposable, these loving keepsakes are forever.

What do you think?

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Jean’s childhood dolls, passed down to Lisa and her two granddaughters

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Betsy’s cap

“I ran into to local 99-cents shop looking for one thing, and came away with this cap for $1.29. It is the best $1.29 I have spent in a considerable time. I wore it recently in Maine, and everyone noticed it and asked me about it. I think I could sell it for a lot more than I bought it! But I won’t.

I like it because it carries the Latin flavor. I think that the image on the cap is Our Lady of Guadalupe (the Latin Virgin Mary). She is always shown in radiant light. My mom and my aunt would often pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was very personal for them to have a Latin Virgin Mary.”

~ Betsy

Betsy holding her $1.29 cap, Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Keepsakes

 

Mihoko’s gift to me

My mother’s dear friend, Mihoko, passed away recently. Although I did not see her often, I knew her for most of my life and she was dear to me. A few years ago, Mihoko had been visiting her daughter in Japan and came back with a gift for me – two blue and white porcelain bracelets with Japanese designs. I was so touched that she thought of me. I quietly tucked away the bracelets, always meaning to wear them, but preferring to admire them from a distance.

When I saw them today, I smiled, thinking of Mihoko. They were too lovely to put aside, and I wore them with a blue and white striped shirt. Not only were they a perfect match, but they were so much more; they were my memories of Mihoko. Enjoy your keepsakes and allow them to bathe you in the love, perhaps of a lost friend, and wear your treasures now. Don’t put it off for another time.

What do you think?

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours