Friday, February 11, 2011

Long lost art...






I have gone through a few boxes of miscellaneous stuff that I received a few months ago when my Grandma Shirley passed away. She was and always will be so dear to my heart. Her love and life inspired me when she was here and still touches me even though she's gone. She lived a very unique and yet ordinary life- from her birth to her death her life story is one I will forever treasure. Needless to say, as I look through some of the items she left behind I am so thankful for what a wonderful gift she was to me and so many others and I am so grateful for these miscellaneous items that connect me to her past. The are real treasures.
What you see in the photos above are just a few snapshots of some of the priceless items I feel lucky to have. In an old unmarked envelope thrown in with a box of recipe cards and old piano books and sheet music I came upon several letters that were saved from the early 1930's. Many of them were cards and notes sent to my great grandma on the birth of her little girl- my great aunt Phyllis. What I love about the cards/letters {as you can see in the top photo} is that they are hand-addressed with only a name and city and state. And they made it to their destination clear across the country! How amazing is that?! No zip code necessary, I guess! Things have changed in 80 years, I guess. =) What I really like about the old letters is seeing the handwriting and reading about the 'important' things that were worth writing home about. In one note from my great grandma's sister there is talk about the weather, what was in the oven for dinner, politics and the thought of looking forward to playing tennis and golf. It's easy to forget that there was a time when letters to weeks to be received and that chatting on the phone was impossible! We have it so easy with internet and cellphones, don't we?!
Among the treasures I also found a wedding invitation from my great grandma Lydia's wedding. It dates back to June of 1920- that's nearly 100 years ago! I can't believe it was just stuck in an envelope with no markings on it. It should have easily been in the trash and long lost by now. So that makes it even more exciting for me to have found it.
There's a full and much-loved/used composition notebook which was used to keep recipes and other newspaper clippings inside with practical household tips. You know something is old when many of the recipes are about pickling things and also some that include rabbit and chicken livers! One of the recipes I found has "over 100 years old" scrawled across the top of the card. It's mixed in with other recipes dating from 1967 to 1974. So that makes this Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe about 150 years old! I plan on making a batch just to see how they taste. There's also a cake recipe with the notation "Used for Genie's 5th birthday" next to it. Genie is my mom. I can't tell you how fun it's been for me to find such a book rich with memories, notes and lots of speckled splatters from the cooks as they went about their baking.
It got me thinking how some of the greatest treasures we have and will pass on aren't necessarily the things we spend a lot of money on, but instead the things that mean so much are things that connect us to past generations- to people and their lives. I have always loved getting and sending letters. I love to add lots of handwriting to cards I send- especially as things move more electronic and digital these days. I love writing notes in my journal and on scrap pages. I hope one day they will be treasured by people whose lives I've touched and left behind too.
In the spirit of that, the bottom photo is one of some sweet Valentine goodies I received from my {online} friend, Debee. Here is a link to her fun blog. She is so creative and has great photos to look at- check it out! Anyway, I thought I would have a little giveaway- I'll make up a little something with the things I got and some other scrappy things I have in my collection and I'll choose a random winner by tomorrow. I'm in the mood to send something handmade- somewhere. If you want a chance to be the recipient just say hello in the comments and feel free to tell me something you love about the past. I think it's more than time to bring back the fleeting art of handwritten mail. Wouldn't you agree?!

53 comments:

Kelly said...

Love to catch up on the life of the Ferlaak's. I love finding long lost letters and cards. Makes me sit and remember. Love it!

Jen said...

Hello! I have been following your blog for a few years and I LOVE your sweet family and your AMAZING faith. You are an inspiration to me!

Dale Anne Potter said...

COOL treasures for sure!
I have been reading your blog for years,.

Amanda said...

Just popping in to say hi! I love reading about your family. :)

Katie said...

Jen (2nd comment) and I are best friends and we think of you as one our friends too! I love reading your blog, watching your family grow and the "realness" of your faith.

Jenny said...

I miss the days of handwritten letters! It made things so much more personal and really established such a connection. I think it is so awesome that you found so many wonderful things in your Granmother's possessions. Such precious memories!

65 Roses for Marcia said...

I love finding old stuff like that! And also still love getting snail mail!

Sheri said...

What a treasure you hold. Secrets and stories to the past. I love handwritten letters. I treasure recipes written in my mom's or my grandma's handwriting. Things that I use to take for granted and now that they are gone I hold tight to these treasures. I love reading your blog. Thank you for being so open and honest with how life rolls. You are a very blessed woman.

Ioana said...

hi.
i love snail mail, and handwritten things, that is why i try to keep as many handwritten things as possible. to my mother's frustration. haha.

Dara Wills said...

How special to find a treasure like that! Let us know how the cookies turn out :)

AprilNicole said...

Love reading your blog and posts on FB. Even though we have no idea who eachother are:)

Tonya said...

i look up your blog everyday for updates on your wonderful family.

Heather said...

I love the new image at the top of your blog! I have old cookbooks that my grandma put together of her favorite recipes - she even has handwritten menus in the books and when she served the meals. I love having that piece of her life that I can pass on.

Belinda said...

Hey, Jody. My grandmother will be 90 years old at the end of this month. From the time my daughter wore her first pair of socks until she was in second grade, she wore socks with a crocheted border and matching beads and/or buttons with every single outfit she owned.

My grandmother lovingly made each and every pair... and no two borders (pairs) were ever the same.

I love handmade quilts, cross-stithing, knitting, etc., etc. Those are just some of the "old" things I love!

pakosta said...

This just proves the whole idea I have of keeping journals for my girls even more special! We also write them letters on their birthday. My husband has only written maybe 4 but they will cherish those forever.
I also write little tidbits on the recipes I keep and both my girls asked for a recipe book for their wedding. *they are only 11 & 9.
this is such a great post and so special too!
xoxo
tara

mimisherry said...

Oh Jody you are always so insightful! I would love to have treasures like those! I guess that is why I am always doing things for my kiddos & grandangels. I write them love notes on valentines... It is my hope thatctheycwill have years of love invested in Their precious little hearts!! XO

k8 said...

I'm with you - I love the old hand written recipes with the little notes...and I'm old enough to remember mail without zip codes....but we did need street addresses!

k8

Gale said...

I have a letter my Grandfather wrote to his sister when my father was born, 77 years ago. My mom gave it to me after my father died. When I received the letter I went out made a copy to keep at my house & put the original in our safe deposit box. I love, love, love my letter.

Heather from Ontario Canada said...

I would love to have something handmade from you Jodi! and I'd be willing to send something right back at ya:) If you e-mail me your snail mail address .... I'll do just that -even if I don't win **grin**
It's so neat that you received that box full of treasures. Enjoy ~~

Susan said...

LOve your blog!When my grandma died we found every single letter she ever received in her cedar chest. I know am the proud owner of the cedar chest and need more letters to fill it!
Susan

Penny said...

This reminds me of some of the stuff my mom has. I used to love going through it when I was young. I haven't seen it in a long time. Maybe I will ask her to let me take a look. THanks for sharing your treasures. I also love your blog. So real with so much inspiration.

Tammy said...

Hello..I just learned about your blog...loving it! I think handwritten letters are becoming a lost art, which is sad...but how nice it is when you receive one, knowing that someone took the time to think of you. Thanks for sharing!

Red Door said...

I love old handwriting, and old antique photos, and elderly people in general. =) And I love going to our elderly friends houses because they are always homey and welcoming and they sing hymns around the piano. I always feel at home!

Michelle said...

Hi Jody! Just dropping by to say I'm thinking of you and miss our chat sessions!
xoxo

Hall Family in MD said...

On Christmas Eve my family and I spent hours looking at old photographs. It was so fun. We found one of my mom that was like a Glamour Shot. LOL

melody said...

Jody, you are an important part of my daily life. I always check in to see how your family is...I value the time you spend conversing with us here in blog-land...My grandma died in 1981..I was 37 yrs old...and her 'goodies' fill my heart and house..I too have her favorite recipes..

Loveday's Day said...

Hey! I too have been following your blog for quite a while. I too love scrapbooking my family.

Cupcakes and Lemonade said...

Love reading your blog! It's so nice to see someone blog about life, good and bad. Your honesty is so appreciated. I too, enjoy all the technology we have, but LOVE home-ade things!

erin said...

Treasures found!

Chris Cross said...

Both of my parents have passed away in the last couple of years, and my Mother kept so many things. It was so much work going through it all, but I too found some great treasures.

Laura in IL said...

I LOVE to read your blog! I've been around at least since before your last two little guys came along...

I am old enough to remember when zip codes came along and it was done even differently than now...

I love those treasures you were talking about. I have some handwritten recipes that I have every intention of framing. Such a cool thing in a time when everything is printed on a computer!

Honeybee Baking said...

Hi Jody,
I love reading your blog. You are very inspirational and help others to stay positive. Peace and God bless...

Hopesrising said...

I love those sorts of things. Left behind by those we loved in life. They are so special.
My grandfather left many letters and scrap books of pictures. I love the rich history of our family that comes with it.
Love your blog!

Tammie F. said...

I miss handwritten mail. I have a trunk of letters friends and I wrote each other, across the country and just across the room.

Jennifer said...

I LOVE to get cards from friends in the mail. Happy V-Tine's weekend to you and your precious crew. :)

Heather said...

Hi Jody - I love hand written mail!!! Love your blog too :) Happy Valentines, Heather

mimi said...

Hi Jody, I love reading your blog. You lift me up so many ways, too many to count. Your family is beautiful :-)

ogremom said...

I love having things my grandmothers had. My mom's mom was an amazing craftswoman - I have quilts, quilt tops, afghans, rugs, and Raggedy Ann & Andys from her. My dad's mom died before I was born, but I have some of her jewelry (fake, but fun!) and her dresser set, some figurines and a lamp. They are precious to me, especially since they're both gone. Wish I had some of their writings. I'd love to know how they met my grandfathers!

ogremom said...

I love having things my grandmothers had. My mom's mom was an amazing craftswoman - I have quilts, quilt tops, afghans, rugs, and Raggedy Ann & Andys from her. My dad's mom died before I was born, but I have some of her jewelry (fake, but fun!) and her dresser set, some figurines and a lamp. They are precious to me, especially since they're both gone. Wish I had some of their writings. I'd love to know how they met my grandfathers!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for remembering! I love to remember when I was younger and I would go camping with my mom and dad, while my mother was cleaning up after dinner my dad would take all the kids down to the lake in Leelanau to pick petoskey stones. He would always say that who ever found the first one would be treated with an ice cream cone from the camp store. we were so excited to be the one to win and spend time with dad!!!
Love, Sue Lee

Lisa D :) said...

Hi Jody, loved this post and thanks for doing a giveaway! It's sad that letter writing is a lost art. I have noticed that sending greeting cards or thank you notes is a lost art as well, which is too bad. Receiving an ecard just is not the same!

Tonya said...

so in my first comment i forgot to say what i like about the past. i have my grandpa's LUNCH BOX that him and i put banana stickers on every morning when he packed his lunch for work, he past away 19 yrs ago and would have been 94 yrs old this year.

Mary said...

Hey there. My dad got a letter in the mail a few weeks ago from 1993!! I could not believe it but there it was, 17 years ago. I like to go through my grandmothers old cards and letters, love to see her handwritting on stuff still. Brings back many memories.

Shannon said...

how fun, thanks for the thoughts. I love handwriting letters!

Valerie said...

Wonderful finds, just like your amazing blog and sweet family!! So glad my growling stomach led me to your site (from Lenore's mention of your YUMMY French toast!!)
Much love from Ohiooooooo!
Valerie

Rosemary P. said...

How delightful to have those family treasures! I would love to sit down and make up a bunch of those recipes! Truly a treasure. So lovely of you to share!

MelanieL said...

What fun to go through all your grandma's things that have been given to you! Some of my favorite things from the past are the small tokens of my father's parents' lives that my grandmother is handing down a little at a time to each of us grandchildren (ex. we each got a goblet from her wedding china). Fun giveaway I would love to receive something homeade from you:)

Karey said...

Hello Jody! I still send letters. One I'd written I received a phone call back on from my nephew. The letter had been to his wife. He told me he had been telling her what I said and she couldn't believe him. But because I said it, it broke through to her. Thanks for sharing.
My advice don't put off writing when God says to write.

Anonymous said...

WHAT A FIND! I KNOW WITH YOUR LOVE FOR CRAFTS, YOU WILL FIND MANY WAYS TO USE THEM. I HAVE SEEN SHEET MUSIC AND OLD LETTERS FRAMED. I ALSO WAS VERY CLOSE TO MY GRANDMOTHER,WONDERFUL MEMORIES. I AM PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY. GOD BLESS

Anonymous said...

I too love making those kinds of discoveries. That being said...I must have had a lapse or a forgetfull moment in time. My DH and I just retired and we down-sized from our former lives to move to sunny FL. I did go thru all of our photos (loose and otherwise) and divided them into boxes for our children. I think I may have thrown out all the cards I'd saved over the years (they filled a couple of larger size boxes) as I just couldn't deal with sorting thru them. I hope the boxes given to our kids will hold some of what you have in your possession. I expect so...as our son said they had fun opening his box. Some of the photos, he said, he'd never seen before.
What might have been "lost"---will never be known.

Sandie J. said...

How I hope to receive items like yours one day!! Those are truly treasures!!

lisalyn said...

I just lost my Grandmother in December and have just put my other Grandmother into the Nursing Home last week. It's really hard to see these women that have been such an inspiration become old and pass away. I treasure so much of those very things....recipes, notes, even just to see their handwriting is touching! Thanks for sharing!

BT Laurie said...

I enjoyed your post and seeing the comments about recipes. I found an old Betty Crocker cookbook at a thrift store in town a few years back that was just like my Mom's. Oh the memories. I had to look and see if I had remembered the comment about snickerdoodles correctly. They are "fun to say, fun to sniff and fun to eat". Sure enough, I was right and i bought the cookbook immediately. I treasure handwritten notes and photos from my parents, who are both now in heaven. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!