I remember Grandma Patrick’s kitchen in her apartment. I remember the old-fashioned sink. I remember the sewing machine near the window. I remember the table with the gray-patterned cotton tablecloth. I remember her napkin holder that sat on the tablecloth on the table.
After my grandmother died I took a few things to remember her by. I took her aluminium stovetop coffee percolator, I took that gray-patterned cotton tablecloth and I took her napkin holder. Years later, after my mother died, I took the sewing machine too.
Most of these things created some points of contention between Dean and me, but the one that is still on-going is the napkin holder. It’s pure mid-century modern with its starburst pattern on one side (there was one on the other, but it fell off and according to Dean could not be soldered back on). I’d love to have it sit on the kitchen table holding our napkins — and it did for a while until I quit using paper napkins.
I’ve tried other uses for it. I hooked it on a nail in my office wall to hold cables. I used it to hold small notebooks on my desk. Both of those uses were short-lived because the napkin holder is just too light. It’s meant to hold paper napkins on a kitchen table.
I don’t know what to do with it other than put it in the kneewall with my other memories, but I feel that it can be used for something!
Sometimes when I think about my Grandma Patrick, I think of her as being a little uncaring — or at least feeling that I was not one of her favorite grandchildren. I then remember the time she gave me money to buy a tee-shirt that my mom would not pay for and then I find this note that probably contained more cash than I expected for my trip to England. I do think she used money for love sometimes, but maybe she thought she had to.
Just another object I am getting rid of after posting here.
Xmas 1978 To Dona Patrick, from Grandma Patrick
Have a very happy Christmas in England. We will all be missing you, but we will be thinking of you. Merry Xmas from us all. Grandma. Use this Gift where you most need it. Love Grandma.
She died about 5 years later. Okay, I am not throwing it away.
My mother had a mix of cheap costume jewelry and some more expensive items and after she died I was less interested in the expensive items and more interested in anything with sentimental value. I know her father gave her a heart shaped locket when she turned 16, so I took that and a few other necklaces that I knew she liked.
One of these items was a mystery. It was a large gold-toned cross on a long chain. My mother was not all that religious and I had not remembered ever seeing her wear it. I almost dismissed it and left it at the house to be sold with her other things, but I decided to take it because it looked old and I wondered if it might have belonged to my Grandma Patrick. I had no reason, except its age and the fact that my father’s mother was quite religious to suspect it was hers, but I didn’t want to leave it there in case it was. The one thing that threw me though, was that the chain looked newer than the cross and cheap compared to the cross so I was not completely convinced that 1) it was old or 2) had belonged to my grandmother.
A few months after bringing the cross home I was looking at some photos that I’d scanned. One of them was an old photo of my Grandma Patrick when she was maybe 16 or 17 years old. I noticed she was wearing a long necklace and when I enlarged the photo I knew the cross was hers!
Not being all that religious myself, I don’t know when I will wear it, but I am glad I didn’t leave it at the house.