Friday, August 23, 2013

Heritage Christmas Tree

My mom has been dead for 9 years.  Is that right?  Well, I guess so.  9+ years.  I have given away things throughout those years, or tossed them out.  Perhaps I pushed her stuff in offerings too much at the beginning and often the kids would politely decline.  Now I notice they are forgetting how often and what I offered. But that's no nevermind. this post is going to be about something I am NOT giving away until I die.

This is the tree!

This tree was a Homemaking project done in the Cleveland 5th ward...and who else but Gwen Miller and probably Carolyn Pinkston could have thought up such a project! I know they spent the summer going to garage sales to collect beads for the background of the trees that were made by the sisters in Relief Socity.  But the larger pieces were supplied by each individual crafter. So what you see on this tree were jewelry pieces that were my mom's or my grandmothers.  I recognize most of them.  Some were earrings, some were brooches (which by the way are experiencing a bit of a revival).

My mom always had this hanging during the holidays.  Funny that back then, altho I thought it was a lovely keepsake, I thought it a bit!  How time moved along and how my attitude was tempered.  Now I just want to have it hanging up all year.

This was discovered in the back of a closet up here and I know it was hung here as well as in Parma.  The frame it sits in has fallen apart and we will need to yet repair it or buy another.  The lighting didn't work either.  So after having it hanging around my crafting room for months, last week  I asked Robert to fix the electrical.  We put on a new plug and I kept changing out the old mini lights with new ones until it lit all it's glory.

This morning I decided to add a few pieces myself.  And there may be a couple more I might add as time continues and my ability to let them go increases.  But for now, allow me to point out what some of the pieces are so that my children will know what they stand for.

Naturally there would have to be flags on mom had several, particularly since she was born on the 4th of July. In the above photo, you will just make out the 76...for the year mom and bonpapa were married, as well as the bicentennial of our nation's birth. We really celebrated that year!

Below you will notice a flag pin..I cannot begin to tell you how many flag pins of various kinds my mom and Roger had...and wore them proudly.  For them, this nation was one that was respected and loved and honored and displaying the flag was just a part of life for them.

This is an odd little piece that I added this morning.  I can't remember where it was from altho I know mom told me.  But for me, it resembles a tree of life image and as you may know, I love to collect such things.  This piece seems to have come from South Africa, from my grandmother's brother, but don't swear to it.  It hung in a shadow box with a couple other things.  It was very special to my mom and I could smack myself for not taking notes on the day she told me. 

But the day that happened, I think she finally realized she was not going to beat this cancer...and she wanted me to know...BUT I didn't want to increase the horror of the day by making notes.  Perhaps I didn't want to face what I already knew.  But I do know this piece was important to her.
I placed this on here, too.  See the cameo?  My father, Henry S. Czekala brought 2 of these home to my mom from Italy after World War II.  My mom kept both of them until that above mentioned day.  Turns out she always wanted to give me one, meant to give me one but never got around to it.  This one happens to be chipped. But the other one is in perfect condition and I hope to have it set into a ring this fall.  I've already talked to my favorite jeweler in Playhouse Square...I just need to get it done.  But isn't she lovely?  
 There's a lot to look at here but if you look for the brooch that is light orange in color, that's what I felt needed to be added even tho it doesn't exactly follow the mauve/purple/teal color schemes. This is a pin that had a pair of matching earrings.  I so remember my mom wearing them with a particular brown dress.  The dress had a square neck, was sleeveless and had these broad straps. It also had a short jacket.   Lovely as she was!
 Now this boot...and doesn't it look like a game token from a vintage Monopoly set?  My grandfather, Richard James Holman ALWAYS carried this in his pants pocket for luck.  I guess it kept him safe, or at least having it made him feel safe.  I remember him changing pants and being certain to switch this little shoe over.  This was also in that same shadow box.
 The piece I direct you to here is the blue scarab.  Mom brought this home from Egypt when she toured there with Roger.  It's also an amulet.  My mom was always into learning new things.  Traveling scared her but she went anyway. She was always afraid she wouldn't be coming home.  The year they went to Egypt they also visited Israel (1983).  We were worried for them the whole time.  I remember they flew from Israel to Egypt and at whatever stop they had to make between (and again I can't remember the country), the airfield was lined with armed militia.  They did not get off the plane.
 See those 2 little silver rings? These are mine.  They are not jewelry but might as well be.  They are actually pull tabs from pop cans.  When I was dating Robert in 1968, his dorm floor held a Christmas party and all the boys brought a date.  Who knows why I felt to save these pull tabs but I did, along with a little angel doll.  I've had this in my jewelry box ever since.  Often I've look at them and wondered why I was keeping them.  Today I figured exactly where they would reside. Even then I knew I would marry Robert, perhaps I kept them as a promise to myself.
 Can you see the spoon in this picture?  It is a replica of the royal spoon used to annoint Queen Elizabeth II and probably every other king/queen previously.  Grandma  Gladys  Evans Holman had a best friend (Audrey Bray) who stayed in England yet they continued this friendship til death, through letters, through photographs, through gifts. When Elizabeth became queen, we received several souvenirs of that day.  I had the royal gold coach toy, drawn by horses.  The wheels actually went round. I loved that thing and had it for so many years.  It was pretty bent the last time I remember it but I think my mom probably tossed it.  I know I wouldn't have!  We had the souvenir magazines and souvenir book from her life.

But what is special about this spoon is that we have made covenants in our lives in sacred temples to be obedient to a law much higher than any on earth.  And we are anointed to become something far greater than anything on earth, also.  When you read about the anointings of kings in the Old Testament, think about this spoon.  Think about it's shape.  How would you make this shape with your hand if you were talking to a deaf person, describing cupping some sacred oil.  Do you see it?  Can you remember what you are here to do and keep your commandments til that day when an anointing becomes your reward?

 And finally today I added this bit that's left from an ankle bracelet my father gave my mother.  It's at the base, right above the tree trunk.  You can see that on the one side it reads ALWAYS.  Go down to the next picture and you will see the flip side with her initials....GMC.

So far now this is how the tree remains.  I may be adding a few other pieces one day.  I have my old friendship ring plus the gold baby ring I wore.  I also have the gold baby ring that all our kids wore.
I'm still trying to do something with those 2 little gold rings.

Let it be known:  
I am not giving this away yet...not til I die.
And to stop all future arguments altho I probably did say Dawn could have it when I'm done, I've changed my mind.

It really wouldn't be fair for one of my 5 to keep this, don't you all agree? So instead, when I die and when it's time to leave my grip, I want this to be a traveling heritage tree, shared between 
all who are interested.  Of course perhaps there will be one of you
who will not want it.  and that's fine.  Please share it among those who do.

I am writing this on 13 August week I leave for a trip with the Kennedy's, by the generosity of Jacob.  The threat of Al Qeada is real and the alerts heightened.  Several of our embassies have been closed for a week or more.  There are hurricanes.  These huge
luxury ships have had diseases.  

I have no idea I won't come home....but there's no assurance I will.  So this will get posted while I'm in Nassau with 2 days left of a grand adventure.  So you 5 all have the facts.

Treasure them.

Love you all.


Lin Floyd said...

hope you make it home safely. I have one of those trees my mom loved that my cousin made at RS-a tradition like the huge grapes on coffee tables. Lol!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Love this piece of family teasure. You should write your next book detailing the family's heirlooms!!

Lin Floyd said...

ps the small metal shoe lucky charm is from an old monopoly game...

Dawn Barrett said...

this is amazing!!

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