Wednesday, March 03, 2010

April 2010 Generations together at the Zamek

You may combine keepsakes with grandchildren for the greatest delight and pleasure. We have a red doll cradle which was given to my grandmother, Dora Markham, on her sixth birthday back in the late 1800's. Her parents could not afford to buy toys for her, but her oldest brother, William Colfax Markham, who had graduated from college and was working, could buy her playthings. My mother, Ruth Clark, received the doll cradle on her sixth birthday, as did I, Barbara Hunt, and our oldest daughter, Leslie Homolka.
Our granddaughter's sixth birthday was missed by a year, as we'd had illness in the family. Our carpenter fixed the joints. Kristyna Homolkova and I arranged the bedding – we still have the original bedpad, but I don't know where the blankets are, and bought a new doll. The latest granddaughters to enjoy the cradle are Charlotte and Maisie Tate. This happened while their 18 month old sister was napping! Perhaps I will show the grandsons sometime. It's kept on top of a wardrobe, as it's delicate and over 100 years old. Kristyna loved hearing about the six year olds who had gone before and who are her forebears. Later we found some photos of them. Of course she knows me and her Aunt Leslie.

Kristyna and I have greatly enjoyed a pack of cards which belonged to my dad, Harold Marquardt Hunt, who was born in 1905. Those cards must be 100 years old, or close to it. Kristyna knows Harold Hunt was my dad, her father's grandfather, and her great-grandfather. It's picture cards and is played like “Go Fish”. Many of those cards have been repaired, but mending tape was not as good when I was a child as it is today. One card is half missing.

Many pictures are what might be expected today – apple, orange, banana; elephant, horse, dog; rooster, rabbit, cat, but not all the pictures. The card with a pocket watch on a chain intrigued Kristyna. The card with a department store includes a Morris chair and a high topped shoe. The card with a passenger traincar also has a coal-fired steam locomotive and a hopper of coal. The card with a house also has a stable [well, you might think it a garage.] and a buggy.

I've learned the Czech words for 'top': 'kaca' and 'rifle': 'puska'. Kristyna has learned violet, golden rod, and buggy. The cardboard of the cards is brittle, so we do not suffle them, but lay them out, and pick them up. This summer when we go to North Carolina, I think Kristyna and I will take the cards to the Tate girls.

Never did I plan to collect little boxes, but nontheless I have a collection. A few boxes are from our travels, such as a tin box, replica of Sledmere Manor, north of York, which was full of sweets. Boxes inlaid with lapis lazuli are from my trip to Afghanistan, Many boxes are hand-me-downs from my mother, mother-in-law, and step-grandmother. There are several compacts from the 1930's; a child's paintbox from the teens, along with linen helf-sleeves to protect the Sunday dress; a 1920's celluloid dresser set, complete with chamois to buff one's nails. We have porcelain, glass, leather, metal boxes. A wooden box contains a 100 year old fan. Kristyna and I will have fun with all of them, and then I'll share them with the other grandchildren as time goes on.