8/20/09

I'm having coffee with my mother today...



My mother has been dead for 23 years. I can still see her standing in the kitchen talking to her sister on the phone. If I wait just a few seconds, I can also hear her laughing and laughing about something my Aunt Shirley said.

There are many things peppered around my house that remind me of her. I have the old hand crank coffee grinder that was found at a tag sale in Virginia; the tiny drawer at the bottom still holds that faint hint of coffee.

I have the old blue glass bottles in my window, the cookie tins in my kitchen, and other various knick-knacks around my home. They provide me with a sense of comfort.

Not long ago one of my aunts sent me a package, and inside were 6 post cards that my mother had sent her mother when we lived in Nice, France. (My father was stationed there while serving in the Navy Jag office.)

For some reason I can’t stop reading them, and some days I can actually hear her voice jump off the postcards. She has come back to life- if only briefly…


Dearest Mother – I have bought six of these lovely cards today and am going to write a continuous note on all- and mail them together and let me know if they arrive together. It’ll be fun to see! I thought there were so lovely – that you must have them.

I must start sending picture cards of France home – because before too long we’ll be leaving and I’ll regret not having done so. The other day I was in St. Jean and I sat and watched Princess Grace and her children having lunch with David Niven and his wife. It was exciting and she is beautiful. I have seen David Niven many times and followed him and his car home from St. Jean. Bob gets a laugh from the wive’s excitement at seeing a star. He’d probably be so, too – if he saw Brigette Bardot!

One of the navy ships is coming into the villa tomorrow and they have said they will do any repairs for us- which is nice of them. They are going to take or dry cleaning-four to a person.

K and D are so happy in school. They go off gaily – each morning – carrying their lunch pails. D has a Mickey Mouse pail – ad K has Quick Draw McGraw. Bob will enjoy that.

I have switched B. back to Pet Milk because of the bad rash that wouldn’t go away. Since last night it has started to clear and I’m feeling better. He is so cute and smiles now. We call him “Petite Mignon” which is something like teeny weeny one! Bob will be so surprised when he sees how much he’s grown, tho.

D and K have learned so much French from their little French girl friend “Josie”. And she has really helped me, too. It’s going to be fun to see how much of it they’ll remember when we get home.


Those sisters of yours are terrible and not worth wasting one’s breath on. – Bob always said he thought they were from outer space and that’s where they belong – maybe we should volunteer them for the next orbit- but to the moon!!!

Well, this is the last card – and what fun. I hope you can decipher them when you receive all six!!

Love and Kisses!

Belle



sigh. Someone pass me a tissue.


99 comments:

Sue said...

So flippin sweet!

Keyona said...

Ugh...how adorable. And sweet. And sad. *HUGS*

Gaston Studio said...

What beautiful penmanship your mother had. Beautiful post Vodka Mom, just beautiful.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh, Vodka, do you have a tissue for me too?
I need to call my mom now.
xoxo

Mrs. D said...

I love taking a peek into the past. Nice post.

Melinda said...

What a precious keepsake. I love having a little piece of people that I love like that so they are always close to me.

Scobberlotcher said...

Windows into the past, my friend, windows into the past. Thanks for letting me look inside the window, too. I miss my mom, too.

Vodka Logic said...

How nice to have the memories of your mother. They are frame worthy.

Bless xx

Em said...

Such tender memories. Your Mother reminds me of mine - that post card trick is something she would totally do. And she hero worships Princess Grace.

I'm with Vodka logic - I found these great inexpensive frames at Walmart the other day $2.99 each - double paned so that you can see the front and the back of the artwork - I'm hanging some of the boys' creations, but those postcards would be perfect.

What an incredible gift from your aunt.

feefifoto said...

How sweet!

My sister recently had to buy some fabric to decorate her classroom, and she went to this place where our grandmother, who made all her own clothes, used to shop. She remarked to me that one of her colleagues said Walmart had similar fabric that cost much less, but she was happy with what she'd bought because visiting the store had reminded her of Grandma.

Christy said...

Oh these brought tears to my eyes - I'm an emotional mess today anyway! I think it's so neat to see that your mother was a great writer too -- it's clear her talent was passed on to you.

The Good Cook said...

Oh, how lovely is that?? BTW -what made the sisters so dreadful? I'm all about the family drama!!

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Isn't it wonderful how the written words of someone so dear to us can bring them back, even if only for a moment.

Treasure those memories.

Deb Thaxton said...

-->I love that you had the Mickey Mouse lunchbox in France. So sweet.

www.websavymom.com

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I love the history and life that can be found in hand written letters and postcards. These truly do make your mother come back to life. thank-you for sharing her with us.

Deb Thaxton said...

-->I love that you had the Mickey Mouse lunchbox in France. So sweet.

www.websavymom.com

Deb Thaxton said...

-->I love that you had the Mickey Mouse lunchbox in France. So sweet.

www.websavymom.com

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

I have those same feelings with my grandmother who I was very close to. I think it's great that little things can spark such huge memories and that she is so close in your memories that such a simple thing can make them all burst forth again. x

Lorraine said...

Isn't it great to be able to take a peak into the past with her thoughts and her handwriting. I just recently found some letters that my cousin had written to me when we were teens. I gave them to her and she was overjoyed to be able to remember those years through those letters. You've received a very special gift in more ways than one!

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Thank goodness your aunt sent you these postcards! What a beautiful item to treasure and look over whenever your heart wants.

confused homemaker said...

It's really nice that you have those to read. When my father's mother died everything was given away or trashed by an overly helpful family member. And I have a tissue if you need it.

Deb Thaxton said...

-->I love that you had the Mickey Mouse lunchbox in France. So sweet.

www.websavymom.com

Not The Rockefellers said...

Amazing...I am at my Mother's house at this writing and find myself immersed in photographs and memories.

I wonder..what will I leave behind?

Peace - Rene

IB said...

What a great post. Really very touching and sweet. Thanks for sharing these special memories with us.

IB

Jocelyn said...

That is some sweet bit-o-magic you go there!

Rebecca said...

What a wonderful treasure to have!
pass me the box of tissues too!

Fragrant Liar said...

Oh, man. Debbie, these are PRICELESS! You are so lucky to have them.

And it is fun getting a glimpse of your mom's world, her time as a young mother.

Totally cool.

Hugs,
Kimber

Snappy Finger said...

Awesome and how wonderful that she sent them to you to keep you close to your mother. Totally awesome!

Snappy Di

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I don't know which note is my favorite the one about sisters from outer space or the Quick Draw McGraw lunchbox.

What a nice thing for your aunt to send you. I would read them constantly.

kanishk said...

how adorable. And sweet.


Work From Home

♥georgie♥ said...

Beautiful just Beautiful...hugs and tissues

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Absolutely beautiful post. Please pass the tissues. ((HUGZ!!))

staskym said...

I need some of that tissue,
you will think this is silly but my Mom wore cody airspun face powder and a couple of days before she passed away i had taken her to buy some and i keep one of those boxes in my desk just to smell. and now the box is sitting on my desk as i write this.....

Rena said...

That's awesome.

That one girl said...

Oh, you're mom is so cute!!! No wonder you miss her so!

Deb said...

this really was a little bit of time travel!

what a fun loving, strong woman! hmm... you are right, those apples don't fall far.

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

How beautiful.
There isn't a day in my life that I don't miss my mother.

She used to write recipes down on any old piece of paper that was available. She would stick them in her purse and then store them in a old paper bag.

You should see the bag. Ugh.
But they are all in her writing.
This Christmas I am going to scan all of them and make them into a cook book for my sister, neices and nephews.
I'm thinking of maybe on the opposite page of the recipe writing a little story or putting a picture of her with each one of us on each page.

blognut said...

How very, very sweet.

Sue said...

Consider the "tissue passed"! Beautiful, touching post. Thank you.

Under the Influence said...

What sweet tokens of love!

Sara said...

That is a really neat idea and I hope you have a wonderful coffee date!

Frau said...

What a wonderful gift to have. Enjoy your coffee!

CK Lunchbox said...

It's fun to find those tangible momentoes from the past. My mother has a house full of them. I have my grandmother's diary for when she was a little girl. Found out my great-grandpa tried out for the Cleveland Indians, and that my grandma was boy-crazy. Those were parts of them I never would have seen otherwise.

Kay said...

How... wonderful it must be to have those, that piece of her, in her own writing, her own words.
I still keep a small notecard that my grandmother wrote a grocery list on - just to have her handwriting.

The Peach Tart said...

That is just priceless.

McSass said...

Ahh thank you thank you for this post!! It reminded me of something I wanted to do a couple of months ago. My parents had bought my grandparents old house over the summer time and I had been to a psychic shortly after they moved in there. (My grandfather lives in a condo close by) but I had asked this Psychic if she had any words or anything from my deceased grandmother to my grandfather and kept saying letters in the attic. So this was a wonderful reminder to go check for these letters. I believe that they are the ones that she used to write to him when he was in the service and they were moving around the US. I love when you have posts like this!! They hit close to home and give a sense of calm for me.

Tammy Howard said...

What a wonderful legacy. I want to write six postcards to my mom. (She'll throw them away. She isn't interested in anything I write. Crap.)I want to do SOMEthing...

This is really cool. Thank you for sharing it.

only a movie said...

Amazing and beautiful and priceless. Thank you so much for sharing.

Also? My other half grew up in France because his dad worked for GE. How old were you when you lived there?

Twenty-Something said...

That is probably the most adorable thing ever!

Michele said...

Aren't those treasures wonderful? it was so nice of your Aunt to send them to you.

Rick Daley said...

Now this is funny:

I was nominated for not 1 but 2 blogging awards. These awards, which are the blogging equivalent of email chain letters that say Bill Gates will blow you if you email them to everyone in your address book, stipulate that you nominate other people.

I know you are an attention whore just as I am, so I pass the honor on to you. Check my blog for details:

http://mydaleyrant.blogspot.com

Diane J. said...

What a great way to have coffee with your mom. I bet she was sitting with you while you read those cards.

Captain Dumbass said...

Reading your mother's words, I could almost hear the way they would have been spoken. The cadence, the arrangement of words. It wasn't so long ago but you can still see the way our language has changed since then.

What a fantastic present.

Angie Ledbetter said...

*Passes tissue* I know what you mean. My mom's been fighting brain cancer for almost two years and I already miss our conversations. She still laughs, though, and has never once complained. God bless the good mommies.

LilliGirl said...

What an awesome gift...Drop by my place. I've posted an award for you! :)

@eloh said...

How wonderful to have such good memories of your mom.

Suzy said...

This is the last postcard I got from my mom, also in France:

"There's got to be something you can do right."

PippaD said...

This is just beautiful, you had me in tears, laughing and remembering.

darsden said...

How wonderful is that and she sent them to you. Just heartwarming. So special!

Carolyn...Online said...

I would miss her too.

Brian Miller said...

this one tugs at my heart...so sweet that you have those cards and reminders surrounding you of one you love and loved. enjoy the coffee...

Kathy B! said...

How special to have been given those cards. Savor them as you clearly are.

the treat girl said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us......treasure your memories.

Christine said...

That's sweet. Almost makes me feel guilty for ragging on my blog about my mother the past few weeks. But just almost. :-)

Trooper Thorn said...

Interesting how much more congenial writing was even 45 years ago. And only 6 cents for an overseas stamp!

Maggie said...

It's nice to read you remember her vividly

Anna See said...

Wow. I'm so glad you have these. Of course I know you would rather have your mom.

Pastor Sharon said...

How lovely that you had coffee with your mother! What a fun way to send postcards. Your mother wrote beautifully!

I'm happy for you that you ran across these!
hugs,
Sharon

Kate Coveny Hood said...

THIS is the reason to be proud of pack rat tendencies. Things that seem so ordinary at the time really may end up becoming irreplaceable treasures later.

LPC of Privilege said...

Tissue please.

Char said...

Oh, what a wonderful gift. Thank you for sharing them with us. Now,
I need a hankie, too. ((hugs))

MaureenB said...

This brought tears to my eyes, what a lovely rememberance for you of your dear mother.

Joanie M said...

what a great post!

When my mother passed, Dani and went to MD to help my sister clean out mom's room. We came home with the goose cookie jar I gave t mom one Mother's Day. She kept Stella Dora cookies in it all the time. Dani walked into the house carrying the cookie jar and Gina burst into tears! It now sits on my kitchen counter, with paint chipped off, with Stella Dora cookies in it.

Real Live Lesbian said...

::sniff sniff::

Beth said...

How wonderful that you have a little bit of your mother's voice. She sounds so sweet. And a little sassy.

Mrs. E said...

Sweet and sassy. Perhaps a bit like her daughter. For me it is a toss up for what I miss about my mom the most-- her voice or her hands. Thanks for sharing. You are never alone in your loss.

Yo is Me said...

beautiful. i have old notes from my mom. i have hideous pairs of never worn socks she gave us for christmas. serious, they're hideous. and i love them.

Diane J. said...

I passed an award on to you. It's on my blog. Thanks for always making me smile, laugh, or (as in today) cry (but it's a good cry).

Jeanne said...

What an awesome gift.

stacy di said...

that is so wonderful. what a lovely way to remember your mom...and must have been a great surprise to get them from your aunt.

SSP said...

oh the smells bring me to places too!! how exquisite a treasure this is. I LOVE that she wanted to send the sisters out into space...before we even had put a man on the moon!! (and just a month before JFK was assassinated)! How prescient of her! Do you still speak french??

Rima said...

What a delicious glimpse into your mother's life - her voice and personality shine through . . .

linlah said...

Lovely way to have coffee.

Melissa B. said...

PreCISEly the reason I recently named you as a Superior Scribbler, par excellence! A touching, poignant post. I miss my Mom, too...

San Diego Momma said...

Oh I love reading these.

I found my mom's "cancer journal" last month and I cannot stop reading. I want to suck up everything. It's lovely to hear her voice again.

Beautiful post, D.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Irish Chicken Soup said...

A truly beautiful find.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Her tenderness shines through.

Petite Mignon!
Now we know the real reason he was selling peeps of your sister through the keyhole. He was trying to earn back his reputation!!!

Joanie said...

Beautiful.

♥ Braja said...

Do you know it's almost a year since we met and fell in love? :)) And reading this reminds me all over again every time of why....

You're so damned special, my lovely...

xoxoxo

flutter said...

this is lovely.

Michel said...

You are very lucky you have those to keep those memories so very close and alive.

So very sweet!

J. L. Krueger said...

Och weel! I go away for a month...or two...or three and you change your look again!

I've missed your posts...hoping to stay in touch better now...I need the laughs!

Oh, I don't have a tissue, but I do have a clean handkerchief. :)

Debbie said...

What a treasure for you to have. Beautifully written post.

Ronnica said...

What a sweet thing to receive reminding you of this special woman.

Susan said...

I have a box of letters my dad wrote to me when I lived in Germany. It's almost like having him back.

Patti said...

What a wonderful post! How sweet of your aunt to send them to you.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Just wanted you to know that this post inspired me to post what I did on my blog today. It is amazing how you can hear their voice when you read their words, isn't it? Almost as if they are sitting right there beside you talking to you like they did before.

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