Sunday, September 19, 2010

Treasures and Letters

I bought a secretary about a year ago, because I needed a little space for me...
I filled it with some pretty things...
and some old books...
...and a few treasures.
I have over a hundred letters written from my grandfather to my grandmother during WWII.  I still haven't read through all of them.
The letter is stamped '1943.'  This was the year my mother was born.  Because of the war, my grandfather would not meet his baby girl until she was two years old.  The silver letter opener belonged to my mother.  Her name is engraved at the bottom.
So many of these letters tell a beautiful love story.  They were married for almost 67 years.



Vanessa from the beautiful Southern In My Heart shared some information about a Hitchcock chair!  She did a lovely post about a chair that she found, so I thought I would take another look at mine!  A few years ago, I purchased two chairs for $40.  The only writing is found on the back of the chair and is handwritten in gold paint, 'Hitchcock Chair.'  If original, this chair dates to the 1800's and now cost $200 to $300!  Until I saw her post, I never noticed the writing!  Thanks Vanessa!  I didn't know what a gem I was sitting on! 
Below, is the cane bench that I bought for about $10 at a consignment store.  After replacing the cane seat, it sits next to my secretary and usually holds a few books.


I love the little things that tell a story.   My mother was an only child and passed away many years ago.  She was an amazing woman (shown in the large picture above and in the small one on the desk.)  I was blessed to care for her parents, my grandparents in their last years.
These letters tell a wonderful story.  My grandfather had been presumed dead in 1945, when he arrived on the doorstep of his house to meet his two-year old daughter (my mom!)  My grandmother had been given word months earlier that he had been killed in France. 
I treasure these letters and old photos and keep all of these sweet little mementos in my secretary...a place just for me.
~
Share your life's story with your children or grandchildren.  It will be a blessing that they will cherish for years to come!


The secretary and Hitchcock chair were purchased at an antique market in Charlotte, NC.  I am not sure about the chair, but the secretary is not an antique.  Most items I have had for many years, but the little white pitcher was recently purchased at Homegoods.  The little cane bench was found at a consignment store for almost nothing and refurbished.  The silk, cream and brown check pillow was given to me by my sister.   

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53 comments :

Vanessa said...

WOW! I love this so much! I have a secretary that was handed down to me from my grandmother and this is totally inspiring me to give it some special treatment by decorating it a bit more. And, I cannot believe that you have almost the identical Hitchcock chair as I do! I did a post about it awhile back (My date with Mr. Hitchcock!). Kindred spirits! What an amazing story about your grandparents too. I have school-books that belonged to my grandparents where they wrote notes to each other in the margins. Those are such treasures and I totally agree that we need to share these stories with our children. I love that you value history and heritage!
Vanessa

Carolyn said...

Hi Christie,

I love your secretary desk and all of your sweet treasures! It is wonderful that you have those sweet love letters and what a sweet story your grandma & grandpa have to tell....I can't imagine how awesome it would be to have the letters and be able to hold the history of your family right in your hands.

Blessings, Carolyn ~ Cottage Sunshine

Willow said...

You are so lucky to have such beautiful memories to hold and share. I have a few things from my Mother and that is it. I am making a point of saving things to pass down to our Children and Grandchildren.

Willow

Mrs.B said...

I really LOVE this! What special treasures you have!

Van said...

Very lovely staging, the result is beautiful! I hope it gets a lot of use and love. LOVE the antique letter that you cherish!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

That secretary is gorgeous. I love secretaries, but don't have a place to put one. I love the fact that you have all those wonderful letters of your grandparents. That sounds like a movie story line, but yours is real. How sweet that you have all those wonderful mementos to hold on to.

Roseanna said...

Lovely story and secretary! Beautifully filled with treasures. My uncle, Sam died on "D" day in France. I can only imagine the joy and tears shed when your grandfather arrived home safely.

Monica M. Judd said...

The letters... such treasures for sure! I just felt led to tell you that your mom, though she's not here on earth with you anymore, is SO proud of you. Hebrews 12:1-2 say, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame , and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." I can almost see your Mama up there in Heaven cheering you on toward Jesus... thanking and praising God for you and celebrating the mighty work He's doing in you. She's one proud Mama for sure!

La Table De Nana said...

I have a little secretary similar to yours with similar things on it.. even a heart hanging from the door handle..I like it too..The secret drawers.. the pens.. etc..I really enjoy your blog my friend Jain alerted me to it..Food for Thought.. I sent the one you posted yesterday to my daughters.:)

It's me said...

Hello Christie..........Beautiful !!!....I love your secretary desk and all of your sweet treasures!!!!....so nice...have a happy new week darling...love Ria.....

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a beautiful post!! I have some letters written by my Dad to my mom. I now have to go and look for them!! Thanks for the reminder!!

Debbie

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Christie...

My friend, I just wanted to come over and say thank you for that very sweet note that you left for me on my Sunday Favorites post! You are so very kind!

Wow...your secretary is just gorgeous! I have been looking for just the right one...for some time now! You certainly have decorated yours beautifully...loved the pretty pears and cloche and ohhh...that pretty pitcher full of hydrangeas is lovely! Ohhh my goodness...you must have been elated to find out that your pretty little chair is such a treasure! I haven't ever heard of a Hancock chair so your information was really interesting! Can you imagine...owning a chair that was built in the 1800's? That's awesome! It's a beautiful chair...love the pretty gold painted pattern!

Well my friend, thank you for sharing the story about your Grandparents! I think that having those letters would be such a precious treasure! Ohhh..I can't even imagine! To think that your Grandmother was told that her husband had been killed in the war...what grief! And then to have him show up on their doorstep...I can't even begin to imagine what those moments of surprise were like! Ohhh my goodness!!! What a grand story!!! Thank you again for sharing it with us!

Warmest autumn wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Cabin and Cottage said...

What a wonderful desk! And what wonderful stories! The vignettes are lovely and are so much enhanced by the connection you have to them. I enjoyed your post!

Barbara said...

What a beautiful and calm space to call your own. I have a small writing desk, like yours but without the shelves above. I wish it looked half as nice but I must say I tend to shove all my papers inside and keep it shut tight! Thank you for sharing the story of your grandparents' letters. How lucky you are to have them.

Pamela Gordon said...

What a beautiful love story you have shared with us. I really love your secretary and the way you have decorated it, and your Hitchcock chair is wonderful too. You are very fortunate to have all those keepsakes and memories.
Pam

Vanessa said...

Hi Christie! You are so sweet to link back to my post about the Hitchcock chair! Thanks for doing that and for your lovely comments today! :-) I laugh every time I read something from you because we seem to have more and more in common!
Vanessa

Kathleen said...

What a beautiful post. I love your place just for you, and the story was wonderful, what a treasure those letters are!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What a beautiful, cozy spot just for you-enjoy!

Pat said...

This looks beautiful Christie!

Erin@likegrandmas said...

I had a client tell me about when her husband was in WWII, and about the letters they would write. I cried during her sessions(in a good way) to hear her relive it and to see the happiness on her face. She said it was the most romantic time, during the war. I am glad that you have this history of your family and that you'll always have it :)

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

So lovely and what treasures you have in those letters!

Blessings!
Gail

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your secretary is gorgeous and I love that you have such wonderful momentos from your grandparents. Such fabulous heirlooms and how wonderful to have all of those letters. Such a beautiful vignette and what a precious and touching story of your grandparents. Thanks so much for linking to TTT. Hugs, Marty

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

What a story! I can't imagine the pain your mother went through, thinking her husband had been killed...and a brand new baby. It must have been such a shock to have him show up at the door...

I have lots of old letters from my Dad to my Mum... They are so sweet...

Warm blessings,
Spencer

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

That is amazing. Can you imagine your *dead* husband showing up at your door? CRAZY!!!

Patricia Torres said...

Oh my!! oh my!! so so gorgeous... I dont have one... but would absolutely love to have a secretary for myself.. Love the way you've kept those letters...

notyet100 said...

wow felt so good reading this post,.:-)

Sanctified Spaces said...

Lovely secretary.Even I have one in rose wood You could take a look at it at http://sanctifiedspaces.blogspot.com/2010/08/antiqued.html

Do let me know what you think of it.

Barbara said...

Oh, my goodness, your treasures and story are amazing. I had to smile when I read that you haven't read them all yet. I inherited my dad's photos. It took me a few years to go through them all because I couldn't bear to do it all at once. It lasted so long, taking it slowly. Such wonderful treasures you have, both physical and in your heart.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

What treasures you have! I couldn't resist sitting and reading those letters until I'd read them ALL. It's probably better to restrain yourself and read a few on occasion -- and savor the experience. Enjoy!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Such a beautiful piece. i wish I had room for one in my house. I've always loved them. I love all the wonderful treasure you have in it too.

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Your secretary is beautiful but even more special are all your precious treasures.

Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

What a positively beautiful spot!! You have done a wonderful job styling it...magazine worthy for sure! Angie xo

Sue said...

Gorgeous, rich, and so much character!

S
xo

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

This is beautiful and what a touching tribute to your parents. I love how you've set this "stage" on your secretary.

lettie said...

In case you're not aware, the letters should be unfolded and stored in acid-free archival folders to preserve for generations to come. Congratulations on having such a wonderful treasure trove of family letters. Please read them, they could add so much to your family history and the history of the USA.

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

Oh Christie,
This is a wonderful post as always! I love the nostalgia and love in those treasured letters you are so fortunate to have. Also love the secretary, it gives me some ideas for mine that I have in my foyer.
Thank you for sharing once again!
Terry

Susy said...

What wonderful treasures you've shared. Especially your grandparent's letters. Oh my. Even though your secretary may not be an antique, it looks great. Does it have the secret compartments like the old ones?

Entertaining Women said...

My husband's father was in France during WWII. My daddy was in Italy, the Battle of Salerno and on into Rome. So many brave young men! I love that you treasure your family heritage and keep it alive. Your mama was two years older than I am. We both grew up at a wonderful time in our country's history. Thank you for sharing your heritage with us. Cherry Kay

Sue said...

What treasures you have to display! It's wonderful to have your grandparent's letters to cherish. Your secretary desk looks lovely accented with old books, your cloche, and your flowers in a pitcher. All nice touches...
~ Sue

Judith said...

what a beautiful piece of furniture and you have everything displayed so beautiful and as for those letters what treasured, precious memories they hold. Judith (Precious Moments)

Brenda Kula said...

What a treasure to have those precious letters!
Brenda

Kate Dickerson said...

Truly charming - and I think your secretary is gorgeous!

Deserae said...

What a gorgeous secretary.....paired with the letters it makes a very special and beautiful vignette! Have a great weekend!
~Des

Marlis said...

Oh the treasures you have. how touchingly beautiful. Couldn't help but notice the barely twist candlestick and the beautiful lace tea towel. I have one just like I purchased in Huntsville, Al!

Pieced Pastimes said...

The letters, the photo's and the story behind them is just so touching. It is wonderful that you have these items and their history to pass down and I love the special place that you have created to keep them all. Just lovely!

nichole said...

Great Greatblog! Awesome ideas!

http://nicholesownspace.blogspot.com

Rene said...

What treasures you have there! Our parents are the same age. My dad was born in 1942 while his father was away at war. Would love to see the letters that were written. I must say that your space looks exactly like my dining room. Right down to the color and the molding. Love all the touches in your secretary.

Carrie said...

I enjoyed seeing your secretary and the treasured items you display on it.

I bought my secretary desk while vacationing in North Carolina several years ago. I've also enjoyed outfitting it with personal treasures.

PreeOccupied said...

This is beautiful. And touching. The secretary is so perfect. Am sure you love to spend your time sitting and reading/writing there.

Brambleberry Cottage said...

How wonderful that you have a special place to surround yourself with things that help to create your own peaceful little world-in which to read those precious letters.

Thanks for linking to my party. I would love to have you join me each week.

By the way, I just joined you as a follower.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Beautiful secretary and I love all the treasures you chose to display. :)

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Christie, Check out my FFF post after 10pm EST tonight... :)

Shay said...

What a beautiful post. I am just now starting to organize and scan the letters sent home by my husbands grandfather during WW11. He was in his mid to late 30s when he went in the military and left his grade school age children behind. It is so touching to see how much he loved them and to get to know his personality, as he died at the age of 48. I am scanning them so all of the cousins will be able to know him as well. Out of curiosity, what is the S.C. town your letters were mailed to? I can't place it, and I live in South Carolina too. Shay@shay2shay2@hotmail.com

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