Thursday, October 3, 2013



Nostalgia.  It's defined by Merriam-Webster as:  A wistful, excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.  When I think of my Grandmother, nostalgia washes over me like a welcome summer shower.  Grandma, as most grandmothers are, was very special to me personally.  She helped me grow, taught me values, and had the most amazing sense of humor that at times only her and I could comprehend.  She lived a long life, not always happy or easy..and though she worried a lot, for the most part she enjoyed life and her family to the fullest.

She was born at the turn of the century.  Not this one, the last one.   Named Wilhelmina, Minnie to her friends and family, she often said her childhood was tough.  Yet I don't think she regretted it.  She worked hard as a child and learned the value of that hard work, and she was employed outside the home as a seamstress right up until the age of 79.  But I think what worried her most was the way the world was changing.  Cars were in their infancy when she was born and the world was a much different place.  The industrial revolution was just beginning, and she was amazed at all the new developments and seeming prosperity.  Until 1914, that is.  She was 9 years old when the first world war erupted , and then her world became a much darker place.   The first war to involve almost every major country in the world affected even the youngest, and her youth was shattered by poverty and loss.  This was followed by The Great Depression, then another World War.

I think this was the genesis of Grandma's worrying habits, and her greatest worries were what this world would be for her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the future children.   She was already 53 when I was born and by the time I had my earliest memories of her, SHOPPING!  was her escape valve from this worry.  Often she caught me watching her as she was sitting quietly at the table, staring out into space, she would turn to me in this animated voice and say, "Let's go SHOPPING!"   She would shop for hours on the weekends.  She would window shop on her way home from work.   She would browse the stores, not always buying, but escaping the  pressure of her worries.  Thinking back, I can still picture looking up at the tall buildings - that in my young mind reached all the way to the clouds - as she would hold my hand and we would brave the crowds of people along the sidewalks of downtown Buffalo, NY.  Back in the early 60's, it was a bustling place, full of activity and excitement.  Going from store to store until my little legs couldn't take anymore, we would look for bargains and sales.

One of the things Grandma would get would be teacups.  She had a beautiful glass-front china cabinet filled with teacups and that is what started my love for collecting teacups.  When I see certain ones, my mind's eye takes me back to our shopping days and Grandma's china cabinet, and my heart floods with nostalgia.   Grandma is gone, but I still cherish the memories of her happy life.  I know she loved us as much as we loved her, and she isn't worrying anymore.

I think that yearning for happier days past may be the reason that some people collect teacups, aside from the monetary value and appreciation for their beauty.   And I think I get more joy out of seeing the happiness in bringing some of this nostalgia to people when I help to pass these cups on to others who are thinking of their Grandma.  Hopefully, they'll bring a little smile to your face as well.  Visit NostalgicRose teacups to see more. 

Royal Albert - "The Gardenia" - One of my favorites

Shelley Campanula 

Adderley Teacup and Saucer