I didn’t know her.
But I have a pieces of her life and I have pieced together a portrait of her.
She was … a mother, a daughter, organized, a fashion plate, a dog lover, a crafter, a lover of Christmas.
So organized in fact that every thing was labeled.
Even ALL her hats.
So crafty she had a stash that would put us all to shame. And she was so much more that I will never know.
Taking a bit of editorial license, I think she wore Lily Pulitzer, drank gin & tonic and would be as comfortable in Palm Beach as in Pasadena California. I believe she threw lavish Christmas parties with aspic on the buffet. Oh, I could go on…
Her house was dated but lovely, it spoke of a woman of strength, who did things as they should be done, if you know what I mean.
She had pickle forks after all.
After an hour or so at the estate sale, I learned she was Cecilia from the embroidered name inside her fur coats.
She must have lived a long life as the fashions dated way back.
Not as far back as the steamer trunk I pried open on that wickedly hot August afternoon in her backyard.
These two were in the trunk….psst! wake up somebody found us.
Also in the trunk were bundles of letters, bills and receipts from another time.
I am guessing this was Cecilia’s mother’s trunk. The letters were written by a brother to a sister while he was a Marine in a far away land circa 1916. Cecilia’s uncle to her mother I presume.
The letters talk about the his work as a solider, the “natives” where he was stationed and asks about the family’s upcoming move to Los Angeles.
Reading these letters riveted me.
As did the snap shot I discovered when opening the apothecary jar to clean it.
Inside I found a photo of a woman who must be Cecilia along with diary keys.
Oh only to have found the locked books that those keys fit!
It puts a face to all the pieces and looks like the woman I saw in a painting in the living room. To me this is Cecilia.
I now treasure things Cecilia loved. I am sharing in her life by giving new purpose to her things.
At the heart of it this is what I love so much about vintage. The sense of connection.
Connection to other lives we will never know except for the treasures they leave behind.
We vintage lovers help them carry on.
Do you have an estate sale story or treasure to share?
** Kelly **
p.s. the Christmas installment coming soon!