Yep, just call me fern. I reside in memories as well as having once lived in the homes of both grandparents. I sat in a brown and green pot that resembled a ceramic basket. My pot resided on a stand that was about 36 inches tall and had a small shelf under it. I had a place of importance there by the window. Yep, just call me fern.
Remember? I do. The fern pot that sat in Mom and Pop Johnson’s front room later resided in our home. I have the plant stand but the fern never made it. Most of the grandparents’ homes I had ever been in as a child had similar pots and stands. Fern. Was she a good luck charm, a fad, a tradition?
There were many things that I remember as a child that I really didn’t understand. There was that ceramic dog that sat in front of the fake fireplace mantel in above-mentioned home. Often I had seen other breeds of dogs in other homes. Again, why? Was this what you had in place of a real dog? Was this the only way to have a dog in the house, since it was the belief that dogs were livestock and belonged outside? What good was a real dog in the house?! Did people shop for their ceramic pet? I could have taken that dog home with me when my grandparents passed. Somehow I didn’t think it would get along well with our schnauzer.
Doilies were on the chairs, on the tables, on anything that had a surface. I always thought they must be a way to have a dust pattern on the surface when removed. It was like stained glass only in dust.
And, as always, that silly glass bowl that came with the TV. Why? Of course, as I have said before, we would never have dreamed of removing it. I think it was still at Mom and Dad’s when we prepared for sale. In fact, I think the same flower was still in it.
Then there was the velvet cloth that covered the top of the old upright pianos. Again, a dust catcher? Maybe something romantic to go with the music? Perhaps long ago someone listening to the music whipped the cloth off the piano and danced around the room. My Aunt Bess would have done it in a heartbeat. And, yes, I do have that cloth.
We lived in a different day and age. I wonder if my children will have the same questions of our decor. Those old things decorate my memories of the people in my life. They accompany my reflections on the day and age of my parents, my grandparents. I look around the room and see the old fern stand. My grandfather’s picture basket is a little more ragged but full of memories. I sat looking through old postcards it held when I was a child. Perhaps it was my TV before they had one.
What color are your memories? Where are the dust catchers, the ceramic dogs, old fern stands? These are a history, yours and mine. So for now, just call me fern.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.