Monday, 3 August 2009

A Verbal Snapshot.


I came across this postcard the other day whilst cleaning out an old tin full of "bits and pieces". It was sent on March 31st 1918 from Mablethorpe (a seaside place in Lincolnshire). It is from my mother to her parents, and it reads:-
"Dear M and F, You will be surprised to hear that we are here. We made our minds up all in a hurry. I will write more when I have time. We are having a good time but the weather is rotten. Love from us all.
My sister would have been five years old. The First World War would have been drawing to a close (my father spent much of 1916 in hospital and did not do military service) and here they are, in this little verbal snapshot, walking up and down the promenade in the pouring rain, but "having a good time"!
I know little about my parents' lives at that time except to know that because of his health, my father was a house-husband and my mother worked in munitions. They would have had little money to spare but my mother was always thrifty (in later years, when I came along as an after-thought (!) she could always be relied upon to produce money in an emergency ,usually from an old teapot she kept behind the sofa). So I find this little memento quite poignant.
Just for a fleeting moment I can have a window into their lives. They sound happy in spite of the weather - and really that is all that matters, isn't it?
Do you have any little mementos like this?

23 comments:

Cathy said...

That little card just shows the power of a positive attitude.

Sal said...

I do have one little postcard from 1911,with a U.S postage stamp and a message to say it is snowing!
On the front is a pic of some violets and the word 'faithfulness'

;-)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a treasure to discover! My mother died recently and what I most wanted of hers were the cards, letters, journals, bits of paper saved with writing, anything, that as you say, gives a glimpse into who she was, what she felt, what life was like for her.

Oh yes, some of the china, or art was nice to receive - but it is particularly moving to see her handwriting and read her thoughts.

Thanks for awakening a few memories.

HelenMHunt said...

What a lovely glimpse into the past. I have boxes and boxes of such things and really MUST find the time to go through and put them in order sometime.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

"Happy in spite of the weather". What a perfect epitaph for anyone! And what a lovely memento of your parents.

I have a letter, faded now, that my Great-aunt sent to her sister after moving to Scotland in the early part of the last century. A snapshot of another life.

Titus said...

Poignant, moving, and it shows me a generation that lived their lives with very little luxury or leisure but still found time to live. Beautiful post.

Heather said...

What a treasure you unearthed Weaver - it must be very precious. I have a tiny stub of pencil which belonged to my grandfather. He liked to paint in watercolours and did little sketches on any available piece of paper. He always kept a pencil in his waistcoat pocket and would use them down to about 1". I also have my grandmothers rug hook which is bent and the hook almost worn away. Both these things take me back nearly 70years in time.

steven said...

hello weaver, what a sweet find for you. it's exciting to spend a moment inside our parent's lives, particularly at a time when we didn't exist. it's always such a mystery isn't it. what did they do? what did they feel? what did they value? thanks for sharing this. have a lovely day. steven

Dave King said...

Poignant indeed. I find such treasures from the past, particularly when they have a family dimension, infinitely fascinating. Thanks for sharing it.

Kim said...

I wish I had a moment like this one of my parents, but sadly I do not. How sweet is that little card, and how happy your parents sound. You are right of course, happiness is all that matters.

Hildred and Charles said...

There seemed to be a time in Canada early in the last century when photo/postcards were available, and I have two of these, sent by my grandmother after they moved West. One is a childhood picture of the two aunties who died in the 1918 flu epidemic, along with the uncle who lived to farm during the depression.

These things are precious, - as are old diaries and the little books one carried around for friends to write in. Such verses as
Roses are red,Violets are blue/
Honey is sweet, And so are you!

I am having a Senior's Moment and have forgotten what they called these little albums - does anyone remember?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

A lovely memento and a wonderful example of the elasticity of time—how a yesterday so long ago could seem so close. Thank you for sharing.

Leilani Lee said...

What a lovely treasure. I have a some letters my father wrote to his mother during WWII in the early 1940s. Especially poignant is the one he wrote during the first Christmas he spent away from home

Pondside said...

I have the letters my five uncles sent to their mother from overseas during the second world war. Five went over - navy, army communicator, Black Watch, merchant marine - and five came back.
No one writes real letters anymore. A few years ago my sister made me a gift of all the letters I'd written to her over the years, putting each in the little picture-slot of a photo album. What a treasure.

Golden West said...

My mom's older sister passed away in the spring and my cousin dropped by family pictures we'd never seen, such as my mom's 5th birthday party in 1932, my grandparents' wedding picture and one of the whole extended clan gathered just prior to World War II. Treasures, all.

Mairi said...

I have some old photographs from my parent's childhoods and young adulthood in the 30's and forties. There are very few of my dad - he grew up in a tiny farming village in the Scottish borders - but they show you that the people you've known and loved your entire life had lives of their own. Bit of a shock when the idea first occurs to you.
I noticed your collage of the remains of your bundle, which i thought was impressive. But what I really thought was impressive was how fast the contents disintegrated. It seems only a few weeks ago that you hung it up. Tempis fugit, and all that.

deb said...

no mementos but a wonderful mum who can spin straw into gold, and memories a mile deep of all the ways she made do so we could experience every opportunity that came our way.
Always when I stop here I'm reminded how blessed I am to have such a family! And I just love the sentiment of the card, been feeling worn to a raveling myself of late!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wouldn't it be lovely if we could make a blogscrap book of all our little mementos? It is a pity that letter and card writing has largely died out - computer, e mail, text - they have taken over but they are not going to be there for posterity to judge us by, are they? I do try to keep writing letters myself but I fight a losing battle when it comes to getting answers.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Now, Mablethorpe I do remember! My Dad's club took the children there for a day trip every year! One of the arcades had a model of a gun slinging cowboy that you had to beat to the draw! And there was a sky rocket carousel on which you could make the rocket rise and fall on its hydraulic arm. Happy days!!

I do have the Mother's Day card that "I" sent to my Mom for the first time. The drawings are similar in style to your card.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh yes Derrick - Mablethorpe - lots of sand usually raining but always good fun. Brought back memories for me too. Wonder if we were ever there at the same time/

jinksy said...

Yes, I have several letters to/from my Gran to my Mum, all comparing notes on the air raids/bombs, and letting each know the other's whereabouts. There seems to have been a lot of time spent travelling to various friends who lived on the outskirts of Portsmouth, where bombs were not so much in evidence.

BT said...

What a wonderful find Weaver. I have quite a few things from my mother in particular. Her favoutite Christmas Cake recipe, on which she has written 'I never use any other - cos it's good'!! Then I have the letter she received from 'Madame Bluebell' of the Paris dancers inviting my mother to join her troupe. On the brown envelope my mother has written 'Didn't go, went to Blackpool instead'! How funny is that.

Teresa said...

Love this post Weaver (yes, I finally escaped from the clutches of the blueberry bushes!). My Mom regularly turns over to my care batches of old family photos and other mementos which I carefully examine. They bring back all kinds of memories - and all of them are treasured.

Just love the postcard.