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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kiss From a Rose

What's It Wednesday #25

When I was a very little girl, I had a best friend. My best friend and I would have tea parties, watch the roller derby, and I would tell her all of my secrets as we gardened together. Although she is no longer with us, my great-grandmother will always be in my heart. Roses were her favorite flowers to clip and bring into her beautiful home. 

This platter is one of my favorites. She used to serve me Social Tea Biscuits on this platter. She always made me feel very special and like a fairy princess. She even had a special name for me. She called me Polly, and I was the only person allowed to call her by her first name, Helen. This always amazed my mother. Her grand-children called her grandmother and she truly was a "Grand Mother". I have no idea what the other great-grand children called her. I just know they didn't call her Helen.

Helen loved to entertain. She was known for her elaborate garden parties, teas and other social events. 

When my mother was a little girl, Helen used this china for special lunches. It was one of her favorites. The china was created by the Homer Laughlin Company which began in 1871 by brothers Shakespeare and Homer Laughlin. Fiestaware would later become one of their most popular dinnerware lines. 


Helen was much like the roses she grew. She was elegant and beautiful, and in her life time she dealt with many thorns. She lived in a world where she had to hide the fact that she was jewish and had to blend into a very different world. This meant that her grand-children, which included my mother, could not address her in public. By the same token, she could not go to her grand-chidren's schools and participate as a proud grandmother. 

Instead, Helen sent a taxi to my mom's school every Friday to pick her and my Uncle up and carry them to her house for the weekend. If they did not go to the beach for a picnic, Helen would prepare elaborate lunches for her grand-children and serve them on these very plates. 

When I was a little girl, Helen would not only serve delicious lunch on her favorite lunch china, she would prepare the most scrumptious desserts. There was always something from her vegetable garden included in the meal. After our wonderful meal, she would sneak me a cup of coffee. Please don't tell my mother. 

My mother and some dear friends came to visit this weekend, so I served a delicious spinach and strawberry salad which allowed room for dessert. I served our lunch on Helen's lunch plates at the same table she served her friends, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Helen always had some decadent dessert up her sleeve, from mouth watering pies, to elaborate over-the-top cakes. She loved to celebrate everything from my ballet recitals to Dusty Rhodes winning a wrestling match. 

My great-grandmother was not only a role model for my grand-mother, mother and I, she was a role model for the community. She had a heart as big as all outdoors and was known for her life time of philanthropy and service to the community. Helen will always be my guardian angel my special rose. 

Who are/were the special roses in your life?

xoxoxo
Paula


Thank you all for participating in our "What's It Wednesday"  linky party!

Don't forget to grab a feature button.

Ivy and Elephants




 Thank you all for all that you do to inspire others!
 I know I am inspired each and every week by each and every one of you.

Here are this week's WONDERFUL  features
Helen loved these Currier & Ives plates and Shelia at Note Songs has a gorgeous collection
Tami has an amazing collection of beautiful vintage dolls at Pink Butter Creme Cottage Market

Cette oeuvre d'art françaises est magnifique. Please visit Sew Passionate


Ann at Moonbeams & Fireflies has an amazing eye for beauty. 
Elaine wrote the most beautiful tribute to her gorgeous mother at Creating Wonderful Spaces.
Barbara Vintage Noritake china is fabulous at Two Birdies and a B.

63 comments:

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Patti: That was a very beautiful tribute. How great that you were able to know this special woman..Happy Wednesday..Judy

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

What a beautiful way to honor your great grandmother Helen. She sounds like such a beautiful woman with exquisite taste. Thanks for sharing this post and for hosting.

Tracey Steele said...

What a beautiful post, in every sense of the word. Helen sounds like a wonderful woman, and I think it is so nice that you called her by her first name, it gives a feeling of a very close, and loving, relationship. Reading this has been a lovely way to begin my day :)

Cindy Adkins said...

I just popped over to say "hi!" What a beautiful post. I hope you both had a Happy Mother's Day.
XO
Cindy

jeanetteann said...

Paula,I would have loved to have known your beautiful Great Grandmother,she sounds like one of those people loved by everyone. Her beautiful china has such lovely memories for you and your mother too. Glad you had a lovely day.xx

Erika said...

What a beautiful story about your great grandmother, thank you for sharing it, I imagined you playing tea time with her, and I understand how you feel, because I did not know my great grandmother, but my grandmother is my life, and I still have the opportunity to have her around, and she used to play with me when i was a little girl. Thank you for this inspiring story.

Rhissanna said...

What a lovely story, Paula and what lovely photographs to go with it. Your Great Grandmother sounds like she was a beautiful, wonderful person. I'm guessing taking tea with her is part of the reason why you like beautiful old things, too.

Those are really lovely squared plates. Just right for tea and sandwiches.

SavannahGranny said...

That is such a beautiful post about Helen. I recognized the Homer Laughlin before I got to the narrative.
So beautiful.
Thanks for hosting.
Blessings, Ginger

SwedishCorner-DownUnder...Pernilla said...

Such a lovely tribute! Wonderful memories :)
Greetings from Australia♥
~Pernilla

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

Loved the post! No one has time these days to use the good china enough!

Gail said...

What a beautiful post! Your great grandmother sounds like she was a beautiful person. Thanks for sharing and for hosting, Gail

Winnie said...

I got a bit emotional reading this wonderful post...
Thank you for sharing this!!

Rose Jesky said...

Thanks for hosting this great party. Love what you shared.
Rose

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I loved reading about your great-grandmother Helen. Such beautiful memories you have to treasure forever and pass down to your family.

Curtains in My Tree said...

You always tell such sweet soft stories about your family , I love reading them
Grandmothers have been so special to both of us

thank you for entering my 1st giveaway

Janice

Julie Marie said...

Oh Paula, what a beautifully touching story about your grandmother Helen...she truly is a rose...I love that she always used her special plates for every occasion and made each and every day so special for you... and how wonderful that you gardened together and many of her special treats for you came from her garden as well... I am sad times were like that back then and that she did not go to many of the things with you she should have been able to... but she was and is always there with you... close inside your heart where it really matters... my favorite is that she would sneak you a cup of coffee!... precious memories you cherish always... like you, one of my special "roses" is my grandmother as well... and my great~grandmother and my mama... there is nothing quite like a rose... or a grandma... much love to you and Patti... xoxo Julie Marie PS Just linked to your party... thanks for hosting!...

About Vintage French Hen said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Beautiful words and beautiful photos. I've collected Homer Laughlin dishes for years, I think they are so lovely! Thanks for hosting, Marcia

Kelly said...

What a wonderful story to be able to share! Sounds like a very special lady. Your heart shaped cake and strawberries look divine!

Anne said...

Paula,
What a sweet Grandmother Helen.You are blessed to have such a wonderful Grandmother.And now you have great memories to pass on.Beautiful china too.
(((((Hugs)))))
Anne

Susie said...

Paula, What a beautiful post about your grandmother. It's nice to be special to someone. Smiles, Susie

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Hi Paula, what precious memories you have. And how wonderful that you have these dishes of hers! Your salad and desserts look heavenly. Just linked up, hope you're having a great week!

Alycia Nichols said...

What a shame the cruelties of this world have robbed so many of a full life. The beauty in this story, however, is that your Great-Grandmother rose up against it in her own way. It is so sweet that the 2 of you shared such a special bond. You learned a lot from her, and it's wonderful that you have so many great memories of her.

polkadotpeticoat said...

These dishes are beautiful right along with the wonderful stories!!!

Shelia said...

Oh, what a lovely post about your Helen and what a legacy she has left to your family. Her dishes are so beautiful and my mouth is watering seeing that beautiful chocolate heart dessert.
Thank you so much for featuring my dishes! I'm so humbled and you've made my day! :)
You are the sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

What a wonderful story you shared today. Thanks for hosting.

Karen said...

This is a special and beautiful tribute to your great grandmother. The dishes are beautiful. It's so wonderful that you have them. Thanks for hosting and for always writing such informative and uplifting post.

TINA said...

What a beautiful story. your great grandmother Helen sounded like a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing this loving tribute to her.

Thank you for hosting.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

What a beautiful post, Paula. Your Great-Grandmother, Helen, sounds like a wonderful woman.

Karena said...

Patti how lovely a wonderful honor for your beloved great grandmother.

Thank you so much for having me!

2012 Artist Series
xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Tammy Partin Spangler said...

Such sweet memories! Love the tablescape featuring those vintage Homer Laughlin dishes! Thanks for hosting!

L'Heure Bleue At Home said...

Thank you for hosting and for becoming a follower of L'Heure Bleue At Home. I appreciate it and am following you back!

Red Rose Alley said...

Paula,
This story brought a tear to my eyes. Your great grandmother sounds like a very special woman. I loved the story that went along with it. And I do believe that we would have gotten along nicely, as she saw the beauty in ROSES, as I do. It sounds like YOU held a special place in her heart too. I have an aunt that I am very close to. She remembers her days growing up with the family, and tells me stories all the time. This is a reminder that it's time to give her a call. Thank you. Your posts are always filled with charm, and I enjoy them very much.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Rob Hunt said...

Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories. Thanks also for hosting.

LDH said...

A lovely tribute to an amazing lady! I wish I knew Helen ~ what an inspiration she seems!

Laura said...

Thank you so much for hosting each week.

I am here! (#58)

Enjoyed your post so much-
everything is just lovely.

Laura
White Spray Paint

Liz - Imageremix said...

Such a great story. Enjoyed hearing how you loved to watch roller derby together and that she would get excited about Dusty Rhodes winning a wrestling match. Isn't it telling how important our childhood is instilling in us who we become? Thanks for sharing this and thanks for hosting the party!

Liz

The Tablescaper said...

What a beautiful tribute.

- The Tablescaper

Doni said...

What a lovely tribute to your dear great-grandmother!! And to have known her during your lifetime is wonderful. What an amazing and strong woman she must have been...oh how I wish I had known her too.
My birthmother, for I was adopted, is my special lady. I was given the miracle of actually finding her 18 years ago. She was looking for me at the same time I was looking for her, and it truly was a miracle we found each other.
She passed away two years ago this month...and yet, she's still with me. I don't know a day that I don't think about her...but more, I am so thankful for the blessing of being allowed to know her for 16 years, and to be with her at the end.
Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful memories from your heart, for the heart never forgets...
Blessings, Doni

Artsy VaVa said...

Beautiful post! I'm sure Helen is smiling down on you!!!

Jen Lossing said...

Thank you so much for hosting. I am new to your blog and to your party. I am also your newest follower!

Ana said...

What a touching post...Thank you for sharing...I have several special roses in my life...And I am happy to say all but two are still with us...Both by grand-mothers. I love them and miss them so much. They were the best. Oh, see now you have me tearing up :-) Wishing you a beautiful day.

Hugs and Kisses,
♥Ana

Cottage and Broome said...

That was a lovely post about your great grandmother. Not too many people got a chance to know that generation. Beautiful dishes, thanks for hosting again this week, Laura

Sherry said...

How sweet your memories! My Grandmother Lulu was like this and she also loved roses. She was very sweet to me. Thank you for hosting!
Sherry

Elaine said...

Your great-grandmother sounds like a very special lady, and what a sweet story of how she made you feel special, too. The dishes are just beautiful.

Thank you so much for featuring my Mother's Day tribute to my mom!

Tobi Britton*pinkpixieforest.blogspot.com said...

What a beautiful way to honor your great grandmother! Thank you for sharing and for hosting!!
Sparkly Hugs,
Tobi and the Pixies!

Elyse said...

Reading this post made my day....

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Hearing the stories of your family make your table decorations come alive! What a beautiful memory of this special lady! My grandmother is the one I think of when I think of my childhood! Enjoy your week!

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Your table looks so pretty and those roses are gorgeous! Thanks for hosting the party:)

Amanda said...

I enjoyed this wonderful post! You are such a lovely writer and what a special tribute this was to your great-grandmother. Thank you so much for sharing! And thank you for stopping by to invite me to your wonderful party!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda

Carol said...

Paula,
Love the Riviera lunch plates! How wonderful. My grandmother had them in pastels - yellow, green, blue, cream.....I have them in yellow and blue. They are wonderful.

suzyq said...

Thanks so much for the invite! Have linked up my Pink Lady - and am now your newest follower - would love for you to follow me from time to time!
Hugs,
Suzan

Marlis said...

A truly loving tribute to your great-grandmother Helen. I loved reading the words and came away with a vivid description of a woman of character. Lucky you to be the keeper of her treasures. sorry I'm so late getting around, internet issues at home.. have a great weekend xo marlis

Diann said...

What a lovely tribute to your Great Grandma! the dishes are gorgeous and I bet she would absolutley love this table! And OMG, the treats you are presenting is making my mouth water! Thank you for sharing this with us this week at TTF. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Mara said...

I enjoyed reading this beautiful story about your great grandmother. She sounded like a very delightful and special person. I wish that I could have met her. :)

The dinnerware in the photographs are also gorgeous, and your deserts certainly made my stomach growl for sure. :)

Have a blessed weekend! :)

Michelles Tasty Creations said...

Thanks for hosting! Have a great week :)

Michele said...

beautiful story and photos. have a wonderful week. xo

Alicia@eco friendly homemaking said...

What a sweet, sweet post! Your great grandmother sounds like an awesome person who blessed so many people.

Palomasea said...

Dear Paula, what a beautiful way to honor your precious Helen...you are so blessed to have such memories of your great-grandmother. She sounds like an amazing woman, but it does make me sad to know that she had to hide who she was. My family understands the pain of those circumstances all too well...
I do wish I could remember my great-grandmas, but from what I know they were very special, warm-hearted ladies...
God bless!
xoxo,
- Irina

Richard Cottrell said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement my darling friend. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Faye ~ Wild Rose Vintage ~ Cabin Creek said...

Lovely story, I enjoyed every bit of it. The dishes are beautiful and what a nice memory. Thanks for hosting!
Faye

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
This was a lovely way to honor your grandmother how sweet. Thanks so much for hosting your linky party today.
I hope you are having a wonderful week with your family.
XXOO Diane

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

I have Homer Laughlin dishes too, so I know how beautiful they are. Lovely post.

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

PS thanks for hosting!

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Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart ~ French Proverb ~ We are so grateful that you stopped by ~ Please visit again soon! ~ Much Love, Patricia and Paula