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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Not Just a Buffet

What's It Wednesday #133

As autumn approaches I find myself thinking about my amazing Great-grandmother Helen. Every day I go into my dining room and sit at the dining table that once belonged to her. I sip a cup of tea or coffee and think about all the secrets she and I use to share.

Helen (I was the only family member ever allowed to call her by her first name...she called me Polly) loved to travel. To me she was wonder woman because she was able to manage two homes. I struggle to manage one. Her life was at its strangest here in the United States, particularly in her residence in the south. She was a Jewish woman living in Jacksonville, Florida, who could not acknowledge her heritage publicly and had to blend into polite "white society". She could never speak to her black or mulatto grand-children when they passed each other on the streets of downtown. My Great-grand father traveled often so she was a very independent woman.


Apparently this was normal daily life for her. Despite this lifestyle she was a fabulous mother, a marvelous grand-mother and an amazing Great-grandmother. Inside this buffet she kept her silver in the top drawer and her finest Irish linen napkins and beautiful place mates in the bottom drawer. The right side of the buffet was very special. That's where she kept the goodies. This is where she kept delicious tea biscuits, animal crackers, and boxes of Cracker Jacks for us Great-grands. She kept some china on the left side.

For some reason, this buffet always brought about conversations, from her fascination with the roller derby to her most recent travel adventures.

It was around this buffet that Helen explained to me that when she was a young woman she was not allowed to stay on Miami Beach. I remember being so confused by this. I knew that once upon a time black folks weren't allowed on Miami Beach but what did that have to do with my Helen? When I was older my mother explained to me that Jews were not allowed on Miami Beach at one point. As an elderly woman she stayed on Miami Beach all the time...just because she could.

On the top of this buffet held all sorts of fabulous desserts that she would make or have made to serve at her charitable events that she would host at her home. It also held many lunches and dinners that she would serve generations of her diverse family. This buffet held a special lunch for me after my first ballet recital. When my mother recently gave this buffet and dining table to me I was so honored.  So I sit at Helen's dining table on many occasions and gaze lovingly upon the buffet and reminisce about her and the love she showered upon her family and the people all around her despite the strange time and circumstances in which she lived.  So you see, it's not just a buffet. It's a beautiful piece of my family history. It holds all of our secrets. 

Do you have any family secrets you can share?

xoxoxo
Paula

P.S. This was the most difficult post I have ever written. I miss Helen so much...but I am so grateful for the time I had with her. 

Thanks to all of you who partied with us last week. Please link-up and join us again. Remember, it's not a party without you!

Here Are This Week's Features:

Simply Fresh Dinners


Little House Living

Itsy Bits and Pieces

Lovely Livings

The Little Farm Diary

Locksley Lane


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Ivy and Elephants


We are partying with these fine folks:
Come show off your whatchamacallits, what is its, what it once was, and "hey, look what I just did" posts. In other words, what you created, organized, designed or re-designed, found, purchased, transformed, inherited, re-purposed, renovated, are selling, or giving-away.  


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pampered Pet

What's It Wednesday #132
I don't know if you've met my fur baby, Peeka. She stole my heart as a 6 week old orphan, and has been my constant companion for the last 8 years.

This is her dining table. Her crystal water bowl and flow blue food dish, served on what else? A silver tray!

Beautiful framed artwork for the perfect ambiance, 

and a soft comfy spot in Mama's bed.

Doesn't every kitty store her treats in a crystal pickle caster? LOL

This is my adorable fur baby, who brings much love and joy to our family.
Hugs,
Patti

Thanks to all of you who partied with us last week. Please link-up and join us again. Remember, it's not a party without you!
Don't Forget to Add a Feature Button!
Ivy and Elephants


We are partying with these fine folks:
Come show off your whatchamacallits, what is its, what it once was, and "hey, look what I just did" posts. In other words, what you created, organized, designed or re-designed, found, purchased, transformed, inherited, re-purposed, renovated, are selling, or giving-away.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bon Voyage 2014

What's It Wednesday #131

My husband and I are always trying to find ways to make memories with our two children. Those of you who know our story know how extra special this is for us. I wrote about it in my Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice post Mother's Day of 2013.

In Cozumel, Mexico
After the kids attended the summer camp at the zoo we decided to take the kids on their first cruise. Plus there was a Groupon for $299.00 which my dear friend Donna hipped us to. So off Donna, her son, and my family went.

The kids experienced their first formal affair. Our ship, the MSC Divina, is known for it's Swarovski crystal staircases in the main lobby. My daughter calls them the Elsa Stairs (From Frozen...of course).



We took the kids on an excursion to experience their first Mayan Ruins in Cozumel. My son was amazed at the history and how old these structures were. My husband and I felt the place was absolutely magical. 


Once we left The Ruins, lunch and a dip in the Caribbean Sea was in order. 

Our next destination was very special to me. I was so excited to show my family the island I once called home, Grand Cayman.



My dear  friend Renee and her grandsons took us out on her boat to Stingray City. It was an exciting adventure and the boys could not wait to get into the sea to feed and swim with the stingrays. Well all three of them absolutely freaked out once the stingrays approached us and my dear friend and I had to struggle to get three terrified boys out of the water. My daughter, on the other hand, would wave at the stingrays and say hello to them, but she wasn't crazy about them. She was not afraid of them either and actually thought it was hilarious that the boys were all terrified.

Victoria was absolutely fascinated by the live starfish. She then released it back into the sea.

About to sail back to shore and catch the ship.

In Jamaica we got to sail down the Martha Brae, which is something I never did when living there. It was an amazing experience. 

From right below Mick Jagger's house we could see our cruise ship. 

In Jamaica, the "touristy" thing to do is to go to Dunn's River Falls which I recommend highly. We don't actually go there when visiting Ocho Rios. Instead we hang out at an amazing waterfall that is more known by the locals. This is my son's favorite place to visit when in Jamaica. 


Our last stop was Stirrup Cay, Bahamas where we soaked up a little more of the Caribbean sun. 

This getaway ended with the kids sliding down the big water slide on the beach. It was the perfect way to slide into the new school year. All-in-all it was a "Bon Voyage".

What were some of your favorite Summer of 2014 memories?

xoxoxo
Paula



Thanks to all of you who partied with us last week. Please link-up and join us again. Remember, it's not a party without you!

Here Are This Week's Features:

Paint and Style


The Heathered Nest

The Little White Cottage in the Woods

One More Time Events
Grandparents Plus

Jennelise



Don't Forget to Add a Feature Button!
Ivy and Elephants


We are partying with these fine folks:
Come show off your whatchamacallits, what is its, what it once was, and "hey, look what I just did" posts. In other words, what you created, organized, designed or re-designed, found, purchased, transformed, inherited, re-purposed, renovated, are selling, or giving-away.  


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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