Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What We Found in a Box from the Attic

Apologies in advance for the long, rambly nature of this post. There are funny pictures near the end, I promise!

I'm not sure if this is a common phenomenon, but I'm just going to throw it out there, and you tell me...

It has to do with my mom (in her early 70s), and what she does with the stuff that she owns that she periodically "goes through" to see what to keep and what to purge. I'm pretty sure everyone does this (well, except for those people on the Hoarders shows) at some point or another. But it's what happens with the stuff she doesn't want.

When my grandmother died, it was the first time I really noticed a quirky little habit. There were things that were my grandmothers that my mother deemed "valuable". Mostly, they fell into 2 categories: either something my grandmother had made, or something that was indeed expensive when first purchased. It is hard for me to give away things that I paid a lot for, so I do get that. Isn't that why eBay was invented? Craig's List? Please don't answer that.

Anyway, here's what she did with my grandmother's stuff that she couldn't bear to part with. She packed it up in boxes, and mailed it to me. So then I had to decide. Do other people's moms do that?

This is kind of a long introduction to what happened on this latest trip to Dallas, and the boxes in the garage. There were only 2 that my brother had dragged down from the attic, which is now thankfully empty. Have you ever been in an attic in Texas? In the summer? I'm not sure why they even exist, except that there aren't basements.

These boxes held what she thought were clothes. Size 4 clothes. So they hadn't been looked at in, well, decades. Which meant now, with vanity sizing, they were the equivalent of size 0 clothes in today's world.

Sure enough... clothes from the 70s. And mostly clothes that my mother had made during her tenure at Richard Brooks Fabrics, a high end fabric store in Dallas. There were a couple of stunners. I went in with the idea that we would be very critical, and for the most part I (we) were. She's mailing a box of them to me, but these were the best of the best, and some, I'm mining for the fabric alone. There were several full silk skirts that will hopefully evolve into something wearable today.

But then, there was this:

Can you see the tag in the blouse? This is RTW! Probably a gift from my cat-obsessed grandmother to my mom. (And no, neither of us is keeping it... for one, can you see that weird stain at the hem?) It's a corduroy maxi dress/jumper with a long sleeve cotton blouse. We thing the belt really buckled in the back. How about a better look?

The fabric for the mouse matches the fabric in the blouse! Oooh, so matchy-matchy!! But wait! There's more!
No corduroy maxi jumper/blouse/applique ensemble is complete without a matching cropped jacket!! Sadly, it too has the same weird stain. Mom did wash the whole she-bang to see if it could be given to, I don't know, maybe a wacky vintage store?

Well, all I can say is that she is reportedly mailing the box of other skirts, etc next week, and this better not be in there!!

Hope you had a good laugh though! For the record, she doesn't remember ever wearing it, or even having it in the first place. Clearly, she's had to block it from her memory!


  1. I think that it's so much fun to see "old stuff". Sometimes I think that I'm all too quick to get rid of things.
    Not only your mother - my mother trucks over everything that she doesn't know what to do with - she lives 3 blocks away, and needless to say a lot of garbage ends up in my front hall.

  2. Yes, other people make me decide what to throw away for them. Not so much my mother -- she pitches out stuff that I wish I had known she was tossing, so I could snag it for myself. Sometimes she, my sister and I shop each other's thrift store donations and swap and trade among ourselves. I work for a church, and more times than I like to think, people who cannot bring themselves to throw away chipped mugs, broken toys, ancient mildewed sets of encyclopedias, etc. etc. are "Just sure the church can use these things" and dump them on my desk. In Christian kindness, I wait until I have seen their cars leave the parking lot before I trot down to the dumpster with their "gifts."

  3. If I had read this sooner I could have saved the ensemble. Once I saw the jacket I knew the solution. Cut off the maxi jumper to get rid of the stain on the hem and some of the appliques - better yet if its not too short you might be able to cut them all off and ...

    yes we have stuff like this in my Moms attic. Some would fit the next generation - they weren't vintage enough when they might have fit me.



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