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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

My Mom’s Closet

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My mom is the oldest of four children.  She had two brothers and one sister.

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Her little  sister, Delores Anne, was born on her birthday.  Everybody called her Dodie.  Dodie was born with some serious birth defects.  I don’t recall exactly which organs, but some of them were in the wrong places.  Apparently, she’s in some medical journal somewhere because she was the first baby to successfully survive such a major surgery.  They had to carry her around on a pillow for the first several months of her life and she would forever live with a Zorro  shaped scar on her abdomen.

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I was about six weeks old when Dodie was killed in a tragic car accident on her birthday.  She was nineteen.

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She was always a mystery to me.  I missed her even though I didn’t know her.  When I reached six feet tall at the age of fourteen I stuck out like a lighthouse calling the tankers home and I couldn’t find clothes to fit and I just wanted to be normal.  I would cry to my mom that I hated being tall.  That’s when my mom comforted me with the fact that my Aunt Dodie was six feet tall.  I missed her even more.  Certainly, she would have made me feel normal.

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My relatives have told me many times how funny Dodie was.  She made everyone laugh and she was very goofy.  She also wasn’t afraid to wear a bikini which drove my mom crazy because everybody could see Dodie’s huge scar on her belly.  But, Dodie didn’t care, she laughed at my mom and wore the bikini anyway.

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My mom kept some of Dodie’s belongings, one of  them is the white dress I’m wearing in these photos.

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Dodie made the dress for her homecoming dance in high school. The first time I wore it was when I was in high school and my best friend and I went out for Halloween.  I was Dracula’s victim and she was Dracula.  If you’re shocked that I can still wear it….don’t worry, so am I.

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So all this time I knew who the dress belonged to, but I couldn’t remember the story behind that fake fur coat.  So I had to call my mom.  I’ve tried to type out the conversation that I had with my Mom, but it  sounds like two women that are a bit off their rocker…so I’ll spare you.

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The coat was a Christmas gift to my mother from my father.  My dad has bought my mom several coats over the years.  I remember a white rabbit fur coat and a long white wool coat.  And now my question is…did he choose the coats?  I mean, did he walk into the fancy coat store and say, “I’m looking for a nice coat for my wife.”

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Because, I know for a fact that my darling husband could NEVER go pick out a coat for me.  NEVER.  He doesn’t even know what size of clothes I wear and the last time he bought me clothes it was a man’s pull-over fleece size XXL.  I didn’t kill him.  I just made him return the giant ugly thing after I held it up to me and lovingly ridiculed him for several hours.

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So, I’m beyond proud of my dad for being able to purchase my mom lovely coats.  And I’m proud of my husband for listening to me when I said, “Don’t ever buy me clothes or jewelry again, ever.”  And I’m pretty sure I saw him give a huge sigh of relief.

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And the hat?  Well that belonged to my Grandma Edna.  I know Grandma worked in a hat factory during the war, but I’m pretty sure that hat isn’t that old.  It is beautifully crafted like the coat and the dress.  Why don’t people make things like that anymore?

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And to finish this very strange runway exhibition, let’s talk about what my sister, Rechelle, is wearing.  That again came out of the depths of my mother’s closet.  It’s a lovely polyester dress and jacket that my mom wore for Christmas in say 1976?  I could be off by a year or two.  We had family portraits taken that year and if I was a really great blogger I’d have a picture of that to post for you, but I don’t.

I’m amazed by the things my mother has kept over the years.  I know there is deep sentimental value to the dress I’m wearing and I know I won’t be getting rid of it or the coat or the hat, because they have a story behind them.  I wonder if my daughter will rummage through my closet someday in search of some history.  Lord knows she will not find anything as wonderful as that coat and dress.

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