String Holders

I have these old string holders.   They’re these wonderful little faces… a Dutch girl and a happy cat.  You know my treasures!  They have stories to tell.

The Dutch girl was always in my life.  She hung on the kitchen wall at my Great Granny Borden’s.  I was always enchanted by this beautiful face hanging on the wall with string coming out of her little mouth.  Granny explained to me how she had used the string to tie things up before tape came along.  I remember being so amazed at the thought of tying things into bundles, or trying to wrap a gift without tape.  Every time we went to Granny’s house, I was happy to see that little face looking at me.

One day, when I was still a child, Granny told my sister and me that she wanted us to both choose two gifts to take home that day.  I don’t know why she said it.  Maybe she was just in the mood to do a little spring cleaning!  I remember being very sheepish about the whole thing.  Just didn’t seem right.  But she was insistent that we choose something.  I wanted that “Dutch Baby”.  (It’s what I’ve always called her.)  But she belonged in Granny’s kitchen, and I couldn’t imagine her coming down off that wall.  When I finally got the nerve to ask for her, Granny didn’t flinch.  She took her right down and gave her to me.  I hope she could tell that I truly believed I was being handed a treasure.  I also chose a little glass dish with a poodle on the lid that day.  You’ll see it in my guest room if you come for a visit.

Years later as a married woman, I was in Oklahoma visiting Gary’s grandparents.  Dear Grandma Arndt said she wanted to be sure Gary and I had something of hers that we really wanted, and she asked me to choose a couple of things from her kitchen.  I sit here just marveling at these memories.  I felt like I was intruding, but she insisted.  I knew exactly what I wanted from her kitchen… the string holder cat.  When I told her that I had a string holder that belonged to my great-grandmother, and I’d love to someday have her cat to go along with it – she took a magic marker and wrote “Gary & Sandy” on the inside of it… making sure it would someday be ours.   I also chose a beautiful blue bowl that day.  I can see it on one of my shelves as I sit here typing.

These women left this earth years ago, but the memories of them are ever present.  I will pass their sweet treasures along someday to another generation.  But not yet.  I love seeing them every time I get to the top of the stairs, sitting there in my cabinet with the glass doors.  I’m going to be selfish with them for a little while longer.

7 Responses to “String Holders”

  1. Kim Mann says:

    It’s wonderful to have such nostalgic reminders of days gone by.

  2. Wilma says:

    Sweet memories to share. They made me think of my Mom. It’s not always the most expensive things that give us those memories. I have an old Dutch serving spoon and ladle sitting in my utensil crock.I use them often and feel a little closer to her.

  3. Marcea Clive says:

    Sandy, I have a little green teapot that my Grandmother Cox gave me when I was a child. All my sisters and all of my female cousins have the exact same teapot. Just a tiny reminder of my Mammaw. I have always had it where I can see it.

  4. lawanda calton says:

    Sandy, I’m so glad you have these things! love mama

  5. Sandy says:

    You all know I love my “treasures”… and I’m glad you love yours too!

  6. Vicki Kranawetter says:

    Sandy, I’m 100% Dutch so I LOVE your little Dutch girl. One of our favorite things to do is go to swap meets..the one at the Rose Bowl is awesome! I’m gonna have to start looking for one of these!

  7. Oh my, that Dutch girl IS cute 🙂 I never saw something like that, so pretty. And love the memories behind them, THAT is what makes them treasures ♥

    Hugs from Marian/dutchy on MJF (AND 100% Dutch as well lol)

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