Happiness Collections – Easter Egg Ladies

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One of the ways I have fun in the shop is to ask people why they collect a certain thing. It is a fascinating way to enjoy the unique aspect of other people’s life experiences.

I have found many Mid-Century Asian figurines for one of my long-time customers. Frank is in his mid-80s and has over 1,000 figurines. After several years, I asked him why he began to collect these figurines.

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He told me that he used to walk hand-in-hand with his grandfather through Chinatown in Chicago in the 1930s. One day, they went inside a long, dark shop where Frank saw an old, old Chinese man drinking tea and smoking in the back room. He had a long braid and wore red silk pajamas and had black slippers on his feet.

There was something about that day that Frank wanted to remember. I don’t know if it was the thrill of watching someone so exotic while his hand was safely ensconced within his grandfather’s or if it was just that he loved the memory of being with his grandfather.

Most of the folks whom I’ve asked this question usually tell me that they collect something that reminds them of happy and secure times. And, usually, it was when they were a child.

If you were lucky enough to have a nice grandmother, you may collect something that reminds you of the time you spent with her. I had a wonderful grandmother that belonged to several women’s clubs through out her life. They took turns hostessing luncheons and they made stuff, usually for the annual bazaar, with the money going to the church or school. I collect the stuff they made. These things have no monetary value and are worthless to anyone but me. But, when I look at these things I remember Grandma saying, “I’ve got club today.” That meant we were to skedaddle because Grandma had to put together a luncheon and cook and set the table with the best china and a long white tablecloth that probably took her an hour to iron. She was, like her mother before her, and her mother before her, very proud of her linens. Today, I don’t buy any clothing that needs to be ironed, but you should see my tablecloths.

These are my church lady eggs:

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I once found mention of my Grandmother in an old newspaper. She was one of the members of The Thursday Thimble Club. That was one even her daughter, my treasured Aunt Ginny,  didn’t remember.

Someday, maybe, I’ll show you my crocheted Christmas card boxes. They were always making those. When I pick up one of them and lift the lid, I can almost taste home-grown raspberries on vanilla ice cream and hear Lawrence Welk coming from the den.

Do you collect anything that reminds you of happy times?

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Happiness Collections – Easter Egg Ladies

  1. Reading your blog this month was as usual, emotional. It made me remember my collection days. Being in a family with three siblings it was precious to have a day alone with Dad. But somehow I got to go to the Wisconsin State Fair (alone!) with him. I didn’t care about any of the rides. We went to what they called a “Freak Show” which will forever stay logged into my memory and then to a flea market the fair sponsored. Dad let me pick out something and I chose a set of salt and pepper shakers. At a young age I loved to cook and anything that was kitchen-related I wanted. They are big and beautiful. I have gone through more corks on the bottom of them than you could imagine. Each taking me through a phase of life from my first kitchen setup in an old rented house in Illinois to my current home in Florida. And along the way I have collected many more. They have been displayed, they have been packed away in boxes in basements, closets, attics and storage units. And they have been back out and displayed. But the first set of my collection, with delightful memories of Pa are always out. Yes, collections start with a wonderful memory!
    Denise Starcher, Englewood, Florida

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    • I never knew this about you! Pop did love a fair and I’ll never forget the time he bought me the kitten for 25 cents at an auction. I felt like I won the lottery. He had a unique way of making each of us feel special and could turn an outing into a lifelong remembrance. Now, that was a wonderful trait!

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  2. What a lovely heartfelt story .. I’ve always been intrigued on the items people collect and why they chose that item. My grandma used to collect broaches and pressed glass crystal dishes. Of her collection I have some of candy dishes (which you might have seen one in my post with the air plants) and one of her broaches is on a pillow I made that sits on my bed. The sentimental value is far more special than the monetary value especially when an item is passed down with wonderful stories to hear. Your egg ladies are eggstra special…:)

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  3. Oh my gosh, those Easter Egg Ladies are just adorable! The different faces, collars and hats, so creative and cute! I’ve never seen these before, was it something original to your grandmother’s club? Many of my mother’s pieces remind me of her and good memories of home. ~Ann

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    • Hi Ann,
      I’m from the Midwest and lots of women’s groups made things like this here and then donated the money to the church for “the missionaries in Africa.” They were always trying to get money for the missionaries in Africa. These egg ladies are hard to find because they are so delicate, but I found these at an auction.
      Ginene

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  4. This post really put a huge smile on my face. I really enjoyed reading about Frank’s story and why he collects what he collects, it’s all about the good memories. I have the most precious memories of my grandmother and her collections. In fact, I have a lot of her things. She was an antique dealer and had such good taste and appreciation for “the old stuff.” Her daughter was my Aunt Ginnie, the two of them were quite a team. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Ginene, I am very sorry for the loss of your aunt. Your post has certainly brought back many warm memories. I’d never heard of egg ladies. To be able to have kept them all these years, without breaking, is remarkable. My grandmother was a collector of elegant porcelain lady head vases. They had arched eyebrows and thick black lashes. They wore elaborate hats, matching pearls and earrings. A gloved hand posed under their chins. I’ll certainly be thinking of Grandmama today with a smile!

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  6. Ginene, I love the collections you featured! The Chinese figures are especially appealing as my daughter is Chinese and I enjoy my memories of being in China for two weeks when she was a baby. And, I agree with you on collections reinforcing special memories. My largest collection is for Christmas ornaments. I started out many years ago only purchasing one of each ornament, not sets, as each reminds me of a special time, place or moment.

    Beautiful post!
    x Dana

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  7. Pingback: Monday’s Moments #9 ‹ Lil huckleberriesLil huckleberries

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