05 July 2012

Marianne Sloan's Treasures

When I got the call three weeks ago that my mother had been taken by ambulance to hospital I didn't rush across the continent to home right away... after all, my aunt, cousins, nephew and niece were close to her and could keep me updated. But after just a few uneasy days I jumped on the quickest flight I could get and came to her.

She's elderly... 94. She had choked, and she is now in Rehab getting all kinds of therapy. I have entered that world where I am the parent and she is .. sort of... the child. Her future is really unknown.. she may stay in Rehab for 100 days, or she may be released in a week. She wants to go home. I am spending a lot of time at her home, trying to put together a plan that will keep her happy for her last years.

She is strong, alert, sturdy and stubborn! She is lovely, charming and utterly unique. She is quite smart and takes a dim view of those who try to patronize her!

I took a few minutes today while the rains fell outside and with my iPhone, took pictures of all the things that are so precious to her in her living room, the same one she has inhabited for the last fifty years. When I look at her collections, her colors, her artlessly chic way of arranging her things; her love of silver, of sculptural things from nature, of found objects that appeal to her.. I suddenly see myself!

my mother... by the way, her name is Marianne Sloan... loves silver, and especially loves
sea shell motif in silver...as you can see!

my father brought this silver figure of an Asian
peasant with a detachable walking stick home to
my mother after the Korean War

my mother had a thing for gargoyles after
living in Paris as a child; this is one of her favorites;
in the back are two jugs from Constantinople where they lived
when her father was a director
for the Near East Relief effort; an old
glass hurricane to the right

in her secretary I found this piece of driftwood sharing space
with two old tiles she loved, and my grandmother's
silver napkin ring from her girlhood in Savannah

on top of the long bookcase are my mother's mantel clock and her Minton soup tureen

the triangle is the flag that draped my oldest brother's coffin when he
died as a young man; the large framed baby quilt
dates from 1834 and was handmade
by my mother's great, great-grandmother

the abalone shell interior looks beautiful with
Mom's japanese parasol, blue glass jug
and silver framed portrait of my
beautiful grandmother Amie

my mother put these silver balls in this
old hanging lantern several decades
ago; they have been here ever since!

her collection of shells and old bricks smoothed by the sea that have washed
ashore greets you when you come in

my mother's passion for driftwood in fantastic shapes along
with her love of simple windows.. never one for anything more
elaborate than osnaburg curtains... are actually quite
contemporary in feel!

my mother's grandparents along with a
little German angel and a small
Venus de Milo are tucked together
in a corner of her secretary

the rain splashing on her front walk,
and the same welcome mat that
has been there for decades!


thanks so much for visiting!... Kit


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