Saturday, February 25, 2012

Memories of days gone by...

Our darling daughter is an avid collector of mid century modern.
(our son and lovely DIL are keen collectors too.)

Teak, ceramics, glass, metal Jere wall art.
She has a great eye for detail and has scored many deals.
It's probably her art history background and all those years at university...
or possibly because I pushed the pram up Antique Row from the time she was a few months old and then later when she was older she'd accompany me to see what treasures we might find and bring home.

Both kids were accomplices on these forays/walks.
We'd have a poke around the shops before heading home to make dinner.

Those days we had very little discretionary income so I juggled the budget.
There were orthodontics, ballet and hockey classes for the children and I was a stay at home mom.
Mr. HB was busy getting his career off the ground and worked long hours and many weekends.
Money didn't grow on trees and living in an old house there were always repairs and maintenance to consider.

We never really did without.
Although there was that one summer I recall where we practically lived on zucchini as it was growing prolifically in The Humble Bungalow Garden. Zucchini chocolate cake, muffins, zucchini sticks with dip, zucchini in soup and casseroles...I am sure you get the picture!
Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we had to have powdered milk mixed with homogenized!
The kids will never let me forget that summer...

I think that was also the summer our Golden Retriever Rufus, swallowed the fish hook that had been baited with bacon... left on the back deck of Poppie's Gal...and a lead weight went down his throat which the vet said would be certain death if we did not operate.

Of course we opted for the surgery, we loved our dog so much, he was family after all.
The vet's bill was shockingly expensive and we had very little in our savings account.

I remember walking in the neighbourhood and looking down hoping to find coins on the ground.
It was one time I felt truly worried about money.

Somehow we must have been the zucchini and powdered milk!
We were happy in spite of our circumstances as children and dogs kept us busy and our world naturally revolved around their rhythms.

As time went on we got back on our feet and got really quite good at finding great loot at bargain basement prices.
Many times we'd bring home a piece of Mission or Arts and Crafts furniture that I would have paid for with the grocery money and I would then have to stretch the budget for the next week or so.
No zucchini this time around, it would be vegetarian based homemade soups, casseroles or pastas.

We'd be in cahoots together, giddy in fact, carrying the piece in question from the commodious old Volvo and re arranging the furniture swiftly so it looked like it had always been there...

When Mr. HB arrived home I'd greet him at the door with a kiss and a freshly made cocktail, take his briefcase, and the kids would be bringing up the rear bearing guilty smiles and hugs.

This scenario repeated itself many many times...
and Mr. HB came to recognize the signs.
He'd pause and say "OK What did you buy?"

Wonderful memories...

It's not surprising that both children are not fond of zucchini to this day.
I quite like it myself. I owe a lot to that hardy vegetable!

Darling daughter has an apartment decorated and full of mid century modern.
I posted about her "Mod Pod" awhile back and you can revisit here.
Our son and his lovely wife are raising our delightful granddaughter in a mid century modern home with all the bells and whistles. They are redecorating room by room and the results are stunning.

Rosenthal Thomas china, 
Orrefors crystal glasses
Tapio wirkkala votive holder
darling daughter's apartment last weekend
as she hosted dinner for a friend.

I am thrilled that our children share the love of collecting
objects that speak to their tastes.

Mid century modern pieces are still available locally
although the prices have gone through the roof
as they have become all the rage.

Who knew what we grew up with as kids would become the next hot collectible?
"Everything old is new again"


  1. So fun what we pass on to our children. Both my kids would have to work REALLY HARD to have a home decor skill since I have none:).

  2. It's funny how the sparse, hard times of our past eventually become some of our most endearing memories. I realize how happy and uncomplicated life was for me years ago in spite of having very little money. I enjoyed walking down memory lane with you. Have a wonderful weekend!!

    1. Those days do stand out! Thank you for popping by and saying hello.

  3. I loved that post , I have had a summer of rice so I can relate ! I still like rice . Your daughters home looks lovely , an acquaintance of mine had the same buffet . I was in Sally Ann the other day and they had a beautiful teak dining set well under priced I am sure it would have been snapped up by now. My children did not have my collector gene at all , they are quite minimalist in their decorating , me well not quite. Donna

    1. Rice and beans are a vegetarian staple are they not? Rice is so versatile too!
      Oh I am sure that teak set was snapped up, they never seem to last long.
      Hope that you are enjoying the weekend
      it's snowing right now!

  4. It's so funny to see the terrible formica tables and vinyl-covered chairs of the 60's for sale at exorbitant prices in the second hand shops...but that's probably how my grandmother felt about the old oak pedestal table that I admired so much. To each generation its own......antiques!

    1. I know what you mean. What will the next hot collectible trend be?

  5. I too loved this post. I am sure each of us can relate to memories of days spent with less and needing and wanting more. It seems like we make it through the storms and no doubt our children and we are better because of it. It sounds like you have a lovely family. It is wonderful to hear you speak of them in fondness and affection, continue to enjoy your finds during your treasure hunts

    1. There is something to be said about living a simple life.
      My family mean the world to me and I'd be lost without them.

  6. I love your daughter's home, and that you (and I'm guessing Mr.HB, being an architect) passed on to her a love of home design and a pure style, and the thrill of the hunt.

    1. I suppose we did Kathy!
      She is a great hunter gatherer and spies treasures that others have passed over.

  7. Thank you for writing your memories from the early times. I can well relate to them. Money never grew on trees over here either.
    I remember having to buy everything myself after moving from my childhood home, even the can opener ; ).
    There have been tough times later too.
    I admire your daughter´s patience and interest in collecting pieces she enjoys. You have been the role model : )!

    1. I think we appreciate things more when we have to work for everything ourselves.
      I do buy the occasional lottery ticket though!

  8. We had some hard times too when we would go through the couch to try to find change that might have dropped in there. That was back in the days when we actually used coins and cash rather than debit cards.
    I remember years ago when my Grandmother disliked the antiques we loved. She said she grew up with them and she did not want them around. I grew up with MidCentury Modern and I don't really care for it now. I do appreciate someone else's decorating with it, but it is just not my thing. Your daughter's home is lovely, but I like yours better.

    1. Debbie I had forgotten about only using cash but that's so true...
      and when there was nothing left we had to "make do".

  9. Oh I love this post...It's so sentimental. How wonderful that your children are collectors like you. The entire time I was reading along i kept thinking...I wonder if they like zucchini today!? I'm so glad you addressed that curiosity. I've been thrifting and going to flea markets ever since I started to read blogs. I've taken Madeline on most of my outings and only recently has she taken to the idea of thrifting. But now she LOVES the idea. Last weekend she even made plans to go with friends. It's so funny when I hear her tell her friends when they compliment her on something like a little Coach bag I got for $10...She'll say, "Oh Annie found it thrifting" she has no idea how happy she makes me.

  10. Annie I am thrilled to hear about your daughter tagging along with you on your thrift outings! It's such great fun and it's a good skill finding bargains and recognizing the quality among the mediocre.

  11. Although my Mum was a single parent who did it hard, I never really did without. She would have gone an entire summer on zucchini to put money aside for something special for us. She was (and still is) so creative. We now love combing the op shops and antique stores together. You taught your children well, Hostess!!! BTW, your basement is looking great and congrats to Mr HB!

  12. Thank you for sharing your sweet memories such fun to look back
    and remember the days of bringing up children. Ida

  13. Our home is a mix of mid-century and deco, mostly inherited, the rest bought and thank goodness an old boyfriend had an antiques store. The next wave might be steampunk, Edwardian/Victorian references with lots of upcycled bits. It is important to teach children the indicators of quality furniture, as you have, and it;s delightful that they have taken up your passion with their own twist. (And zucchini bread is one of the best things ever.)