and a thousand polka dot dresses too

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with crinolines. I may have mentioned it here before. I cannot recall.

My grandmothers are to blame. They were both dancers, and I grew up going through their closets playing dress up. Running my fingers through the fine fabrics, which never seemed to make their way into my mother’s closet.

When my Gran died and we were starting to sort things out of her house, I opened the door to a closet in her bedroom, and unearthed 50+ crinolines. Some in their original packaging. They were like this giant wall, and I knew if I took one out, they all would tumble-down.

Yet, despite my fascination, and wanting to hold onto tangible reminders of her, my first reaction was to give them all away.  I was never going to use them, my mom certainly wasn’t, why should we keep them? This is funny considering what I do for a living.

you collect like old stuff, right

I recall my dad being taken aback by my statement. I think he wanted me to want them more or something.

I think about the crinolines whenever I take in an object or deaccession one at the museum now. I always leave it for a few months to sit before I make my finally decision, because circumstances could have changed since the original take in.

And I think about all of her crinolines now, and I hope they are somewhere, twirling.

I know one was kept. A purple one. And I know next time I go to California, I’ll probably take it down from the closet, put it on and run through the yard alongside the grapefruit trees like I did when I was a kid.

I love how a picture can jog a memory.

Something you’ve loved today? Or yesterday…its late.



Filed under honeybees, insomnia, memory

4 responses to “and a thousand polka dot dresses too

  1. Two lovely images come to me from this post – your Gran’s crinolines slowly spreading their way around the country, branching out one by one to bring a smile to someone’s face and a twirl to their day, and a purple crinoline running amongst the grapefruit trees. Actually the thought of grapefruit trees alone is enough to make me smile.

  2. It’s true, the grapefruit trees alone really do make one smile. I always loved plucking one off in the morning for breakfast. I’m a bit sad my plans to visit next month had to be scrapped because of work. Oh well, next year I’ll be there a lot when my parents move down full-time.

  3. kelly

    I hadn’t remembered this for years and I’m sure my memory is skewed as time goes by but I recall my mom having a few of her moms crinolines and being covered by them while playing in the basement. I was small and they seemed big.
    Grapefruit trees are wonderful, i love grapefruit, way better than fucking brussel sprouts

  4. They are big, lots of layers. Easy to get lost in them as a kid.

    Yes, grapefruits are divine.

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