Thursday, February 23, 2023

Vintage Tupperware and Other Distractions

Yesterday = another day in paradise. We dropped off my niece at school, and then went to a nearby coffee shop in north Jacksonville. It's a place my brother and I often go after making that morning run, though he's abstaining from coffee and sugar and a bunch of other things at the moment, so it was basically me having coffee and him watching. Hopefully that wasn't too annoying for him.

(That's not the coffee shop in the photo. I just liked the colors of those buildings.)

Then he drove me around town showing me some of the big developments and other interesting stuff -- the flats made of shipping containers, the motel repurposed into micro-apartments, the gigantic sports facilities for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Afterwards, we continued our quest to find a buyer for Grandmother's china.

That led us to a gigantic antique mall -- gigantic to me, anyway, though I'm sure there are bigger ones. We spent three hours looking at all the tchotchkes (like dog portraits) and having lunch and not talking to the proprietors about Grandmother's china.

In the end, I bought some old photos (rescued photo post to come!), two old Tampa postcards and a book by Jeff Klinkenberg, whose writing about Florida I've long enjoyed. I was sorely tempted by that chicken lamp but I couldn't imagine trying to carry it back to London on a plane. My brother got a few items too, and by the end of our browsing we just didn't have it in us to broach the subject of the china. So that errand will have to wait.

My brother took me to my mom's, and while he went to collect my nieces from school I took her for another outdoor walk. We sat down by the river and I just talked to her like I normally would, knowing that in all likelihood she wasn't understanding much of it. It's hard to tell, though -- occasionally she'd laugh in appropriate places, like if I made a joke, so either she understands or my tone of voice is telling her that I'm saying something humorous. I pointed out boats and ducks and she followed my line of vision, though I'm also not sure how good her eyes are. She used to wear glasses so she may not be seeing things too clearly.

Again, she seemed fascinated by my hand, holding it and turning it over and gripping it tightly. I couldn't really get any words out of her, though. Just a "yes" at one point.

It is such a relief that she's a happy dementia patient, as opposed to a distressed one.

Today I'm driving down to Bradenton to rejoin Dave at his parents' house.


Debby said...

Oh, how Ms. Moon would have adored the chicken lamp.

There is nothing worse than a distraught dementia patient. There is no way to talk them out of it. I am glad that you're having such a sweet time with your mother.

I don't understand the tupperware craze. Or the pyrex craze.

Ellen D. said...

I just saw an episode of Antique Roadshow on Monday and one of the appraisers told a couple that nobody really wants the large sets of china anymore. They had a huge, fancy set and he said it would be worth maybe $500 at the very most but he wasn't too encouraging.
Remember your Mom for the way she was - was she a loving, encouraging, fun Mom? The best thing about my Dad's funeral were the stories people told us that reminded us what a terrific guy he was instead of remembering him as the sad dementia patient.

Pixie said...

We have an antique mall that is similar to the one you visited. What concerns me is that much of the stuff in the antique mall, is stuff I grew up with. What does that make me?
I'm glad you got to walk with your mom.

Ms. Moon said...

I would have loved the chcken lamp! But probably not $69.00 worth.
How does it affect you to see your mom like this? It must be comforting to know she is being well-taken care of and that she certainly appears to be happy. I love how she is fascinated by your hand.

Ed said...

I must confessed, I have purchased a nearly identical chicken lamp before. But it was for my sister-in-law who has a thing for chickens and probably has hundreds of chicken related knickknacks around her house.

Linda Sue said...

That is quite a mark up on the chicken! I have seen them for sale here for 15 dollars. You Mother is breaking my heart, the sweetness, the holding of your hand. I am so glad you are spending time with her. Somewhere in her dementia , she knows...and she loves you so much.

Sharon said...

I bet I could find something to buy in that store!
Your visit with your mother sounds very pleasant. I hope it gives you some comfort that she is enjoying some things in her own way.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I have got an idea about your grandmother's china. Your brother and his family can have it and use it every day. I am sure that your sister-in-law will be delighted with this solution. I love the picture of the corner store - a reminder of how neighborhood shopping might have been before Walmart came along.

Boud said...

I'm glad the visits with your mother are peaceful and she seems happy. Hard, even so, to see her so different from the Mom you grew up with. I wonder what will become of all the china. It's hard to sell these days.

Allison said...

After the coming of ebay, all the doors on all of the cupboards opened up and china and quilts became available. No more trekking from vintage store to vintage store was required. It was interesting to watch prices drop on previously expensive and rare items because now they were everywhere. Does anyone in your family sell on ebay? Might be the easiest way to dispose of it.

Kelly said...

I'm not sure if YP was serious or not, but china is meant to be used. (says she whose grandmother's china is sitting unused in the cabinet) Then it would ultimately be your nieces' decision what to do with it someday.

Margaret said...

That chicken lamp is cool but I would have no place for it. I'm glad that your mom seems happy and is showing signs of enjoyment in your visit. It would be very hard for me to give up coffee.

The Bug said...

Oh my goodness - we had one of those shallow rectangular goldenrod tupperware containers like in the middle right of that photo. We used it for leftover rolls or muffins & such. Wow - did it make the move with us? Obviously haven't try to use it in a while. Ha!

NewRobin13 said...

I love that your mom held your hand. I believe she knew it was you and wanted to hold her much loved son's hand.

Catalyst said...

Sad but not sad. Courage to you.

sparklingmerlot said...

You are having a lovely time with your Mum. I am so pleased she is happy.
I love antique places, but as Pixie said, I grew up with this stuff!!

River said...

Oh that Tupperware! I love it and want every single piece. (and a house to keep it in) and that chicken lamp. I love the colours on that store in the first picture.
I wonder if your hands are the same as you fathers or grandfathers and that brings memories for your Mum?

jenny_o said...

I have some Tupperware that doesn't seem very good anymore; it has a weird plasticky smell. I guess it's getting kind of old, now I think about it. It came from my mother and it's probably fifty years old. Hmm. That sort of clarifies to me that I could throw it away with no guilt!

Your mom may understand more than she is able to verbalize. Or maybe it's the warmth in your voice that makes her happy. In any case, I'm glad you're having as good a visit with her as possible. It will comfort your heart, not just now but also at some point in the future, that you had these times with her.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I would have been temped by the chicken lamp, too. Your visits with your mother, although the situation is heartbreaking, are so heartwarming.

Steve Reed said...

Debby: I also immediately thought of Ms Moon when I saw that lamp!

Ellen D: Yeah, that's the problem. No one lives like that anymore. We used to use it at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, but otherwise it just stayed in a cabinet.

Pixie: Ha! We also saw items that I would not call "antiques."

Ms Moon: If I'd been coming to see you I'd have bought it for you! That's why I took the photo, so you could see it. :)

Ed: I love how they call it a "Tiffany-style" lamp. That seems a stretch.

Linda Sue: Yeah, I think there's a connection there, deep down. If that lamp was $15 I WOULD have bought it for Ms. Moon!

Sharon: It does -- I think she's happy and comfortable and that's a big plus.

YP: The thing is, we also don't like it. It has lots of gilt and scenes of people on it. Definitely not our style.

Boud: It almost feels like she's just a different person. A long-lost relative of my actual Mom.

Allison: My brother does, or at least used to, but I'm not sure how he could sell something as large as this set of china. How would he ship it?! Unless he sold it piece by piece and that would take forever.

Kelly: We would use it if we liked it! I think I would keep it if I lived in the states, but it's just not an option for us to try to get it to England.

Margaret: Oh, I would never give up coffee!

Bug: If you haven't already, don't throw it away -- apparently it has some value! (At least to the owner of that antique booth!)

Robin: I think she knew it was me, definitely.

Catalyst: I can't feel too sad because at least she's smiling and happy. If she were miserable or distressed this would all be much different.

Caro: So did I, at least the Tupperware!

River: I wondered the same thing! She did seem to be comparing my hand to hers, as if trying to figure out where her fingers ended and mine began.

Jenny-O: Maybe you should sell it at your local antique store! I figure whether she understands me or not, she's deriving some pleasure from the conversation. Even if it's just the tone of my voice that she appreciates.

Mitchell: I kind of wish I'd bought it, actually. LOL

Jeanie said...

I'm so glad you've had this time with your mom. I want to think she knows. I always love visiting antique stores when I travel -- things are so different from one geographical region to another. I hope you find a fair buyer for the china.