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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wardrobe Windfalls and Wallpaper

Yesterday I gave a friend a bag of hand-me-down clothes for her daughter though they won't fit her for about two years yet.  I love being able to pass along gently-used clothes like that and know the kid who is enjoying them.  When Diana and I were young we eagerly pounced on any grocery bag full of Susan K's castoffs that came our way.  Susan had real Polly Flinders dresses.  Sigh.  I have to say though that I almost never got anything since technically Diana was first in line size-wise.  But once in a while something would last until my turn.  It just was so much fun dumping a bag and rummaging through treasures new to us.

I suppose I could sell my kid clothes in a yard sale and I certainly have left many a deposit in the local charity boxes through the years but there is something about giving a friend a bag full of possibilities--a wardrobe windfall.  In England I found resistance to this idea though when I tried to offer my colleague Peter bags of clothes I didn't wear anymore for his three girls.  He was downright offended.  He didn't get that it has nothing to do with need and was more about fun.  My friend Val got it and happily took my offering to her daughter who was really thrilled.  Maybe it is a gender thing.  If I had spoken to Peter's wife maybe it would have gone down differently.  But I'm off point here which is so unlike me.  Ahem.

So, in thinking about wardrobe windfalls I thought of the song "Secondhand Rose" that my mother always sang a bit of when we'd get a Susan K bag.  I looked it up online this morning for the heck of it to find all the lyrics and I found this awesome site instead.  Now what was really serendipitous is the fact I love old wallpaper, I even recently wrote a bit about the wallpaper in my mother and aunt's bedroom that eventually became Diana's and my bedroom.  So imagine my surprise when I found it here.

I got Diana on the phone and we had a lovely moment trying to think where we'd put it in our houses today if we could even fathom spending $100 for a roll.  Sometimes we have to let opportunities pass such as the nostalgic purchase of wallpaper from 1950.  But for a moment or two I thought I would grab the chance to have a little bit of my mom's and my childhood back again.

This wall was clearly pink but the wall we're facing was covered in the blue background.



  1. Ah yes, the bed we inherited from our parents after the divorce. Still wanted bunk beds in a huge way.

  2. Hi Jen...thanks for the post. I thought "hand-me-downs" were the way of the world, until I moved to our current house...a dad was mortified that I gave their son Dan's things...the wife was thrilled. I remember your upstairs having paper. I think it was my first time seeing it. Thanks for the happy tears today! Xoxo