Saturday, October 16, 2010

Project Finished! But, No Photos......Just Memories

I finished my Altered Cigar Box today for the Bloggerettes Fall Findings Swap, but I can't show any pictures because my partner lurks around here from time to time! :D  So, I will just say, it turned out lovely and I can't wait for her to get it. It was a new experience for me to alter a cigar box.

I had several that used to belong to my mother, she used them to store everything from art supplies to rubber bands. I think she got them back when my grandfather used to own and operate a small country store/gasoline station back in the 50's and 60's. It was in a tiny village in South Carolina and some of the grandkids would take turns spending a week there during the summer. It was the classic country store, with items on shelves, a large butcher case with meats, a soda vending machine where you had to slide the pop bottle out by its neck along a horizontal track, a pickle barrel, potbellied stove with a checker board nearby and a couple of chairs. Grandpop sold everything from food, gardening implements, shotgun shells, hardware, household supplies, gasoline and candy. The candy sat on the counter in large glass jars, and we were offered a variety while we were there. The old gasoline pumps used to fill up at the top with a gallon of gas before it would come out through the hose to the car's gas tank. Later, he got more modern tanks, which would make a "ding" sound each time a gallon was dispersed.

Outside, set back a little way from the store, was an ice house, where huge chunks of ice were kept cool with large bales of straw and complete darkness. The store itself was L shaped, with the bottom part of the L being my grandparent's living quarters. They had a generous front porch on which the adults would sit, and the cousins would play in the china berry tree. We would always be scolded for using the china berries as weapons, because they were so hard, they would leave little bruises when one would be flung toward an adversary and found its mark. That's also where I saw my first Lantana bush as a child. I was fascinated with the clusters of small, multicolored flowers all on one shrub.

Anyway, my parents grew up in the Great Depression and literally never threw anything away. And with six children in my household, it made a difference, although there were times when we really disliked some of my parent's money saving habits. However, my father could repair almost anything, having grown up on a farm, and we very rarely ever saw a repairman at our house. So, I came by these cigar boxes in a round about way and they remind me of much of which is lost today. Frugality has its place and I think many families are finding that out.

Enough down memory lane today. Have a great weekend!


  1. Love the trip down memory lane! I remember telling Mom that if she could figure a way to was paper plates, she would. I loved that old store of Grandpop's. Staying there for a week or two in the summer was such a treat! Love you!

  2. That should have read "wash" the paper plates.....Ha!

  3. Don't you wish we still had stores like that? Well, I guess techinically we do, Walmart Supercenter. But, don't you long for those little stores with everything and the cheap prices. They were a little before my time, but I would have loved to visit and browse in them.


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