Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reclaiming My Childhood...Through My Kitchen

Most of you who know me know I had a pretty shitty childhood. For those of you who don't - I lived through years and years of physical, mental, and sexual abuse at the hands of my parents.

Suffice it to say, I didn't have a good childhood.

Yet, even in the worst times, there's always little slivers of light, isn't there?

I thought about that long and hard when I bought my house last year. I wanted to remember the things I did manage to find joy in.

A lot of those things weren't things in my home - they were things in my grandmother's home. Now, you have to realize, my grandmother's home wasn't all that nice. Infested with roaches, the house had a certain odor that just about turned your stomach when you entered, and I always left there sick with either my Asthma or my allergies. Even still, her house was my sanctuary, because my parent's wouldn't dare be mean to me in front of her. I only went there once a week - on Sundays - but I looked forward to it all week.

Grandma had toys for all us grandkids to play with, which were actually toys from her kids' childhoods. Things like metal toy trucks. I remember one in particular that I liked the best - the cement mixer. I liked it because it had a lever to "dump" the cement, and a wheely knob you could use to "mix" the cement. I never did put anything in it, but I liked whizzing it around the spare bedroom.

There was also a set of wooden blocks I loved to play with. Sometimes, I made buildings with them. Sometimes, I pretended they were foods, and I "cooked" with them.

Grandma also fed my addiction for other toys which my parents wouldn't buy me: Care Bears, My Little Ponies, and Barbie Dolls. Although I usually paired Ken with Ken and Barbie with Barbie, which raised more than a few eyebrows. LOL She even went out of her way to find me a Ken doll with real hair.

As I remembered all these things, I started wishing I still had all of them. I did have some Care Bears and My Little Ponies, but the trucks  and Barbies are all long gone.
Then I remembered something: A year or so ago, I had an absolute melt down when I found a box of those same blocks at a rummage sale up here, and I had to have them. I stuck them in a plastic shoebox and they went to live up in the storage room - forgotten about.

 That "Ah-Ha!" moment led me to another  one  - there was no reason why I couldn't just buy some of this stuff all over again, and there was equally no reason why I couldn't display it in my new home. (My husband has long been resigned to my eclectic decorating taste.)

I went on a mad spree, raiding my upstairs storage for all the toys I could find. My Little Ponies and Care Bears resurfaced, along with an Elsie the Cow toy. What I lacked, I went on eBay to find. I gathered everything together, and set out to decorate my kitchen. 

As sort of a tribute to my Grandmother, I included these tiny little porcelain birds. She collected porcelain birds, and I remember going to her house, carefully taking them off the shelves, dusting and cleaning each and every one, and putting them back exactly like she had them. I loved those birds!

I'm really happy with the results! What do you think?

My Little Ponies on the shelf of the liquor cabinet

Care Bears above the door

Wooden blocks above the other door.

Birdies above door #3

Close up of a couple of the birdies


  1. All I can say is good for you that you found a way to re-claim those happy parts of your childhood. While I can't begin to understand the Hell you went through I do feel for you as I have had dealings in my family with family members creating Hell for their children. I do what I can to help out these kids. The toys and birds look great the way you have them displayed. "May the wind always be at your back". (old Irish proverb)

  2. Thanks very much for your words! Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Real life drama got in my way. ::hugs::