Grandmother Before the Party

Before the party.

It was June of 1971 and my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage was waiting for the party to begin. Uncle Hugh is in the kitchen getting things ready.  Grandmother was 87 and didn’t break her hip for some years yet. I remember so many dinners around that table. There were always cakes with caramel icing for birthdays. This time it looks like there are two cakes – one chocolate and one with caramel icing. Both have candles.

Candy corns in the little silver dish. There were often candy corns in the covered candy dish that always on the front room table coffee table. Candy corns or red and white striped peppermints or sometimes chocolate kisses.

My parents at the party, a corner of Henry. Blair and Anna Pearl are at the kids table in the front room.

I can think of several June birthdays. My father turned 60 that year. My cousin Anna Pearl turned eleven and her sister Maria turned nine. It must have been an all June collective party. I wish I had been there. My oldest daughter Jilo turned one that June.

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24 thoughts on “Grandmother Before the Party”

  1. Fantastic to have before and during party photos! Yes, many birthdays were combined into one celebration in our family as well…especially in a few months of the year, but June wasn’t one of them.

  2. Oh how I miss my mother-in-law’s homemade caramel icing. It always had a crispiness to it plus the creaminess below the crust. I have tried to find a recipe but nope. No can do. Candy corn seems like an odd candy to have on hand in June. My grandmother usually had lemon drops.

  3. My mom is now 87 and often talks of the birthday/anniversary parties that her mother, i.e. my grandmother, used to host in her home that were just like this. The sounds and aroma from the kitchen, the good food and special table settings, the chatter and laughter. The memories are all in your snapshots.

  4. Gosh, this made me think back to whenever I visited my grandparent’s house they had a special dish that was known as the candy dish and there was usually either peppermint or butterscotch candies in it. I am craving caramel icing now.

    1. Yes Reading this really did take me back to that candy dish! I can smell the butterscotch right now! and the Lemon Drops were always stuck together in the bottom of the bowl! But I can just close my eyes and smell the room. Now what a great read. I love it

  5. Wonderful photos and post! I find the silver sugar and creamer set quite attractive. I wonder when folks stopped using these and began to use ceramic or Melmac sets to match their dishes? Also nice that the childrens’ table, often forgotten, made it into one of these nostalgic photos.

  6. Our busiest birthday months are exactly 6 months apart: Feb. : 5 birthdays, and Aug.: 7 birthdays. But we’ve never gotten together to celebrate all those birthdays together because we live miles apart from each other (some many miles). In July, however, when our families have a summer reunion, we celebrate several anniversaries with a big fancy cake decorated for all. 🙂

  7. Nothing brings to the forefront the passage of time as much as photographs that were about current events when we were young which are now almost historical documents in themselves. Looking at that picture of your grandmother I can’t help but marvel at the historical scope from her remembered youth to the world of today.

    1. I’ve been reading some of the letters she wrote when she was 19-22 that have given me details of her life that I didn’t have. Looking at her as I knew her and thinking of her life before that…

  8. Those chairs look very similar to chairs from my memories of big family get togethers – with the decoration embossed on the wooden back. It must have been a popular style in those days.

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