Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1004---MAMMAW'S PINK HOUSE



Pink is my very favourite colour of all, I think.  I inherited this from my Mammaw, I’m sure, though perhaps it’s more my time of life and gentle taste, in the pinks and florals and pale pastels I love to surround us with in our home.


My Mammaw loved pink more than anyone I’ve ever seen---she planned their house for years before they tore down the old one and built the new one in its place, and had been gathering paint samples like baseball cards.


She and I would sit in the “swang” on that old weathered porch, our feet on boards which had been hewn back before the last century turned, when beadboard walls were always painted white, yellowing with time to a speckly umbrish shade with only the shapes beneath the pictures still harboring any imprint of the original paint.   We’d discuss the merits of salmon or shrimp or carnation, or baby and blush (though we’d none of us heard of “bashful” at that time), and we’d go in and stick a strip of pink squares onto a wall with a thumbtack, til the old house bore little strips of various shades dangling all over walls-not-long-for-this-world, just so we could see them in the light from all sides.     We both liked the idea of “shocking” in maybe pillows or edging on drapes, and we’d spend countless hours going back and forth over how they might look in the morning, or under a ceiling light in the evening.   

The new house, built in 1958, had pink asbestos siding, and the paint on the big concrete porch was almost the same hue.  






The living room and dining room were painted a rosy shade, to go with all the overblown roses on the linoleum, and the bathroom was a true pink, with pink ball-fringe on the curtains and dark-rose- sprayed-wicker shelves.  







A trio of those pompous little plaster wall-fish blew separate small pearly bubbles all up the wall above the tub.  I want to think that all the fixtures were that sort of ashes-of-roses shade, but neither Sis nor I  can remember, and think that my apt rose-colored-glasses remembrance of those times may be steering me too far.   It DID take  Mother several times to convince Mammaw how very tacky it would be to plaster flamingo decals around the edge of the tub and across the two mirrors.




A border of pink with little cooking  scenes ran around the kitchen ceiling, and there were lots of pink dishcloths and a set of glorious pink Melmac dishes.  I cannot imagine having such riches today---those rosy cups and plates and bowls with cheeks like pink satin.   I do believe that if I had such a set now, I’d be a much better homekeeper and counter-keeper and sink-tender, with those rosily lustrous dishes to spur me on to the next little chore, simply by their beauty and charm.   The remembering of them has been romanced onto a par with coveted doll-dishes and a pink scratchy dress for Easter---so glamoured over time that any food served on such pretty dishes would become ambrosia, and any drink, nectar from Fairy Stores.





Mammaw was persuaded to paint the one spare bedroom in a soft yellow, to go with the beautiful pale green curtains and chenille spread, but even that scheme backfired, when one of the vendors who’d supplied Grandpa’s shop for forty years brought them a gorgeous yellow-and-PINK striped blanket as a Housewarming present.



She lived on for twenty years or so in that charming pink house, content in the rosy shades of her life, and perhaps that’s why I’m so enamoured of pink---any shade, anywhere. 

Linking today to Beverly's PINK SATURDAY.


12 comments:

donna baker said...

I'll take Rosily please.

Justabeachkat said...

Such sweet memories! I like pink too :-)

Hugs,
Kat

harleygirl said...

What a fun post to envision. The flamingos made me smile. :) Though I'm not one who would make everything pink (my houseful of males would NOT like this!), I can see myself using flamingos somewhere...just because it's something different. Especially in PA! No flamingos here!

There isn't much pink in my life, as I'm the only female here, but I like it, too. This would be a fun Pink Saturday post. :) (Or is it? Hmmm...maybe I missed that. ha, ha)

Terri Morse said...

Thank you for sharing such sweet memories! It reminded me of the many wonderful memories I have of my grandmother - Nanny. Hugs, Terri

A Super Dilettante said...

My dear Rachel,

What a beautiful set of pink Melmac dishes - they take my breath away! I love its dusty pink colour. What a woman of sophistication and taste your Mammaw must be! The pink can look so well in the old furniture such as a Victorian display case made of oak. I like mixing and matching with the two opposing elements of masculinity (dark oak) and femininity (pink). I do collect a few pink coloured bric-a-brac pieces.

I love your writings on coloured themes - your memories (astonishingly detailed and rich) and recollections allow us to see your life through "pictorial lens of reminiscences".

With warm wishes,

ASD

racheld said...

Donna---I'm inclined toward the more demure shades, myself. Always glad to see you drop in!

rachel

racheld said...

Kat,

It's always lovely to have you visit---the memories are sweet of that time, for the anticipation of all that NEW (little did I dream that I'd be up and down a ladder for weeks, with so much of that PAINTING, especially the dozen-or-so trips around and around the house, inside and out, painstakingly painting the windows.

rachel

racheld said...

Harleygirl,

Your life with all those guys is such a lovely one, and your enthusiasm for all the simple wonders as you interact with them is a wonderful thing to see.

We have a quiet little flock of flamingoes, ourselves, collected over the years, and added to by friends and family. They're apt to show up anywhere---on a tabletop or hanging from a curtain, or most often, having a morning chat amongst themselves as I approach the coffee-counter.

Always lovely to have you drop in,

rachel

racheld said...

Terri,

It was lovely to have you drop in, and it's such a nice thing to kindle a pleasant memory in a reader.

I SO enjoyed my visit to your blog, and will be back to look my eyes full of your charming, luminous artworks.

rachel

racheld said...

Dear ASD,

It's always lovely to have you visit, especially when you share your own thoughts and tastes that we have in common. Your own home is such a welcoming, elegant sanctuary that I so enjoy being invited into such a charming place.

Thank you for your so-kind words, and for being such a wonderful correspondent from so far away.

rachel

Beverly said...

Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I do. Now and forever and ever.♥♥♥

I wish you everything pink. Pink memories are good for our souls.

Happy Pink Saturday, my dear Rachel.

Kim S. said...

I, too, am a lover of pink and have an entire LEAGUE of paint cards! Even one of those very cool kinds with hundreds of cards that is bound at one end that you can open out like a fan. I’ve talked Mike into a pale pale pink for the family room, master and guest room, so I’m doing pretty well. My Bomo’s favorite color was blue. It was my NC Granddaddy who painted his house PINK (he’d recently been to Florida and fell in love with pastel houses). I’ve actually met people that drove through Reidsville NC and remembered that pink house up on the hill!