Monday, April 18, 2016

PO' FOLKS' CALLIN' CARD







Happily joining BERNIDEEN'S PARTY and   BLUE MONDAY today, and especially sending congratulations to our friends Jeanne and Bill on their 53rd Anniversary!



This charming little blue “house” is a gift Donna at GATHER sent me this week---I’d admired it on her blog, way back on the first day of this new year, and told her about the one the neighbors had when I was a child (a much less elegant item, with square wood sides and a little door with black hinges, as I remember).   Theirs was filled with small rough-cut squares of tablet or notebook paper (for I unabashedly looked inside every time I went to their door, just as I greatly enjoyed ringing their bell---one of those through-the-door ones with the big round brass “school-bell” effect on the inside, and a large kiddie-car key on the outside, to turn and make the most satisfying buzzy ring, like an old alarm clock winding down.   I hope now that I didn’t run Miss Sybil crazy with ringing that bell, for I’m sure I must have given it a few extra turns for good measure before she could rush her floppy chenille house-shoes from the kitchen to open the door).


Their note-box was such a charming mystery to me---it hung beside the big glass front door, way inside the screen-porch, and I always wanted to leave a little message with that pencil-stub on the grimy string.   But aside from “Can Lynnette come out and play?” my conversation with the parents was limited, and besides, would not have made much sense---me being already gone, and all.



I know there were also rather fancy editions of the box, with cutesy cut-outs and even little clock faces, to tell when the family would be back and receiving.   You found those for sale mostly at places like Rock City and maybe Mammoth Cave.  




Décor varied, as did hinges and size and even the little closers---my favorites were the small rectangles of wood nailed on, like dollhouse versions of the latch on Mammaw’s outhouse, to swing up or down to open. 





I wonder about the contents of the little messages---whether “Deliver two dozen eggs this week” or “Sorry we missed you.”  I know there have been a lifetime of small scribings, with impartings and askings and news.   You know how I am about writing anything, and every missive is a treasure to me.   

I kinda think this next one was a Woodshop project by a guy in the FFA, before he moved on to Birdhouses and a Cedar Chest for his high-school sweetheart.   Do not ask me how I know this.






Even that barely-there used-up pencil was a bit of history in lives we’ll never know. In truth, it was probably an eraser-nub Ticonderoga with a few bite marks, and the tell-tale scallops from a whittlin'-knife sharpening job.






I so love this little blue house, with its old leather hinges and the matching brass upholstery tacks, and especially the fact that it’s such a bright, happy blue. It's a weighty little structure, feeling like a hundred years in my hands from the weight of the wood and the shingles, the thick paint and all that history.  




 It even has REAL old-fashioned gritty-tar shingles on its little point of a roof---what lovely detail, and somebody must have loved it.





I thank you all so much for your answers, this week---most had versions of mail box or drop-a-note, and I know truly that it IS a Fairy Portal to somewhere, as are all mailboxes---it's ingrained since the first hole-beneath-a-secret-rock, so everybody's right in their recognition of the Magic involved.  There’s a special spot on my new pink kitchen wall, right over the tiny dollhouse kitchen appliances.  The blue fits in perfectly, and the memories! Just imagining them makes me smile.







From Donna’s e-mail:

Oh Rachel, the pleasure is all mine.  I had it out for a few years then stuck away in a drawer.  I'm so glad you have it now.  I can't ever remember seeing them, so I thought it was quite unique when I found it.  Along with a doily the same color and an old am radio the same color too, it sat on the dresser in the guest room.  I also had a large handmade primitive armoire that color so it all went together.  The walls were the lightest robin's egg blue possible, nearly in the white category.  It was just time to let go and where better than with someone who loves it.  
Warm regards, Donna

And you know, I can open that tiny door and catch the faintest linger of Coty face powder, and maybe Toujours Moi---perhaps it’s from the sojourn in the Guest Room, but I prefer to think it’s the whisper from an old Love letter.


21 comments:

Nonnie said...

I've never seen one of these. Where have I been? We must have really been po' folks to not have a callin' card box. I like all these and think you may be right about the wood shop project.

donna baker said...

So glad you love it Rachel. I had never seen another one either. When we first moved to the farm, a elderly neighbor (crazy) had a party line I think it was called. That was unusual to me. If someone else got on the line while she was on it, she'd start screaming and cussing. I felt sorry for her because she was alone without friends or family, so I talked to her on occasion. I wished I had put a note in there for you, but it took so long to find a box and get it sent, I boxed it up before I thought of it.

Joanne Noragon said...

How nice of Donna. When I was young, in the forties and fifties, there were more than a few working mom's in our neighborhood, and they had little note boxes by their front door. I don't remember kids fooling with them.

Valerie CottageMakingMommy said...

Never seen one of these either. It'a absolutely perfect. I so need to find one.

BeachGypsy said...

Love it!! Love the color and the history! What a neat find and a special present! You will Love and enjoy that for years to come!

Miss Merry said...

I am totally in love. I know what I will be searching the nooks and crannies of every flea market and garage sale for! I don't ever remember these around my town, hopefully I can turn one up in a community nearby!

Bernideen said...

Dear Racheld:
I haven't seen one of those for a while but definitely remember them. Usually older people had them near the front door. How cute. So glad you shared and linked.

Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

Very interesting! I don't recall seeing one of these, but I have been known to put a pad of paper and a pencil at the door when resting or not able to answer the door due to illness.

Jeanne said...

Hello Rachel, I do love your little blue box. You can leave each other notes and all. Big smile here. I do remember these various boxes from the past but I admit I have never left a message in one of them. I do not know if it was a lack of anything to say or what. LOL.

I am sorry I have been missing. We have been gone the past two weekends plus a few days more. I am just now getting to visit my Blue Monday participants.

Thank you for joining Blue Monday dear Rachel. I am enjoying this blog party very much. I was worried about doing a good job.

I hope all is well with you and your darling family.

Love,
Jeanne

Anonymous said...

GANNER WAS HERE! LITTLE GIRL PINK FINGERS. TROUBLE, TROUBLE TROUBLE!

handmade by amalia said...

I've never seen one before, so gorgeous and interesting.
Amalia
xo

bj said...

My dear Rachel...you are such a romantic...and I love that about you. You always evoke
wonderful memories...things I've forgotten...those little note boxes on outside doorways...my goodness, I must have seen a million of them over my long lifetime and I'd forgotten them all together. Haven't seen one in a million years and yes, they were at every souvenir shop on every vacation we ever went on as a child. My daddy was so good to stop at every single one of them because he knew how much my mama and I loved going thru all the "treasures"...I wish I still had some of the things we bought...little turquoise rings..tea towels...cute little dishes....

Kathy said...

I have never heard of these let alone seen one. I think now days it would be dangerous to have one at your front door and let people know you weren't at home. At least around here it would be. Your little blue note box is lovely and Donna was so nice to have sent it to you.

Bernideen said...

This post is featured today on my blog - congratulations and yes - I remember these especially from the 60's!

Val said...

How charming and dear is THIS! ♥ I'd never seen anything like it, save the birdhouse-turned-message box in Little Women. :)

Linda said...

Beautiful and creative! :)

La Table De Nana said...

It just feels right at your home..

I had one just like one of the ones you are showing..it hung at the side of our door..your photo..made the light bulb turn on..now we have a cerami one..that is like a board..
the turquois is so pretty and again..love the way you write!

Nice gesture Donna..not surprised:)

Mari said...

It is so cute! I remember people having those when I was younger but I haven't seen them for a while. They really are a good idea.

Sandra Norman said...

Oh I do love this post. The fairy portal and the whisper of an old love letter and every word of your elegant writings!

Sandra Norman said...

Oh I do love this post----the fairy portal with the whisper of an old love letter.

Kim S. said...

Never seen one, but how charming! And now it's a fairy door!