Monday, September 5, 2011

Little Dutch Girls

My grandmother was as Irish as they come...with a little Scottish blood thrown in for good measure but as you may know, the Irish and the Scots are often of mixed heritage between the two but still identify solely as one or the other. My great great grandmothers on her side of the family both came to America in 1849-50, the years of the Irish potato famine.

My grandmother's family settled in an enclave of Irish mine workers outside of Pittsburgh PA and lived there for several generations. They were poor but they were proud.

Somewhere along the way my grandmother developed a fondness for little Dutch girls. Was it because they were blond and she was not? That they had smooth pale skin where her relatives all had freckles and red blotches? The 1865 novel "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates" by Mary Mapes Dodge was enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the early 1900s when my grandmother was a child so perhaps there is a connection there. I know that it was one of her favorite books and that as very young children we watched the movie on her old black and white television with her.

Anyway, she collected all sorts of Dutch pictures and little knickknacks and hung things like this in her kitchen to write her shopping notes or recipe notes on.
It could hold a little pad of paper but she often thumb tacked paper on it to write on as well. There was also a place for a pencil in the wooden butter churn. This is a very sweet piece but I can't keep everything.
As mentioned in an earlier post my grandmother also collected knick knacks and postcards and in her collection of cards I also found these sweet Dutch children.
Many of my grandmother's pieces have moved on to live with my sister, my kids and my cousins and we have all tried to keep as many as was/is feasible but sometimes it is best to let things move on and find a good home. I'm hoping these will make someone else smile the way they made my grandmother smile.