I received this lovely "Keepsake Blog Award" from Garf at A Garf Secret. A testament to technology's awesome power to connect people, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Garf, who lives on the other side of the globe in India. He is a kind, generous and thoughtful person, who values love, happiness, kindness and friendship above all else. Who couldn't get on board with that?

The "Keepsake Blog Award" is on of my favorite blog awards out there, because whoever receives it is supposed to post a photo of a keepsake that they hold dear to his/her heart. 

Just like looking through an old photo album, objects can remind us of fond memories, of loved ones who have long-passed, and of our former selves. 

These ceramic elephant plant stands that now decorate my home belonged to my grandma Libby. She had them at her apartment in Baltimore, and at her apartment in Perryville. And, at her apartment in North East. My grandmother followed us each time we moved to a new town--she always lived within five or ten minutes of us. 

She smoked like a chimney, so her apartment walls had a slightly yellow tinge. These elephants guarded the entry of each of her apartments, topped with spider plants with waxy leaves that touched the floor. When I was really little, I liked to run my hand along the smooth, cool ceramic and drive my matchbox cars around the base. I always loved these elephants, and just before my grandma Libby passed, she gave them to me. 

My grandma was not the kind of grandmother who brought you gifts and baked cookies, but she did knit me lots of sweaters. Itchy, wool sweaters that I hated but my mother made me wear. As a kid, I didn't understand that each sweater was stitched with love. 

She had a nasal voice (think Fran Drescher, without the Queens accent),  a sharp tongue and a critical eye...and don't think she cut me a break just because I was her only grandchild. When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I had a tie-dye folder with a peace sign on it. My grandmother took one look at it, sneered and said "What are you some kind of hippie now? I hate hippies. Your mother was a hippie, you know." That was my grandmother. She was hard on those she loved, and she certainly loved me. 

Tell me about one  of your treasured keepsakes?


  1. my grandmother is is not your typical fragile, sweet, cheek pinching granny :) ive always known she loves me but she has never been one to display lots of affection. she gave me a small jewelry box 2 christmas' ago with "grandaughter" engraved on the side. along with i love you. i cried when i opened it and it is always on my bedside table. :) i love the elephants and what a great story behind them :)

  2. I miss my grandmother too...was reminded of her. Her death me do crazy things. It was hard for me to accept her departure. With time, humans do move on. And am no exception. Nez....the elephants look royal.

  3. what a cool award idea! i'll have to think about what mine is.. i like your keepsake! i actually like elephant decorations a lot.. despite my panda-ness. but then there are the elephants in thailand painted as pandas :D

  4. Nicole -- Sounds like we have something in common...tough love!

    Garf--Losing a grandparent, or anyone you love for that matter, definitely makes you come face to face with your own mortality.

    Floreta--Consider yourself tagged for this award!

  5. Awesome post and thank you for doing a guest post for me in August. I can't wait to read it!!

  6. Even though we carry our relationships in our hearts, it's nice to have a tangible representation of it also. I can only think what a great welcome home those elephants would be. A few months before my grandfather passed away he made the rounds to visit all his children and their families. Upon visiting us he bought me a small plastic baby cradle. I didn't particularly like it because I didn't play with dolls, but to this day it holds a special place in my heart. He wasn't a man to buy what was unecessary and didn't dole out gifts freely; this cradle came from the heart.

  7. I've always liked these elephants, but I never thought to ask the story behind them!

  8. Thank you for sharing this sweet post. Made me teary, I miss my Nana more and more with each passing year.