Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Journey of Nellie

This tale is of great length and I have so much to share. I have decided to follow the lead of the famous novelist Charles Dickens. He would submit chapters to the broadside (the newspaper of the early 1800s) that would allow his audience to indulge in the story as it unfolded before them.

Welcome to the Journey of Nellie, Part I

Several years ago I was asked to give an appraisal on some items that were coming up for auction in a nearby town.

It was a living auction, meaning that the sweet little lady, well into her 90s was still alive and participating in identifying the articles. It was a multi-generational home full of treasures from both her and her late husband's families. Her name was May.

As she took me from room to room and told me the stories of her beautiful pieces it was a journey back in time.

May unwrapped a couple of the quilts that I was intrigued by and she explained they had belonged to her great aunt Nellie. I spent two weeks with this adorable creature looking over the inventory and discovering things long forgotten. There was so much for sale it would take two weekends to complete.

The first Saturday of the auction I found a small diary and a little stack of letters tied with a faded ribbon lying in one of the showcases. I picked up the journal and inside the cover the owner had left her script, Nellie C. Fitts, Shrewsbury, Mass., the year was 1883. Could this be May's great aunt who also owned the quilts? I was captivated.

I roamed about looking at all the other goodies, through the barn, across the lawns, on the front porch and under the big oak tree. I saw the two quilts draped over a rack far away from the case that held the precious tokens that lured me back to them.

As luck would have it I purchased the diary, letters and some family photos. I was disappointed I had missed out on the quilts, but content in the fact that I was now the caretaker of these other timeless effects.

I took the tiny box of items home and placed it on the corner of my desk.

To be continued...


carole said...

Oh Susan:
How utterly exciting!!!
Her photograph is beautiful and I am anxious for the chapter by chapter of her letters and diary.
This is awesome.
So kind of you to share

Donna O'Brien said...

Charles Dickens?.....Now we have Charlotte Dickens : )
I love this Susan, You write beautifully and it makes it a treat to visit each of your posts.
I'll be back.
PS-I love that May was there explaining things to you. What a doll she was, I bet.

Suzanne said...

Oh! I can't wait for the next chapter!!! Thank you for sharing Nellie's life through your writing Susan, this will be wonderful to read.

dawn said...

How wonderful!!! I can't wait to hear more about Nellie. How sad that May's family didn't want these treasures. How lovely that you were able to rescue them...

Lana said...

What a treat I found at your blog this morning ~ I'll be back to read the next chapter... and the next...

Dorian Fletcher said...

Although the quilts were wonderful pieces from the past, the true treasures are the photos, journal and letters. What a fascinating find - and I love your stories that peek into the lives of these women.

Deb said...

This is my first visit to your blog ~ your story is wonderful as is your gorgeous black & white photo. I look forward to returning and reading the continuation of this fascinating story.

SweetAnnee said...

Oh Miss Maddie, thanks for sharing..can't wait for chapter 2, and thanks for the package..I sent you an email..
You are so kind Susan!!
smiles, Deena

oldflowers4me said...

oh dont stop - how divine-singing and skipping love jo anderson....mmmim thinking about a yellow canery.

Christine said...

good morning dear Susan,

What a wonderful beginning to your story of Nellie.
What a gift to be able to have May show you these lovely old things and tell you about them.
These beautiful old things are surely meant to be in your care.
I'm looking forward to the next
chapter with great anticipation.

Pinkie Denise said...

Oh, I have to leave a comment. You have captivated my attention. I can't
wait for the rest of the story.......
I love old pictures and history too.
What a wonderful peak into history and the people behind the treasures.

Cathy said...

Miss Maddie I do love this story and can't wait to find out what mystery and intrigue are waiting to unfold! I have just this night found your wonderful blog and read the start of your new tale only to find those words--to be continued! I shall anxiously await the next installment of this most wonderful story!

Cathy :)