Sunday, December 13, 2009

~TREASURED KEEPSAKES and Finding Peace in All Things~

NAPCO SHOPPER GIRL
Dressed in Green w/ Poodle
"Spaghetti Trim"

When I was a little bitty girl my Grandparents lived up the hill from our 900sf track home. Their home, a mirror image of ours, had the same dividing mantle that separated the tiny dining room from the single living area. Every Christmas my Grandmother decorated her mantle with the same lovely treasures and I don't recall a year when I did not see her beautiful Napco Shopper Girls appear for the holiday season. One was red. One green. One white. Each Girl was dressed to the nines, carried sweetly packaged gifts and came with a tiny poodle dog tethered to the wrist.

Secretly I longed to take one home. The color didn't matter. I loved them all.

Years passed. While I wasn't looking my Grandmother grew older and I grew up. It would be many, many years before I would remember even the existence of the long forgotten ladies with their full skirts and wide-brimmed bonnets and even longer before I cared...

NAPCO SHOPPER GIRL
Dressed in White w/ Poodle
"Rabbit Fur Trim"

In June of 2008 my beloved 91 year old Grandmother spent an entire month with me here in Oklahoma. Long blinded by Glaucoma, the essence of who she was and what she loved remained unchanged. We shared many long, meaningful conversations and she talked non-stop about her grandchildren and how proud she was of each one us. She adored my Miss K (her great-great grandchild) and spoke of how I had become a "Young Nana" just like she had become a "Young Gramma!" We laughed and giggled through the day, listened to books on tape and reminisced about the days when she was young and I was younger.

One afternoon when there was a lull in our chatter I decided to retrieve from their hiding place the four Shopper Girls that I'd stored away for safe keeping. Placing the largest one in her hands I asked her if she knew what it was...

~NAPCO SHOPPER GIRL~
Dressed In Red - Planter
Dressed in Green - Planter
"Original Flowers"

I watched as she carefully turned the the first figurine over and over, touching and feeling what her blinded eyes could no longer see. After only a few moments she smiled at me and said~

"Oh my! This is one of the Shopper Girls I use to have on my mantle when you were a little girl! I remember how much you loved them! I always wondered what happened to them! How long have you had them now?"

Purposefully avoiding her question, we talked a while longer as she held each aging figurine for a few seconds more. "Those were my best days!" she continued. She went on to say that she and my Grandfather had purchased the Girls at Gemco (like an early K-Mart) for about $3.50 each around the year I was born (that would be 1958).

I was able to tell my Grandmother that summer afternoon that my love for the Shopper Girls was not based on their beauty, but because of the warm memories they represented of my childhood. I told her how much I loved her and what a fabulous Gramma she had always been! I promised to fly her out for Christmas and that I would have the Shopper Girls displayed in my home, showcasing them in her honor.

Four months later she went to heaven. We buried her just before Christmas in December 2008.

What my Gramma didn't know was that the Shopper Girls she held that day were not the ones that had originally belonged to her. Long misplaced or given away, my Mr. AGPMan had purchase the ones I now own off eBay.

How grateful I am for that moment when I placed those dainty little Girls within her aging hands. It's enough for me to know the lingering scent of my Grandmother's grace and the memory of her love remain upon the Shopper Girls that now call my La Chaumiere de Briarwood home.

Blessings to you as you remember and honor your loved ones this Christmas...Rebecca

44 comments:

betty said...

Ho letto con attenzione il tuo racconto e devo dire che è pieno di sentimenti e amore...mi ha colpita molto e mi ha fatto ripensare ai Natali passati con mia nonna...grazie per questi ricordi, mi hai riempito il cuore...
buona domenica
ciao ciao dall'Italia

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Good morning Rebecca!

What a sweet sweet story! I adored my Grandma Meme, your story brought back so many memories of her. I have a couple Lefton figurines, girls, of her's that I adore. They are priceless to me. I love to feel her when I look at them.

Thank you for sharing such a dear story with us.

Christmas hugs & blessings, Sherry

SHABBY~VINTAGE~BLISS said...

ALL I CAN SAY IS... TEARS. ENJOY YOUR SHOPPER GIRLS REBECCA- HEATHER P.S... I AM GLAD I HAVE YOUR BLOG TO READ WHEN I AM UP IN THESE WEE HOURS WITH CHRISTIAN LOL.

sissie said...

Ok, I now have tears in my morning coffee. Oh how sweet the story of your Grandmother and the little girl figurines. To place them in her hands and let her know how much you loved them is so endearing. Even though they were not the originals, by placing them in her hands, they were, for a little while, hers. I know you loved her very much and she can be proud to know what a wonderful woman you have grown to be.

Have a wonderful week.

The Green Pea said...

What a sweet post. You are so fortunate to have wonderful memories of your Grandparents. I hope that you have a Blessed Christmas with your family. sandi

Marilyn said...

That was such a beautiful writing. I hope I am as well loved when I get to that place in life as your Grandmother was/is.......
Merry Christmas!
Love,
Marilyn

PlantSomeRoots@Lakewood said...

This is such a beautiful story and a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother and her love. I owe who I am to both of my Grandmothers and my blog is dedicated to their memory. I just became a follower. Come over to Lakewood anytime and sit for a spell. The door is always open!
Living it up at Lakewood,
Cindy

Marydon Ford said...

G'morn, Rebecca ~ What a precious moment in time for Grandmother to enjoy with her memories, & with you them ... what pleasures of joy obviously went thru her mind to share with you at that time. Grandmother is so blessed to be peacefully in Heaven ...

Have a beautiful day ~ Hugs, TTFN ~ Marydon

Rita said...

Oh what a wonderful memory that you have left to you after such a special relationsip with your Grandmother. It is those memories that make up our lives. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! said...

Rebecca what a beautiful and heartwarming post. Now that I see the Napco Shopper girls I remember them. I can't say for certain where I have seen them but they certainly have reminded me of my childhood. They are lovely.
Hugs, Sue

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Oh Rebecca... how beautiful... ok, I am crying now... those little shopper girls are adorable, made even more precious that your AGP man found new ones for you, and made the most pricelss of all by you sharing those with your dear grandma and her recognizing what they were and reliving precious memories... still crying...I love the part where you said you and your grandma spent the day chatting and laughing... Rebecca, you are an angel here on earth... and I am sure your grandma is looking down lovingly at her little shoppers...such a sweet story...as only you can relate... love to you... Bisous... Julie Marie

Catherine said...

What a touching story! You are lucky to have such memories...treasure them always!

Sandy said...

What a sweet memory.I'm so glad that you had such a wonderful time with your Gramma and can treasure her spirit.

glenda said...

Wonderful story Rebecca, I guess most of us that were fortune to have our grammys around to visit with have a lot of memories to share...yours is so touching. And I bet you have dozens more in your heart..I love reading stories like this...
blessings, glenda

ceekay said...

You have the best family stories. I just love to read them. My grandparents must have gave their Christmas items to another needy family which was their way... My grandmother was very simple in all her decorating....but I do love to hear yours and those dolls are precious.

Nancy said...

What a lovely post and tribute to your Nana. That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing that special memory.

Nancy

Martha's Favorites said...

What a beautiful story. I love your shop girls. That was very sweet of your husband. Blessings to you my friend, Martha

Lee Laurie said...

What a sweet and touching story. I can just feel the love that you have for your grandma.

Hugs,
Lee Laurie

Dixie said...

Rebecca... What a wonderfully sweet story. You and I share this memory...My dear grandmother had a number of similar figurines that granddaddy bought for her each year at the "Dime Store" in downtown Blytheville, AR. I was fortunate that my grandmother actually gave me the one I played with and loved them most... when I was about 18. I still have it, displayed in my pink guestroom. I never touch or see it that I don't think of her. Thanks for sharing your sweet memory.

Thanks for visiting, commenting, following and/or blogging about my 300th post giveaway! Good Luck!

Blessing. Dixie

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Rebecca, your posts are always amazing. How fortunate you were to have your grandmother until just this last year. Both of mine passed when I was young, so with the hustle and bustle I didn't think to share those special moments that maturity brings. How wonderful that you blessed her with your time and the sweet memory you both shared.
Have a wonderful Sunday,
love you,
Debra

rosechicfriends said...

Oh Sweet Rebecca!
You have such a wonderful way of recounting such touching memories! You sweet grams memories live on.

I too find that many things my sweet 95 yr old grams has done for me or has given me have such meaning now, too!

And of course, you reminded me of something I must blog about from grams...

Have a beautiful week!
Lorena

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh Rebecca, I am so moved by this true story of your love for your grandmother and the lovely memories you two created together. The little shopper girls, brought to you by your sweet husband, are a symbol of Christmas love for all of us to cherish along with you. Thank you so very much for sharing this warm and wonderful story. My tears are of joy! Blessings, Coralie

Sares said...

What a beautiful memory you made with your Grandmother that day. How special these little shopper girls are! You probably had to search far and wide to find these little sweeties. I've never seen them before, but they are adorable.

Thank you for your help with my eyeless angel situation. I'll watch for your post with the eyes. I think I know what you are talking about with the down turned eyes, but I can't wait to see your pictures. Have a beautiful Sunday!

English Cottage in Georgia said...

What a beautiful story :-)
I love the Napco figurines and have also reclaimed memories from ebay. Christmas blessing to you and your family!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh Rebecca, what a beautiful sweet tribute to your grandmother. Your love for her shines through in your post. And I know she loved you dearly. What a special moment you shared with her on that afternoon. Remember your sweet memories fondly.

Dolores said...

Oh my goodness, this is so sweet!!!!
What a blessing that you could share with your grandmother these wonderful memories and love before she went to her final home.

Your husband is so sweet that he found these wonderful keep-sakes for you.

Love and blessings to you, as I'm crying..... such a sweet post!

BECKY said...

Rebecca, Thank you for the gift of reading this precious story today. I have been struggling with missing my Mom, and have had to find the joy in the memories to stay focused on the positive. What a delight to have such special women in our lives. My Mom was simply the best, and it sounds like your grandmother was too. So glad you had some warm memories with her before she made her departure, sweetie.

May your week be filled with joy and the love of Christ!
HUGS,
Becky

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Rebecca,
Love the sweet story and memories of your dear grandma. You are blessed to cherish those darling shopper girls. So precious.

Thank you for sharing this sweet Christmas memory.
Hope you are enjoying the season. Miss you.
Love to you, Celestina Marie

June said...

Sweetie, I can always count on coming over here and being blessed. What a lovely remembrance. You have a way of telling...that just draws me in and makes me feel like I was right there sitting next to you as it happened. You and your grandmother must have had the sweetest relationship.
I love you sweetie!

Martha's Favorites said...

Miss hearing from you. Hope all is well. Lots of love, Martha

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Rebecca what a wonderful memory you have of your Grandmother and her precious Napco dolls- these are just gorgeous! I bet Ebay has a run on these now that you did this post!!!

blessings
mary

virgina bed and breakfast said...

Your Grandma is an interesting and keen women have spent a joyous life and filled with pleasure and satisfaction.

GWENDOLYN said...

This is such a sweet and loving story about your grandmother and both of how you both loved her figurines. which are very beautiful. Blessings!
Gwen

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Rebecca...I loved your touching story of the little
shopper figurines by Napco and the memories you have of them at your grandmother's house. And that wonderful guy of yours buying some for you along the way....I am sure you made your grandmother happy that you shared these with her. I am SURE she knew how very much you loved her, too......
I loved my grandmother, too, and everyone in the family used to tell me I was the most like her in her ways....she loved beautiful things and kept such a lovely home even though she had ten children!!
I remember the little shopper dolls myself....I always admired them but when they were popular, I could not afford them, so showing yours to us was a special treat!
You are much loved, Rebecca....
Have a good week.....Hugs, Francy

Mary said...

Oh, my, Rebecca, how precious! I also dearly loved my grandmother...and what you did with those sweet little dolls is just so wonderful and loving...you blessed her so much, knowing how much you loved them because they were hers...this is what makes you so special...your heart is so giving and caring. I think of Miss K and how she is going to grow up with a grandma that adores her, too...what a privilege for both of you!

And I wonder how many people are now trying to find those sweet dolls, so they pass this tradition down in their own families...they are truly adorable in themselves, but add the love of your story, they have become special to all of us!

God bless...have a beautiful day!

Mary

Ana said...

Oh sweet Rebecca,
What a wonderful post. You have made me reminisce about my grandmothers. I love them and miss them so much. I have some items that belong to them and they mean so much to me because they hold so many wonderful memories of my nanas. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with us. Much love to you.

Blessings,
♥Ana

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Dear Rebecca,
What a sweet, touching story! I'm so glad you shared it with us. I adored my grandmother too and I still miss her even though she has been gone for a long time now. The ornies are darling and I don't blame you for wanting them. Sweet memories!

Christmas blessings,
Sandi

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Hello Rebecca,

Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet memory of your grandma. Sorry you didn't have the originals, but how sweet that your grandma thought they were hers.
(sniff, sniff)
Debbie

Ruthie said...

Oh Reb,you brought back some warm memories for me.My parents owned a duplex and my Grandmother and two aunts lived in the one next to us.My father built an enclosed porch which made it easy for all of us to go in and out of each others home.It was like having two homes really,because I spent as much time at my Grandma's and Aunts as I did my at own.Christmas was really special because I would run from one home to the other and they both had the napco ornaments you speak so lovingly about.I was luckly to have been given the few that remained,little Santa ornaments,christmas carolers,and a tiny Santa mug.My Mom,Dad and sister are gone now,grandma too,but the memories are there and the love is still there.Material things are not important in the big picture,but they certainly can bring back wonderful memories and the joy you spent with your loved ones.Thank you for your beautiful story Reb.blessings to you sweetie,oxoxo Ruthie

Charlene said...

Oh I have tears in my eyes & a lump in my throat. How blessed we both were to have such wonderful Grandmothers. I lost mine long ago but, the ache is still there. The hole in your heart no one else can fill. But, how many little girls (yes, deep inside when it comes to Grandmothers we are still little girls) were not given that blessing. Let's hold those days in our hearts & minds forever. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas. And your shopper girls are so adorable. I remember them well even if I am 4 years older than you. YOUNG yes we are. Ha Ha. Charlene

~~Deby said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to your grandmother..your tenderness and love for each other is so evident..lovely..
Deby

MiniMadWoman said...

Rebecca, what a lovely post! It brings to mind my own grandmother and all the little treasures she had around her home.

Your Christmas girls are just gorgeous and so precious!

Thanks for sharing!

Blessings,
Teresa

Linda K. said...

Thank you for the lovely story of you and your grand mother. It did indeed bring back some fond memories here also.
Blessings,
Linda

debbie said...

DEAR REBECCA,
I HAVE BEEN CATCHING UP ON THE POSTS I HAVE MISSED.
BEAUTIFUL MEMORY...AND GRACIOUSLY TOLD. I FEEL AS IF I WAS THERE WITH YOU AND HER.
I LOVE...LOVE..LOVE THE NAPCO FIGURINES..ONE TIME I FOUND TWO LADY PLANTERS IN BEAUTIFUL GREEN AND GAVE ONE TO MY SISTER.
I BOUGHT ONE IN PINK THAT IS NOT A PLANTER THAT IS WALKING TWO POODLES...I ALSO LOVE THE CAROLERS AND I HAD TWO AND GAVE OR LET MY SISTER PICK THE ONE SHE WANTED...MINE IS IN VELVET RED COAT.....LOVE THEM. MY LADY IN THE GREEN DRESS I KEEP OUT AND I HAVE PENCILS AND PINS IN HER. THEY JUST MAKE ME SMILE.
THANKS FOR SHARING SUCH A BEAUTIFUL TIME.
ANGEL HUGS
DEBBIE

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