I may not remember this moment (circa 1954) or why we called our cousin Baby but never referred to the littler sister that way, or posing with them all dressed up in skirts with straps, holding hands and no doubt being cajoled into saying cheese…but I will never forget that three-bears skirt of mine.
Just by looking at us you will understand how hard it was to compete for attention with these two gorgeous little Shirley Temples in my life, but I wonder if that day it didn’t bother me so much. Because I was wearing the best skirt in the universe. It was red corduroy with brown and white fuzzy appliquéd teddy bears, a birthday gift from a maiden aunt who always gave us birthday gifts to remember. Then she got married and had kids of her own and after that didn’t spoil us quite so much. She’s the one who cemented my love of all things red. There was also a shiny red faux leather purse another year. But that fabulous skirt was still the best. It was brand new, not a hand-me-down, mine first! I put it on and wanted never to take it off again.
It was probably a very sad day when I outgrew it. I expect it got passed on several times to other little girls who loved it too. That’s what we did with clothes, there was always someone else who could use them and when they were worn beyond repair the good bits got cut up for quilt blocks. A favourite game was to sit with a quilt over your legs and find grandmas Sunday dress or your brothers old plaid shirt.
Just so no one gets an overdose of nostalgia or cute I am going to try to limit my maudlin flashbacks to Fridays. Once a week seems about right.
Here’s to a great weekend, and patchwork quilts full of memories, and teddy bears, and all things red.
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