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Isn’t it interesting how some of the things we loved when we were children still appeal to us mightily as adults?  Fortunately, I guess, we lose interest in most of what kept us spellbound as children.  However, I’ve noticed there are a few sacred items that still capture my undying attention as an octogenarian.

 

Ballet

For instance, although I haven’t been in a ballet class in fifty years, yesterday I watched an hour long documentary about young women who have devoted their lives to the dance, now faced with the reality of the written -in -stone selection process in the ballet world that is essential to get to the next level and go on with a career.  Too busty?  Too bad!  I was riveted.  I felt their pain when they had to confront the reality that their long dreamed of career had hit a brick wall.It’s a fascinating story and revelation for all dance lovers; a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of professional ballerinas.  Silver Feet.

While watching it, I found my feet doing the combinations and my face smiling for the young women when things went well for them.  Over identification, perhaps?

I let ballet “go” when I was about 14.  It was a tough decision, but made easier because asthma had made completing a typically vigorous class difficult for me.  But the years have not diminished my appreciation of its beauty, nor lessened my desire to be able to participate in a class again!

Nantucket

Nantucket, a tiny, isolated island off Cape Cod,Massachusetts, is a summer destination with dune-backed beaches. It’s marked by unpainted cedar-shingled buildings, many surrounded by manicured privets. The wharves and cobblestoned streets of the Town of Nantucket are lined with restaurants, high-end boutiques and steepled churches. The town’s Whaling Museum recounts the island’s role as a 19th-century whaling hub.  google

I might be disappointed by all the growth that’s happened on the island in my absence. It will be interesting to see.  I know my days of biking to the be aches from town has ended. 

What about collecting multi – colored scallop shells at local beaches? Treasure!! I doubt that I’ll be able to resist.  I also know I can no longer lay about in the sun for hours as I used to.  Bring the sun screen, lady and a good book to read under an umbrella. 

I loved Nantucket because all beaches had public access, unlike most of snotty New England.  I loved the architecture, the dunes, the wild roses, the ferry ride over, the fresh swordfish, the long bike rides, the strolls through town.  There was little I didn’t like.  In the early days, for several years, we were able to rent a small but usable cottage for $100 per week, which was manageable and meant that we returned year after year.  Our move to CA ended the idyll. But not the desire to go there.

Flowers

I’ve always loved flowers.  So did my Mom.  Our landscape  overflowed with them when I was a child. My mother could hardly wait to get the first pansies in the almost frozen ground. I always shared her happiness once they were planted.  It meant winter was over!!  I still haunt the nurseries.  This is a love that will last my life time I am sure!  When I first moved to CA and walked through a plant nursery, I was truly a kid in a candy store!I still enjoy the experience.CA is the Garden of Eden.

Vintage, but not precious

Growing up in New England, I was never far away from antiques.  You guessed it; my mother loved to go antiquing.  Me, not so much, but I could be easily lured to join her with a promise to look at the antique dolls. I somehow understood that they were too expensive for us, but I never gave up hoping.

I always enjoyed looking at vintage ads and papers.  In those years, vintage paper items were almost a giveaway,  so I soon had a very small collection of my own.

I’ve somehow managed to keep some of these papers.  I still  enjoy rifling through them when I come across them.  Somehow they transport me instantly back 150 years or so.  Oh those dresses!  and petticoats!

Dolls

A subcategory of antiques are the antique dolls.  They made American made dolls seem primitive by comparison. They still seem exquisite to me, but fortunately, I’m beyond wanting one, although if one of my grandkids twisted my arm….Maybe it’s the glass eyes?

Milernery flowers

Another sub category of antiques are milernery flowers that once adorned women’s hats.  Nothing seemed too frivolous or extravagant to be used to enhance a hat!  I have managed to buy a few old hats covered with milernery flowers, as well as a few tied old corsages made with daisies.  Every once and a while, I’ll pin a little charmer to something I have on.  (not underwear)I’m never sure whether it looks as charming to other onlookers, or just looks stupid, but I do it anyways.

I still love these flowers and have found a few websites that sell them. When I figure out something clever to do with them, I’ll let you know!

FYI, in case you think all I do is keep adding to the pile, here are some things I’ve let go!   Strawberry ice cream sodas, ruffled anything, crinoline petticoats,  big sleeved blouses, too much pink, circle skirts, high heels, playing the flute, Superman and wonder woman, ethnic clothing, deep crush on Yul Brynner.

Funny, these images still look damn good to me.  Maybe it’s time to revisit??

Dianne Vapnek

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

4 Comments

  • dbsite33 says:

    Also about Nantucket. My wife’s mother and stepfather had a place out on what was then called the “moors” where they spent many a happy summer. The placed burned to the ground and they rented a boathouse for a couple of years before building again out near Siasconset, which as you probably know is pronounced Sconset. In 1970 I visited Kendal and her mother at the boathouse (the evil stepfather was absent, sailing somewhere). Kendal and I drove all over the island in her mother’s old volkswagen beetle, probably early 60s vintage. Had a delicious lunch at the Opera House. After 2 days, we were off to pick up our 1959 MGA which we had (crazily) driven across the country to make the return to SB. The whole trip in that old 2-seater english roaster proved to be quite an adventure with a breakdown in Chicago on the trip west. I left the car at my aunt’s and uncle’s charming cottage on Cape Cod. My aunt, an accomplished pilot, had flown me out to Nantucket. We took the ferry to Hyannis Port, caught a bus and spent the night at my aunt’s place before setting off to visit Wingaersheek beach near Cape Ann where my family had a summer house until we moved to SB. All this with our medium large dog and I with very long hair and beard. As I said, crazy! Thanks for triggering the memories!!

  • MARTIN RINGEL says:

    A NOT TOO SMELLY HAT SOUNDS FINE BUT WHEN I BECAME AN ADULT I BEGAN TO LOVE AND APPRECIATE FLORIST SHOPS, GARDENS AND FREQUENTLY VISITED GOLDEN GATE PARK TO SEE THE BOUGAINVILLEAS IN BLOOM. A GREAT PLACE TO SEE MANY VARIETIES OF FLORA.
    YOUR GARDEN IN SB IS ALSO VERY LOVELY.

  • MARTIN RINGEL says:

    I HAVE TWO COMMENTS TO MAKE. MY FIRST IS ABOUT NANTUCKET. I HAVE BEEN THERE TWICE BUT THE BEST TIME I HAD WAS WHEN YOU, DANNY AND THE KIDS WERE THERE. I CAME WITH JEANNIE DURING THE TIME YOU RENTED THE COTTAGE. WE ENJOYED THE WALKS ALONG THE BEACH,WATCHING DANNY CATCH FISH AND THEN SERVE WHAT HE CAUGHT FOR DINNER. I REMEMBER THERE WAS A LITTLE FISH RESTAURANT CLOSE TO THE FERRY STATION AND WHILE WAITING FOR THE FERRY TO ARRIVE I HELPED MYSELF TO A DOZEN OR MORE DELICIOUS OYSTERS. I LIKED TO DANCE AS A CHILD, I HAD A SISTER THAT TAUGHT ME HOW AND THAT STAYED WITH ME THROUGHOUT MY LIFE EVEN TO THIS DAY. I LOVED WATCHING BALLET AS WELL AND MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WAS SEEING THE ALVIN ALLEY GROUP. YOU WERE ALWAYS GRACIOUS TO INVITE ME AND JEANNIE TO PERFORMANCES OF THE MARGRET JENKINS DANCE COMPANY. FINALLY THERE WAS SUMMER FEST THAT YOU SPONSORED AND ORGANIZED AND I WAS OFTEN INVITED TO SEE THE WORKS OF THE WONDERFUL EMERGING DANCE COMPANIES THAT PERFORMED IN SANTA BARBARA. ALWAYS A DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE SHARED WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

    • Dianne Vapnek says:

      So glad you enjoyed the offerings! I noticed I never exposed you to the beauty of vintage milernery flowers. Maybe it’s time for an old, not too smelly hat? xo

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