I have to share a couple weird/freaky/twilight zone experiences that have occurred recently where I felt like my grandmother Faye (to whom this blog is dedicated) has sent me a little “hello” from the heavens. This blog is about my fixation with MCM and personal home make-over first and foremost, but if you haven’t noticed, it’s about life too. I don’t profess to know how this is possible, but it’s just bizarre how my grandmother continues to remind me that it’s all about her. When I started this blog, my mother laughingly said to me, “Wherever Nana is, she’s jealous.”
Faye was fabulous in every way. She worked hard, lived hard, partied hard. As a result of that, she was taken from us before her time. Difficult as she could be, she was still “Nana” and my mother and I miss her so. She would tell you that the good looks in our family came from her. If someone excelled at any one subject, she would spin you a tale about how she practically invented whatever it was. She was a Leo to the extreme. Proud, brave, talented, vivacious….and a man-eater. All that said, she had inner demons that she battled her whole life-but you’d never know it with her beautiful and witty exterior: She was Fabulous Faye. Ask her how she was, and she’d throw her head back like an old film star and say “Just Maaarvy.”
Two weeks ago, I sat across the kitchen table from my father as a commercial for the psychic series, “The Long Island Medium” played in the background. I said to him, “Do you think that’s for real?! Wouldn’t it be so cool to know what Nana had to say to us!?” He shooed the comment away immediately, stating that the bible says not to mess with or “conjure up” spirits. I dropped it because no one can out-quote the bible like Dad. Also, he’s really scary.
Cut to last week when I stopped with my family in Lake Elsinore to check out a couple thrift shops. While in Elsinore, we broke for some grub and directly after, decided to pop over to just one more shop before heading to San Juan Capistrano for the day. This particular shop was the least of my favorites; a little on the rough side, and I went in expecting to smell more than I found. That seemed to be the case until I got to the housewares section. There, all bundled up was a full set of my grandmother’s exact china, Bamboo Knight by Sango from Japan. My uncle had purchased the china as a gift for her while he was on leave from the USS Midway in Vietnam. Totally mid-century. Totally gorgeous. I’ve only ever seen it one other place: my mom’s house. The whole set was for a steal. I thought, how cool is that to find Nana’s china in this little place!?!? Cool coincidence, but no big deal, right?
Then this week, I decided to become an Etsy shop owner so I can share my finds with the world – at great prices. I haven’t launched yet, but in my research and preparation to do so, I was scouring the internet for comparables of one ugly metal mailbox on a piece of driftwood. I picked one up at the last estate sale I’d gone to, secretly wondering why people buy this crap. Alas, I concluded, “what the hell, I’ll give it a whirl. I don’t like it, but someone will!” I now understand it would be of the “Jere Era.” Previous to that discovery, I was laboriously searching Ebay and Etsy…”brass metal mailbox sculpture” “metal mailbox sculpture on driftwood” and for some reason, NOTHING was coming up. Etsy’s search engine was giving me a “no results found” message. Even today, I can do the same thing and find two or three like-items using the same exact terms. However, on this particular day, it was not happening. I just knew I’d seen one before! In my desperation to research fair pricing and get my hideous mailbox posted, I decided to broaden the search by entering a simple “metal mailbox.” In the 100 results I got, everything BUT what I was looking for came up: I panned down the computer screen irritated at this point, seeing mailboxes of all kinds, mailbox numbers, house numbers, pictures of mailboxes…..then BAM, one single tiny golden icon caught my eye like a beacon of brass light. I immediately clicked on it, and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was priced at $12 plus shipping. I was a bit disappointed from a selling standpoint then something else caught my eye: the name “Faye” in the product description. I noticed there were more pictures to view and clicked on the one with the signature “Faye ’76.” My heart dropped as I looked at the signature. It was MY Nana’s signature. MY Faye. I showed my husband who rolled his eyes at me and lovingly said, “there’s no way.” I thought to myself, “He’s right…no way, too unlikely. Why would she sign it? She didn’t make it or anything.”
Why was it the only brass mailbox I could find, though? I immediately called my mother who told me that Nana very well could have made it. She hadn’t remembered seeing it, but that Nana considered herself an artisan. Besides all her other positive attributes, she was very artistic. In previous years, at rehab stints she would do art projects and sometimes bring them home. And the year 1976? She would have been in rehab at that time. Still critical of my own foolish hope, I went back and looked up where the Etsy shop owner was located: Monterrey, California. Planted just south of the San Francisco and San Mateo areas where my grandmother lived much of her life. Of course, I immediately bought it. Is there any question that I had to have it? I’m giving it to my mother as a gift. I can attest to the fact that it is an amateur sculpture evidenced by glue spots and imperfections. It’s hers. I just know it is. Mom’s since viewed the signature and can’t swear on it, but she says it’s a definite possibility. I can’t guarantee it’s hers, but it is. I peed a little when I saw the signature, alright? It’s hers. You know what, though? It doesn’t matter either way. One thing that is absolutely certain, is someone somewhere knows how much she is missed….and we’re being blessed by discovering little pieces of her every now and then – even after she’s left this world.