Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fearless Females: Heirlooms

Lisa Alzo, who writes The Accidental Genealogist blog, has brought back a 31-day series of blogging themes called Fearless Females, in honor of celebrating March as Women's History Month. I hope to participate in as many of these blogging prompts as possible this month.

March 6 - Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor.

Turquoise Bracelet and Earrings
When I was a young girl I remember my "Aunt Etty" wearing this gorgeous turquoise bracelet and earrings. Aunt Etty wasn't really an aunt; she was my grandmother's, Sina Bellinger Kelly, first cousin. Sina's children didn't have an aunt, so Aunt Etty declared that she would be their aunt, and so she was. She became the aunt to my mother and her siblings as well as to my cousins and me.

I always thought that Aunt Etty lived an exotic life - she traveled a lot and seemed like a jet setter even before that phrase was coined. My memory tells me that Etty bought this turquoise bracelet and matching earrings while on one of her many trips to Mexico.

After Aunt Etty died in 1968, the jewelry was passed on to my mother, who always wore them with great style and elan. In the 1970s, turquoise jewelry was all the rage and I purchased several of my own rings and bracelets during my regular trips to Las Vegas. None of what I purchased could ever compare with these pieces that were likely purchased sometime between 1920 - 1950.

Aunt Jerry, Aunt Etty, Mom, Me
all Fearless Females
summer 1968
Mom wore this jewelry everywhere. And that meant that we couldn't go anywhere without someone stopping her to admire the bracelet. And she wore it well.

After Mom's death the jewelry was passed on to me. As much as I love this bracelet, it is extremely heavy! After a few hours, it's got to come off. So, for now, it remains in my jewelry drawer with all the rest of my turquoise jewelry from the 1970s.

But every time I see this bracelet or wear it, I'm definitely carrying a little bit of Aunt Etty and my Mom with me.

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