Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Shift of Summer (My Bubbie's Shift Dress)

Growing up, I always wanted my parents' and grandparents' clothes. The problem was no one ever kept anything! I had a handful of some old band t-shirts from my dad's teenage years but my mother kept nearly nothing from her teenage years.

It is because of this that I struggle to get rid of clothes myself - what if my future daughter wants them? Well, let's hope she wants clothes styled like the 50s and 60s and not the 2010s because I don't dress to the time at all!

Still, even though I can only ear of my Bubbie's clothes in stories and see them in photos, I do have a small collection of her things. Household items, on the other hand, fall into a totally different category as I have her old sewing machine, antique china from her wedding, and as I write this, I am sitting at the dining room table that she had in her dining room in the 70s when my mom was a teenager.

Lately, I've been rocking some of her earrings (she has a vast clip on collection and we joke that I have claim to it when she passes) but that is really all there is from the past. However, in high school, I acquired a blouse and a dress from her. She somehow had these items but nothing else. She always says how she wishes she held onto more.

I wore this dress throughout college and held onto it since. I can see why she kept it and always wore it - the straps tie on (making it easily adjustable), the dress is a very loose-fitting dress with next to no shape to it, and it has pockets. What more could a housewife and mom of three want in a summer dress?

It was so fun to find a photograph of her in it, too! Years after I scored the dress from her, she stumbled upon the photo above. It is of her and my Zaydie. She believes it was taken in the Boston Commons somewhere, if her memory serves correct (though I am not so sure it is correct based on the forest-esque trees in the far background but perhaps the busy city life that now surrounds the commons were yet to be built). Regardless of where this is, look at those flowers! And that fountain! The city has certainly changed so much.

They loved taking trips into the city and still did up until my Zaydie got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about ten years ago or so (he passed away about 7 years ago) - it was hard for my Zaydie to give up driving and going on adventures with my Bubbie once his illness started to worsen (fun fact: my Bubbie never learned to drive and doesn't have a license!), but I know my Bubbie has hundreds of trips to look back on if she ever feels the longing to have an adventure. Her travels have slowed in her older age solo but she still manages to have fun with some of her friends in her retirement community.

I love that my Bubbie and Zaydie were Adventure Buddies like Cody and I are (it was even in our vows!). I may not be a Brave Betty (I am definitely more of a play-it-safe worry-wart) but I do have a sense of adventure and I love that I got it from my grandparents.

Perhaps someday, I will track down the very spot where their photo was taken and will recreate it in her dress with Cody at my side!