"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Friday, January 1, 2016

Long Ago And Faraway


Could this ancient artifact actually be a form of communication in the 20th century?  I don't even remember coming across one of these.  A redneck version of texting perhaps?  And yet, this is the way people used to message each other, tacked up on doors across the country. 

This little beauty has leather for hinges and a hand carved latch to keep the note from blowing away.  The maker even made a little gravel shingled roof for it.



Kind of makes one nostalgic for a sweeter time: where a handshake sealed the deal, manners were the norm and hearth and home was your sanctuary; neighbors all knew one another; formed a community around friends and family...

26 comments:

  1. This little note house took me back to my childhood, One of my Mom's friends had a little note holder similar to this on her front door. I thought it was cute then, and still do. I like the way you have it displayed with the homey green doily.

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    1. Susie, haven't heard from you or about you in a long time. We need a note house. Had several things the same color in the guest bedroom and had them tucked away. I am in the process of setting up a booth in an antique mall and will finally (hopefully) get rid of all the leftover antiques I have.

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  2. Those were not uncommon in my childhood neighborhood. You've done well with the green doily, too.

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    1. I can't even imagine how they made those doilies. Were the note boxes used in England too?

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  3. Wow that takes me back a bit, think we still have one in one of the attics

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    1. Well then Doc, we both either need to use it or purge which is what I am in the midst of.

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  4. I have not seen this before. What a nice idea.
    We used to just leave a note on the door, tucked into the frame or under a rock.

    I keep meaning to tell you how much I like your art on the right. I have made nests from whatever I can find but your paper one is beyond beautiful.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish.

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    1. Thank you so Parsnip. We both must have a thing about nests and eggs and birds. The note keeper is unique in this day and age. Wish I could be around in another 60 years to see what new technologies are around.

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  5. I haven't seen them before - but like them.
    A lot.
    There is a warmth and a charm which is completely absent from texts (or I think so).

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    1. Yes Child, quite a different world back then.

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  6. I love it! Would be interested to know where your booth will be.

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    1. River City in Jenks back in a corner in the northeast side of building. I haven't even seen the space yet. They just called after I've been on the waiting list for over a year and a half. Will just be getting rid of stuff, not going to restock and go back in the business.

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  7. That is lovely Donna ..... times were so much simpler then weren't they ? My Grandmother would post a letter to her sister in the morning and get a reply in the second post !!!!! Still, I guess we can text now so we have to move on, don't we but, as Elephant's Child says, where is the warmth and charm in a text ?!!!!!! XXXX

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    1. Yes, we must move along with the tide, but it was a different time. I don't know how the youth today will be able to communicate without their cell phones and emoticons (emojis?)

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  8. Ah, those were the days Donna. Here, way out in the beautiful countryside, where almost everyone knows one another, we are now advised to keep our outside doors locked when we are in the house, even in the daytime. The police tell us that there are opportunist thieves around, just looking for an unlocked door.

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    1. That is hard to believe and yet I have known people who were out in their garden when a thief entered and stole her purse. I never used to lock my doors at night or when I left the house. Now they tell you to keep your cars locked too so thieves can't get your garage door opener. In many ways, those were the days.

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  9. Oh, Miss Donna!!

    Lovely to have you have drop in at LAWN TEA! And yes, that was Chris and me in the picture---the children at school call out "Hi, Santa! Hi, Mrs. Santa!" We make sure to tell folks we're the SOUTH Pole Clauses.

    I've been looking in on you now and then during the holidays, but having so many in and out, so unaccustomed a crowd (but now to be a much more often thing, since five of our Lovies just moved to Ohio, just 1 1/2 hours away, and have been here three times since Thanksgiving). I just can't keep up with the schedule, let alone all the wonderful doings.

    And out of all your marvelous treasures, your art and arcanities, your animals and pond and creations beyond gift---I've never actually coveted anything you own as much as this dainty door---what a precious memory!. Our friends the Herrons had one of those, a softly polished cedar one, I think, with the smooths of many fingers over time, beside their front door (alongside one of those turn-the-key bells that BRIIIIIIIIINNNNNNGGG! so delightfully to a child's ears, and probably caused Mrs. H. many a headache and exasperation when she found one of US at the door for "Can Laney come out and play?" rather than the Watkins Man or her church-lady group.

    I realize now that it was a simple, country continuation of other times' calling cards, wrought in cut-up notebook paper or ends of stationery, rendered useful and small in our own version of recycling which was simply a matter of course.

    Theirs was a little deeper, I remember, like a little inch-deep birdhouse, and with a much-sharpened nub of a pencil inside. I've left Laney many a note (ringing the bell AFTER, just before running off the porch), and she'd oblige at my house, in a particular spot in the viburnums where I kept my own "mailbox" made of an ever-rotating succession of Morton's Salt or Quaker Oats boxes beneath on overturned foot-tub. Mine left SO much to be desired, but it served.

    What a charming rendition, and what a wonderful piece of memory you've conjured!

    Happy New Year to you and all you love,

    rachel

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    1. Rachel, what a full life you have going on there. And, you are younger than I am. Everyone, almost, is. I am glad to see so many remember these little note houses. Like I said, I never saw one before this one. It is a cutie. It does have the two little holes in the front and I wondered if that was for little pencils though they would have to have been small. Isn't it something how times have changed? Hope your new year is a good one.

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  10. Donna! That is the cutest little thingy! I have a vague remembrance of something so similar from my childhood. I love that idea. Geez, I actually remember when people WROTE LETTERS..on paper, in envelopes, with stamps! In the "OLD DAYS" people would leave a calling card at the door, I have a collection of these; they were the size of a modern day business card, but with a beautiful image and the name of the caller.

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    1. I bet those were older than this item, though I am sure there were cards left in the little house. I think it belongs in the Smithsonian museum of news or communication. How funny it must seem to the young generation.

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  11. I had one at one point many many years ago:)
    I was smitten with it..

    I think I still am:)
    I still love a handwritten note and love sending them off~

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    1. Well, I guess they were universal - used in lots of places. I am terrible at handwritten messages, cards and such. It is always so nice to receive. Every year I think I will paint my own Christmas cards to send, and I never do.

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  12. Such a sweet little box, I haven't heard of it's use before now, I thought at first it was a key-keeper...
    Handwritten notes, something I covet. I learned how to do calligraphy in college, and always took great pride in my handwriting, it's a lost art I'm afraid.
    Yes, the youth of today, have a difficult time spelling , and composing, without their phones doing it for them *Sigh*.....off my soap box now.
    ~Jo

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    1. At least we'll be able to write secret messages in cursive as they won't know what we are saying. I always wanted to do calligraphy. It is so beautiful. One used to be able to buy beautiful pages of vellum with calligraphic birds and script etc. on eBay.

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  13. LOVE this! I don't think I've even seen one of these before. Thanks for sharing. Have to say I do love the little library houses people are building around the neighborhoods. Gives me such a feeling of community.

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    1. Oh Kirsten, I love those too. Some are just the cutest and what a treat for those whom love to read and can't afford it or travel to the library.

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