Friday, January 27

The Swiss Chalet Music Box

This Swiss chalet music box sat on my grandmother's coffee table in the very center of her living room for my entire childhood and it was moved up higher on a shelf during my teenage years when we moved to NC.  It now resides on an upper shelf in my office as Nana has relocated once again, in Heaven, this time without me, leaving this Swis Alp cottage long behind.

When I was a child and this resided in Gram's living room, it elicited in me a desire to travel, to see where people might live in a house like this. What would those people look like?  How might they dress?

Many years later, I found one as I walked down a country lane in Freilassing, Germany.......
the town of my grandmother's long lost cousin:

When I was a teenager, this Swiss chalet music box spoke to me of a distant cousin of my grandmother who lived in a village of cottages just like this one.  Cousin Barb.  My grandmother's Cousin Barb lived in a cottage like this in a country an ocean away.  Cousin Barb, I imagined, was a gray haired older woman much like my grandma; two cousins living identical lives in very different environments.

Later I learned of their relationship.  Much, much later as I visited Europe, I had a train stop in Cousin Barb's town.  She had me in for tea and told me all about her and my Gram's relationship -- how they had grown up together, looked for boyfriends together, married and went separate ways.  She told me how everyone thought she was crazy to leave the country to do mission work.  Cousin Barb often sent Gram little things from Germany that were meant to pull Gram's heart towards her.  An apron....ceramics.... a Swiss Chalet music box.

Isn't it funny how we traverse through life.  The ironies.  The little things that form a thread throughout an entire life.  The separated cousins.  The toy-like chalet I loved.  My chance encounter from an unplanned train stop. It all came together and now this little Swiss chalet on my bookshelf is the keeper of so many memories, secrets even.  It doesn't look like much, but oh how it is.


Mom said...

I'm so glad you have the box Val, you appeciate family memories like I do, so many things in Gram's room I haven't moved------keeps me reminded of her years with me and how much I miss her.

Anonymous said...

I have a few kitchen items and dishes that were hers,and I love using them just for thoughts of her. I also remember the Swiss Chalet box.