Old Kitchen Nostalgia

imagesGTMBP5VTI enjoy home improvement shows. I particularly like those where renovations happen to bring a “bargain” purchase up to modern speed…but my “weirdness” comes in during the first look at the “before” aspects of the homes.

renovation101216dIt almost always makes me feel a little twinge of poignancy. A pang. A bittersweet sense, of nostalgia for those times and places gone by.52ebec5f697ab040980006d1__w_540_s_fit_


Beautiful 1950s kitchen

I can’t help envisioning, sometimes – especially with the kitchens – the happy times, the meals cooked and eaten by countless people, the gatherings enjoyed, and holidays and birthday celebrated. It can be places from times long before I was born; it doesn’t matter.


Kitchen from around the time I was born in the 1960s

The room(s) that hosted those events is being cleared out, emptied, stripped down. That wallpaper or those cabinets and countertops so lovingly selected in 1957 or 1963, or 1990 are nothing more, now, then a mark of a bygone era, and the people who chose them and lived there have moved on, literally or figuratively, to greener pastures.

It makes me kind of…sad.


peeking into a lit window at a cozy scene

Perhaps my feeling is connected to the game my mother and I would play (and that I still do sometimes even now, I confess) when we’d be driving somewhere, especially at night, and I could glimpse through some open shades or curtains a lit room or two in a home as we passed by. I was always fascinated by that, imagining the people who lived there by having that quick look. What were they like? What were their hopes, dreams? Were they happy or in the grip of a tragic or challenging circumstance? That “What if?” game led to me writing novels, I’m sure – but it’s also part and parcel of what niggles at me during those home improvement shows.

I’m pretty sure that makes me weird (so if you’re akin to this, or even understand what I’m talking about here, please chime in through the comments, so I know I’m not alone, LOL)!

Do YOU ever get a bittersweet sense of poignancy about something that doesn’t have personal meaning to you?

A Little Cup of Happy…

vintage coffee

Vintage Maxwell House Coffee ad

I’m not sure why ads like these from the 1940’s and 1950’s make me feel happy.

I wasn’t even born until the later half of the ’60’s. My mother, who was in her 20’s during the 1950’s, tells me her memories of the defined gender roles, limitations in career and other options for women etc. – and I have no desire to live in that context, preferring the freedoms and opportunities available to American women in this decade.

But vintage pictures like this coffee ad still make me feel a little nostalgic. Maybe it’s the (likely false) idea of a simpler time. In memory it looks lovely and easier to navigate, but in reality it would probably be stifling. Still, the era – and everything that came after it – are all part of the fabric of who we are here and now…

I don’t have the same affinity for any other decade of the 20th century – not even my heyday decade of the ’80’s.

I guess I’ll just leave off my efforts to figure it out for now, and just enjoy the way it makes me feel…happy. 🙂