“We Are the Kind of People Who Pass Things Down”

“We are the kind of people who pass things down,” was what my grandmother said to me as her china cabinet was being put on my porch. Just days earlier she had given me part of one of my great-grandmother’s china patterns to use at Thanksgiving.


The china I had coveted for some time, the china cabinet I had not.


It was more of a mid-century style, something I want in my living room but not so much in my dining room. I’d had a nice china cabinet once before, purchased as a wedding present from my grandmother- Memaw as we call her, to be distinguished from Minge my father’s mother- but I was not allowed to have it back by so many outside forces. It’s in another home. I’d envisioned another one like that in my living room, but Memaw wanted me to have this one because my uncle wanted it out of the St. Simons home to make more room for his items.


“I don’t think your mother and father purchased any furniture, they got so many things when Mimi passed away,” Memaw continued on. “We are not the kind of people who buy those things.”


It sounds like a snobbish indictment when she says it, but it’s not meant that way. It’s simply a statement of who we are, the kind of people we are. I suspect it comes from the Depression, so much in her mind is a result of that time- my uncle loves to talk about how she and my Papaw were obsessed with the idea that the Nazi’s and the Depression were coming back and how it affected so many of their decisions. For their generation, it was the Depression that made passing items down precious. Her grandmother, Maimie, was a force to be reckoned with. One of the first female business owners in Macon, she became a widow early on and married into a more prominent family in town. Memaw remembers the Halliburton’s well but did not keep up with her step-family. Maimie taught Memaw the importance of having your own money, your own things, as a woman. She ran for city council and marched for women’s rights. She taught the value of having nice things and then passing them down.


So yes, while the reputation out there among those of the generation before mine is that they don’t want their parents items, I’m not sure the same can be said of mine. I’d like to thing we value the older things, the things that may not cost a lot of money but have a higher value.


Like the mug my Minge gave me, my father’s mother, one year for Christmas. It says “Votes for Women” and I love it.


As for me, I had planned to sand down the cabinet and paint it. But I think it looks rather lovely in the room- matching the hand me down chairs alongside my newly made table. All of them gifts, the table in fact built lovingly from wood from older homes in our area. *go check out Georgia Artisan* I can treasure them all.



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I was so proud of myself the other night. It was the first full, put together, have people over dinner Nathan and I did with our new @gaartisan The dining room has finally been painted, the original tile that was under crap looks beautiful, the print from Mary-Frances is perfect (and I still need to frame it) as was a little find at the @HistoricMacon Flea Market next to it, and I remembered that these dessert cups I got at an antique store in Plains, Georgia during Nicole’s wedding weekend would look lovely with the carnations Plus, B had been learning about President Jimmy Carter at school. So I put out the cups and say to the kiddos, “Do y’all know where Mommy got these?” And before I could speak further LK pipes up and says “WALMART?!!” 😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒 . . . . . . #foodblogger #styleblogger #FlashesofDelight #LiveColorfully #chasinglight #BloggerVibes #PursuePretty #ThatsDarling #theSouth #SouthernLiving #DeepSouth #SouthernCharm #style #styleoftheday #styleinspiration #thisis35 #Atlanta #downtownAtlanta #SouthernStyle

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This Thanksgiving, and all the time, I can treasure that my people are the kind of people who pass things down. I’m grateful to receive them and the stories they tell.

Love to all y’all,


Molly McWilliams Wilkins

Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a Southern culture commentator, web producer, and social media marketing maven. She is also a freelance writer who has worked with a variety of publications and online magazines including Bourbon & Boots, Paste Magazine, Macon Magazine, the 11th Hour, Macon Food & Culture Magazine, and as the Digital Content Editor for The Southern Weekend. Mommy first, fashionista, social media maven, writer, artist, dreamer and poet. Hangs on to her Oxford Commas by force. Addicted to shoes and purses- and lots of coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.

Molly McWilliams Wilkins has 883 posts and counting. See all posts by Molly McWilliams Wilkins

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