Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Love Letters ~ Air Mail



Valentine's Day is just around the corner and love is in the air! I set a table for two on my dining room table to have lots of room to spread out and read my Daddy's letters to my mother written from Italy, Africa, and England from 1942-1945. I get chill bumps just thinking of how hard it must have been for them during the war. 
I'm joining a group of tablescapers for another great blog hop sponsored by Chloe Crabtree@ Celebrate and Decorate. The blog links to other Valentine table inspiration are at the bottom of this post. Be sure to visit them and leave a comment letting them know you enjoyed their post.


This tiered tray was my mother's. The dainty roses on the tiered tray were perfect to display some cameos Daddy brought back from Italy. I'm sure they were not expensive since he was a sergeant but they are almost antique now and are meaningful to me.


The letters are also special and I think of more questions every time I read them. My mother saved all the ones he wrote her. I only can find a few that my mother wrote my daddy. Maybe something happened to them in all the moving around he did. 


"MY HEART TO YOU IS GIVEN:
OH, DO GIVE YOURS TO ME;
WE'LL LOCK THEM UP TOGETHER,
AND THROW AWAY THE KEY."
FREDERICK SAUNDERS

This was a pretty birthday card to her. 


It is dated July 1945, so it was sent after the war was over when he was back in the states but not released yet. 

I had envisioned a lush garland of assorted colors and varieties of camellias as a centerpiece but the weather did not cooperate. There were only a few and mostly  one variety. It was disappointing but could not be helped. 
Since my flowers did not work out as planned I went all out with a silver tray full of crystal candlesticks collected through the years. Candlelight always evokes romance and is perfect for a valentine celebration.

This pink transferware plate is an English pattern called Royal Vitreous Bombay by John Maddock and Sons. I happened to have two just alike which was just what I needed for a Valentine tablescape. They were bought at separate places from antique shops years ago.   
The etched crystal goblets were my mother's and it is a  Fostoria pattern from the 1940's called Meadow Rose. I've always adored them and never tire of using them. They are quite delicate and must be hand-washed but I don't mind. Something else I never tire of is my wedding flatware by Gorham named Buttercup and I use it often.
The silver plate champagne flutes have a lovely grape pattern.
I topped a napkin ring with this larger cameo.  It suffered a crack somewhere over the years but it is still pretty. I love the size of it and  wish I knew where in Italy Daddy purchased it.

For the second napkin I embellished a filigree napkin ring with a costume jewelry vintage pin.


And here is my mother's handwriting I would recognize anywhere on the few letters that survived from her to Daddy overseas during the war. 
Be sure to visit the blogs below for more Valentine inspiration. 
                     Happy Valentine's Day🌹
Click on the links below to visit each blog hop participant.
Thank you Chloe, for all the work you do to organize these blog hops.


35 comments:

  1. Bonnie, How oh so very special that you have your dad’s love letters to your mom during the war. What wonderful heirloom and sweet treasure to have! The cameos he brought back from Italy are beautiful and so pretty as a napkin ring, as is your silver tray serving as a centerpiece with your crystal candlesticks and your camellias. I adore your pink transferware plates too. I love picking up individual pieces and mixing transferware patterns. As always it’s a pleasure to join you at the table. I hope your Valentine’s Day is extra sweet. ♥

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    1. Mary, I can't tell you what those letters mean. Just seeing the postmark dates made me cry. I found them in my parents cedar chest along with my mothers wedding dress and veil, and Daddy's dress uniform coat and one shirt.

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  2. Oh Bonnie, how I love this! The sentiment of the love letters from our parents' greatest generation must never be lost! I'm so happy you have so many! My father served and we saved several (not all) from him to my mother, too. The cameos are beautiful as well. My favorite is the Three Graces, crack and all. Your camellias are outstanding, no need for apologies of variety, they are so gorgeous. Your table of treasures is straight from the heart, and heart-warming. I love being in your company. Happy February!

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    1. Thank you sweet friend. I hope to share these with my children and my sister. I have been meaning to do some research about cameos and I have glad to know the name of the larger one with the three ladies.

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  3. Bonnie, I teared up reading this most beautiful post. What a treasure to have these love letters from your parents, truly the greatest generation. They are priceless and to be cherished by your children and grandchildren. The cameos brought back from Italy are so pretty, I have a soft spot for them. Your table is lovely with the transferware, silver tray with candles and camellias as a centerpiece, and the Fostoria crystal. Once again this post warmed my heart, thank you for sharing a bit of your history with us. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Mike ❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you so much, Pam. I truly am glad I have them. I also learned that Daddy got to go to Rome from some pictures that were with the letters. He never mentioned seeing London either until I read about it in his letters. I guess they were so glad the war was over and they were home they didn't talk about the war times.

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  4. Well I have sat here and teared up reading this! Oh Bonnie! How blessed to have those precious letters. I cannot even began to imagine being in the war times then. Just so so precious are these letters. Your table for two is by far the sweetest ever. LOVE those plates. I only have 6 like them but do love them. They remind me of romance. Your napkin rings.....Girl...I need some like that. And that sweet cameo added a burst of love to the whole mix. I am so glad you shared this. My heart leaps and you've given me so many ideas with old pictures I have found that I have no clue who some are. Was passed down from grandparents. I hope that you have a wonderful day dear Bonnie. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. You are so sweet, Cindy. Finding those old letters have brought many emotions. I miss my parents so much.

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  5. I had to pin your beautiful tablescape as well. Showing a friend this morning that is wanting to do something with her table to reflect her past. This might give her some ideas. Hugs and blessings, AGAIN...Cindy

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  6. I've seen a lot of gorgeous tables on this blog hop and yours is too. But I will say hands down it is the most romantic of them all. I love the letters, love that you still have them, read them, treasure them. It's a wonderful theme but even more so, a wonderful love story.

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  7. Thank you Jeanie. It is a wonderful love story that I cherish. I also found pictures that told me so much I never knew.

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  8. Bonnie, your table is lovely. How wonderful that you have the precious letters from your parents. They are so romantic and such a family treasure. I do love your assorted candles on the beautiful tray. Nothing could be more lovely or romantic. A truly beautiful post.

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  9. Oh Bonnie, what treasures those letters are! Incredible that you have been able to keep them and read them, it must be such a moving experience as you re-live their love...Your elegant table setting does them great honor, the delicate stemware and the transferware plates, and the silver tray full of fat camellia blooms, so gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing your special story!
    Jenna

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  10. Bonnie, how special to have those lovely letters your father sent to your mother during the war. I know you must treasure them so. Your beautiful table is such a loving tribute. Your centerpiece turned out both beautiful and elegant with the pretty camellias and candles perched upon the gorgeous silver tray. Everything looks perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner!

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  11. I am joining in with the others who have tears in their eyes while reading about the wonderful letters sent from you Father during the war. What treasures these are. I understand you counting on the camellias and they not cooperating, typical garden plant and weather issues, right? Your table is lovely! Thank you so much for joining in another hop and sharing these personal treasures!

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  12. Oh your table is filled with romance and memories! Love the you have all those letters between your mother and dad. Those were definitely tough times. Those dishes combined with the silver and crystal are perfect, full of romance! The flowers are the icing on the cake or should I say centerpiece!

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  13. I have been looking forward to this Valentine Blog hop, as I knew it would be so lovely. I enjoyed this beautiful love story, with an equally beautiful table.

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  14. Hi Bonnie, such a lovely table and so full of precious memories. Love that you shared you Father's love letters to your mom. How sweet that is to have these lovely treasures. The camellias as a centerpiece are stunning. Lovely china as well. You certainly have the prized collections Bonnie. How sweet to have the cameo. Truly romantic with the flickering candlelight. Always a pleasure Bonnie.

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  15. Hi Bonnie,

    Oh, I do so love your pretty table, but I really love the priceless treasures of your father's war-time letters to your mother. What a wonderful thing for you to have. My mother's uncle was engaged to be married to a local girl when he went off to war, but sadly he was killed in Anzio, Italy, at the age of 25.

    I always enjoy seeing your tablescapes and glimpses of your home. Your taste is so classic and so southern. :) I love what you did with the pretty camellias and the crystal candlesticks and silver tray. I also love the gorgeous, vintage cameos that your dad purchased for your mom. I've always thought cameos were so romantic.

    Thank you for sharing with us, Bonnie, and I hope you have a good week and a wonderful Valentine's Day!

    Warm hugs,

    Denise

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  16. Bonnie, this is such a charming, heartwarming post! I'm so touched by all the sentiment shown here. I have but a few letters written to me from my parents at different times. I love looking at that familiar handwriting. As far as I know, there were never any love letters exchanged between my parents. If there were, they hadn't been kept. How very special to have these treasured letters between your parents. The cameos are also very special. There is something very romantic about a cameo, don't you think? Your camalias are lovely. My White By the Gate is full of buds, but only a few have opened. I try to catch them when they open to cut and bring in to enjoy. Your entire table is beautiful and a touching tribute to your parents!

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  17. Using your parents love letters has to be the sweetest, most romantic Valentines table EVER! What treasures to have and to hold. And those cameo's too! Thank you for sharing such with us all. P.S. I share your frustration in locating fresh flowers that didn't look too ratty or came in skimpy quantities. When we were in Ecuador last June, they were available everywhere for $5 or less for an armful!

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  18. Hi Bonnie, How absolutely touching. I loved your story and your tablescape certainly reflected the love and the times in which your parents exchanged their letters. Your clustered candle and floral centerpiece on your beautiful silver try is perfect for your love letters. It symbolizes the rich history of your parent's love. The cameos are a lovely touch and are so pretty. The delicate stemware and transferware is a classic combination and really portrays a nostaglic feel....ideal for sitting at the table after dinner to re-read the letters. I would definitely need some tissue to wipe away happy tears. Enjoy.

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  19. How very special to have these precious letters! And your camellias are so beautiful - they remind me of my own mother, who loved them dearly, especially the Pink Perfection variety. Seeing these brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your lovely table as well as the wonderful letters.

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    1. Thank you so much Joy. Thank you for your kind words.

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  20. I can't thing of anything more romantic than a love letter, and you have a stack of them. What a family treasure to have. The cameo on the napkin ring elevates the romantic vibe and contributes to the appeal of this table. Always a pleasure to hop with you.

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  21. Bonnie, what a beautiful and meaningful tablescape! Those letters truly are treasures and I love how you designed the table to reflect the romantic vibe of the letters. Very special!
    Shelley

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  22. Oh my Bonnie, I am wiping away the tears as I type my comments! No joke - my dad never had a romantic bone in his body and my mom was not a very sentimental person - so to have these wonderful letters and treasures from your parents is just a true love story - not even Hallmark can come close to this!!! How beautiful - I was so touched by your post. Thank you for sharing these lovely letters and precious sentiments with us. Much Love💕

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  23. Wow! Those letters tug on the heart strings. It is such a blessing for you to have possession of those and be able to enjoy them. I love how you made them a focal point in your Valentine's table and with your Mom's tiered tray too!
    Your Dad had a nice handwriting. I can imagine that when you read the letters, questions do pop into your mind as you say. How sweet.
    I cannot imagine your table with a floral centerpiece. I think your beautiful candlelight centerpiece is just perfect! The napkin rings, your Mom's crystal goblets, it all fits perfectly. Such a memorable experience to be able to view and enjoy this Valentine's tablescape. Thank you!

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  24. This is such a sweet acknowledgement of love. To have the letters from your Father to display on your lovely table is so wonderful. Your napkin rings are such a vintage delight, even the cracked cameo speaks volumes of a time gone by. Pinned, Happy Valentines Day and it’s a pleasure to hop with you. xox

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  25. Your love letters add such an air of romance to your beautiful table! Love your dishes, too! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

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  26. Bonnie, what a truly special gift in the letters between your parents at a historical time. Having them must be such a treasure of memories. Love all your roses and romantic setting. I can't believe we have the same Buttercup sterling silver. I inherited mine from Sweet Shark's mom. Enjoy your table at Valentine's.

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  27. Awwww Bonnie, I loved reading your memory filled post and seeing all your treasures, from the letters and cards, to the tiered stand of your Mom's, and to the pretty cameos and vintage jeweled pieces. Using those as napkin rings was so endearing. Your simple centerpiece on the silver tray was so romantic. Happy Valentine's Day to you and your hubby.

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