Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grandma Kelly's Parlor

Grandma had a parlor. Actually, both Grandma Kelly and Grandma Williams had parlor rooms, or front rooms as they were sometimes called. It was the "best room" for visitors or important famly visits.

I had the occasion to remember the parlor because of this article posted to Lynn Coleman's blog, "19th Century Historical Tidbits": http://historicaltidbits.blogspot.com/2012/03/old-fashion-parlor.html

Grandma Kelly's parlor was different than Grandma Williams' parlor. Grandma Kelly's parlor, which was also called the front room, had two windows in which sat "snake plants" in big Victorian pots. It's also been called mother-in-law's tongue but it's proper name is Sansevieria trifasciata. Here's a picture, below, from Tropical Interiors. It's a tropical plant and you see them growing in the ground here in San Diego... so how those two plants came to love grandma's front window in cold Frostburg Maryland with the long winters, I don't know!

There was also a piano in the front room and Grandma played very well. It was out of tune by the time I was old enough to recognize such things, but Grandma made it work when she played ragtime. It sounded very honkey-tonk! There was sheet music in the piano bench, lovely folders with pretty illustrations on the covers.

Fancy lamps and ceramics brightened the room too. Pattern on pattern was the decorating style. Big cabbage rose prints on the wallpaper and floral prints on the upholstered pieces too. Grandma never met a floral print she didn't like... or at least that's how it seemed to me.

As little kids we were not encouraged to inhabit the parlor. But as we became little ladies and gentlemen, Grandma could be talked into taking us into the parlor and playing something on the "pie-an-ee" as she would kiddingly call it.

Next time, more about Grandma Williams' parlor.

Picture of the day from my photo file:

Frostburg, Maryland, about 1912.

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