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Friday, January 4, 2008

the find of a lifetime

Elizabeth II was crowned queen of England on June 2, 1953 when I was only two years old living with my grandmother in the western United States. Growing up in the 50's I was shamelessly enthralled by pictures of a young queen in a flowing gown, crown on her head, riding in a gold encrusted carriage pulled by horses. No doubt all the color and pageantry fueled my daydreams of possibly becoming a princess myself someday. My granny must have known me pretty well in spite of a court order that sent me to live with my parents when I five. On one of her visits to my new 'home' she brought me a tin with the likeness of the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. Not long after I found the tin in the ash can in the alley behind our house, charred and peeling. My recollections remain intact about this treasure: I thought the Queen was the most beautiful woman in the world, and my dear Grandmother had given me something she knew would make me feel like a princess. Only I didn't know that at the time. I never knew how a candy tin that was a souvenir of the Coronation had found its way to an old lady in Blackfoot, Idaho, nor why it ended up in the trash and furthermore, why my mother was so adamant that it remain there. I have been looking for that tin ever since.

Over the years I've picked up other Coronation tins from yard sales, antique shops and e-Bay but they were never the 'one.' This fall while I was poking around a shop in Minnesota the face of the young queen jumped out at me from a low table. And this is what I saw:

As if someone had lovingly kept this bit of memorabilia in a dresser drawer, it is in perfect condition. Each side has a crown emblem or EIIR or 'A Souvenir of The Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II 1953.' Once filled with toffee, the bottom of the tin reads:

Made in England by George W. Horner & Co. Ltd, Chester-Le-Street, County of Durham.


When I tearfully asked to put it on lay-away I told my story to the owner of the booth. She hugged me and said she'd found it on a trip to Seattle, so near to Canada, and was equally happy it had found me.

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time. Friedrich Nietzsche


My ownership of this elusive tin comes at the beginning of a new chapter in my life--long gone from Idaho with an empty nest, older, wiser, free-er, battle scarred but hopeful. Most importantly I know how it feels to be a princess.


These are my 'new' thoughts for Sunday Scribblings.

20 comments:

Running Knitter said...

What a wonderful story! You and that beautiful tin were definitely meant to be together.

Marianne said...

You lovely sweet woman, and of course.... with the heart and soul of a princess... beautiful tin!

tumblewords said...

Oh, like a fairy tale! Fit to be a princess, you are!

Redness said...

Your wonderful story reminds of how simple things meant so much - and still do ... Lovely, Thank YOU!

Chris said...

What a bitterly sweet story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am so glad the tin found you as well, and found all of us in the telling.

Julie Marie said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you lost the tin in the first place, and so happy you found it again, Dear Noni. I am still searching for some "flagposts" from my childhood.

Hugs,

Julie

teabird said...

It was "beshert" (written, in Yiddish) that you would have that tin -
now tell us what you'll keep in it...

forgetfulone said...

What a lovely story. I'm so glad you found the tin.

I'm AZ said...

That was beautifully written and wonderful to read!

Sassy Lucy said...

A beautiful story, so wonderfully told...I am so glad that you found that treasure to bring back in your life.
http://wannabeawritersomeday.blogspot.com/2008/01/sunday-scribbles-edition-1.htmlings

Jo said...

Oh I love your writing, just beautiful.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I went through many emotions reading this, but like every story involving a beautiful princess it ended on a nice note. May this tin bring you much happiness.

Big hug whizzing down the telephone lines for you as a send this.

Herb Urban said...

Your story is wonderful. That tin was your glass slipper.

Granny Smith said...

I love happy endings! You and the young queen deserve each other!

Inland Empire Girl said...

What a find! The story is very moving also. I love the way you connected that find with your own life path. I was at an estate sale and spotted the cookie jar my aunt had on her counter while I was growing up. Of course I had to get it and it sits lovingly on a shelf in my kitchen.

thetonguetiedmuse said...

Such a lovely story. It is amazing what great shape that tin is in, enjoy!

Ex-Shammickite said...

I wonder why the first tin from your childhood deserved such a nasty end. So nice for you to have a replacement. I'm happy you found it.

susan said...

beautiful story.

Helena said...

What a wonderful story. I'm so pleased you found "your" tin at last.

pippijewelry said...

Oh, my goodness! I may have found your tin! I picked up one just like yours (but with a few small blemishes) at a second-hand store in Pocatello a couple of years back. I wondered how she came to be in southeastern Idaho, too. Her Majesty's lovely young face jumped out at me, nestled among some teacups and saucers. She is well loved in my home.