Sepia Saturday - Muskrat Love

Originally posted March 20, 2009

My grandmother would kill me if she knew I was posting this for all the world to see. Those were the days when it was PC to wear a fur. The fur in question is muskrat. I think its a beautiful coat actually.

Grammie had a beautiful cedar chest in her bedroom. We rarely saw the contents of the chest. Only when she went in to pull out a beautiful linen table cloth for special meals did we see some of the contents of this chest. The scent of cedar filled the air when she opened it but never wear we allowed to inspect the contents. It was quickly closed.

Then when I was around 10 I found out there was a muskrat coat hidden away in this chest. A muskrat coat? I was intrigued!  I never heard of wearing muskrat. Muskrats were nothing but vermin to me. They were big, ugly, nasty creatures that lived in the drainage ditches near where I lived. I begged grammie to let me see this muskrat coat. But never would she let me see it. She would always tell me that it was "all packed away." That was her standard answer.

I was well into my adult years my and mother or grandmother would hang a bag of goodies on my apartment door. They always called them "care packages." It was always a treat to see these "care packages" hanging on the door knob when I got home from work This meant good homemade food was inside!


In one of these packages was this photo and written in my mothers hand this message on the back. The date is when the photo was taken. Carol Anne is my sister. I'm not sure where it was taken, but since my grandparents were from New Brunswick and Maine, it could have been taken in that area.

Posted by PicasaI finally did get to see that amazing muskrat coat!




Comments

Poetry24 said…
Your Grammie looks great in her stunning coat. Wonderful that you got to see it after all. That cedar trunk sounds intriguing. One wonders what other treasures lurked there.
Vicki Lane said…
Great picture! I just do remember cars like that! And coats. My grandmother too had a cedar chest which I also saw as a place of mystery. It was only rarely opened.
Barry said…
That is a beautiful picture and the revelation of a family mystery. My mother had a similar chest, but since she had all sons, none of us were that interested in her secrets. It would only be filled with some table cloth or other, nothing "interesting".
Lisa Ursu said…
I love the opening of your post!
Secrets in the chest, Ooooo how very curious!
Unknown said…
what a great coat! And very heavy I am sure. how special to have that note in her handwriting.
PattyF said…
Terrific photo! It must have been something about women of that generation. My mother always wanted a beaver coat,and she had a cedar chest, as well. I always had fun rooting through it, finding treasures.

Thanks for sharing!
L. D. said…
I wonder if she though muskrat was an inferior coat. It is a wonderful photo. What a great story.
Quite a coat, quite a car, quite a Grandma!
Meri said…
I think cedar chests must have been a big status item for young women of that generation. My mother's mother had one; I don't recall that my father's mother did, though. The idea that special things were stored there, brought out on only rare occasions made them irresistible to grandkids like me. I think it's marvelous that you got the photo with the "inside joke" on the back.
Christine H. said…
Your Grammie looks a little stern in the picture, but she can't have been all that stern. How sweet that she left goodie bags hanging on your doorknob. What a wonderful thing that must have been to come home to.
Alan Burnett said…
Wonderful picture and wonderful write-up too. I have never been able to understand why it is OK to eat meat but not OK to wear an animal skin.
Kat Mortensen said…
Grr! Blogger messed up my comment, so I'll just say this was a lovely post and that was sweet of your mom to give you the photo.
Bob Scotney said…
You have made me wonder what my wife keeps in that pine chest in our front bedroom. Nothing as exciting as a muskrat coat. I'm sure.
21 Wits said…
Oh yes, a very warm and heavy coat but oh so stylish!
Queen Bee said…
What a nice surprise to receive the picture. It's a great keepsake and you not only got to see your grandmother's muskrat coat, but also her first new car. Wonder why your grandmother refused to ever take her coat out and show it to you? Since it was packed away, maybe she thought it was too much trouble.
Little Nell said…
I wonder why they suddenly chose that time to reveal the coat! Great photo.
Postcardy said…
My mother had a civet cat coat. I never really knew what a civet cat was. Now that I Googled it, I still don't know--an "imprecise term."
Brett Payne said…
Great car, great coat, and a great photo to have in your family archive. Thanks for sharing it.
Anna Matthews said…
My mother had a fur coat I believe she's no longer very proud of either. Her's was beaver (she's from Quebec), and I have to admit that I loved it as a kid. Cool car, too, and the back of that photo is as great as the front.

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