How This Green Swan Caused Me Childhood Trauma

Happy Friday!

With all of the snow that has been hitting many parts of the country I’m sure the ol’ “I had to walk three miles uphill in the snow to get to school” story has been shared more than once. 

Sharing childhood tales, whether faux or faux-real, with our kids is human nature for a parent.  Agree? 

Well, not too long ago when my kids and I were having a discussion about saving and parting with money, I reminded them about a traumatic financial predicament I found myself in 40 years ago.

Yes.  A traumatic financial predicament. 

Let’s start from the beginning…

When I was young I loved spending the day with my grandparents. 

Turnstyle Vogue

They lived within walking distance from where my mom worked so rather than stay home sometimes, I would ride with her to work and spend the day with them.   One of the things Grandma Rose and I  would do after lunch was walk to town to get the mail from the post office (and yes, we really did have to walk uphill!)

I loved the walks, especially because the post office was inside a general store and that general store had a spectacular candy section. It was displayed just like you would imagine.

Everything was lined up perfectly by size and color, on mini staircase displays.  You would start salivating at eye level and by the time your eyes climbed to the top see the crown jewels, you would instantly daydream about what it would be like to be rich enough to buy all of the candy and take it home, stashed inside a secret hide-away that only you and your stuffed animals knew about. 

Out of everything, this was one of my favorite things to get -

Source: Old Time Candy

A grape Charms sucker.  And do you have any guess as to how much this cost at the general store?

5 cents.

So, on what would become my day of financial doom, my Grandma handed me a nickel before we started our walk – just because I was the perfect granddaughter of course. 

While I was waiting for her, I remember standing over her coffee table that was in front of her davenport (she never called it a couch) and looking at her spurious blossoms.

Translation:  fake flowers

Those blossoms sat inside this green swan…

Mid Century Green Glass Swan - Turnstyle Vogue (7)

… and because it was impossible to look without touching, I touched.

I touched with the same hand that was holding that nickel.  A nickel that was my ticket to sweet tooth satisfaction.

And in an instant, my hopes and dreams for the purple pop were shattered.


Because that nickel ended up here:

Mid Century Green Glass Swan - Turnstyle Vogue

In the neck of that darn swan!

Now you would think that it should just slide out if you tipped it over. 

Think again.  My tears and heartache were no match for that swan.

Grandma tried.  Granddad tried.  I tried. With grit. With prayer.  With tools. With anything and everything you could imagine.

We all failed – and a lesson had to be learned of course, so I did not get my sucker that day.

But on another day many years later, days after the passing of my Grandma, that green swan would become mine with the nickel still entombed in its neck. 

Mid Century Green Glass Swan - Turnstyle Vogue (3) 

And while you may think that nickel taunts me as a symbol of mischief, it brings back nothing but fond memories of my Grandma and that general store. 

What I wouldn’t do for another one of those walks!

Be inspired,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. reminded me of the time I accidentally put the entire amt of money tied in the corner of a handkerchief safely placed in my little purse and because I was not noticing how rapidly the collection plate was approaching my row of seats, I hurriedly took all the money that was to be for the coming week and placed all of it in the plate. well, I did struggle through the ensuing week when others were having an ice cream or I had to use the pencil that was now without an eraser and too short to take a chance of sharpening it even one more time. The main lesson I got from this was to be a bit more attentive to my surroundings but……

  2. Thank you for sharing this story Shari. I still miss my Grandmother and think of her often. Smile…….

  3. Oh, what a sweet sweet story.

  4. elaine simmons says:

    I loved that story!

  5. What a wonderful story! And you told it so very well. Thank you!

  6. Very sweet that you have this as a momento of those times. This caught my eye on Hometalk because my parents had a green glass swan almost identical to this one…brought back memories! :)

  7. JaneEllen says:

    How I love hearing childhood stories, nothing like them. When we all still lived in San Diego area (4 grown kids) we’d get together for birthdays and holidays. Now we don’t even see the two that live close by. We don’t live in San Diego anymore. We’ve moved to MT for 7 yrs. then KY for 5 yrs. now we’ve been here for almost 10. Where did the time go? Sometimes I sit and think about the stories our kids told, their mischief,fun & happy stories, etc., sure do miss all of us being together for those stories. Two oldest are back in San Diego area again, two youngest live here in western CO and they’re all getting older now, 53, 51, almost 50 and almost 44.
    It’s wonderful that you wish you could have one more of those walks. We need to enjoy what we have when we have it but being humans the time flies by and we wonder why we didn’t appreciate people and things more when we had them.
    I had to walk to high school every day, 5 miles, there weren’t that many high schools in Tucson in those days but I survived and was in good shape for it.Sometimes I’d ride my bike but it depended on what I was wearing that day. I was in high school in 50’s, the era of big full skirts and crenolines, not too easy to ride a bike with those babies ballooning out, and if a wind came up, oh boy. lol.
    Enjoy life everybody, it’s quite nice to be able to look back on fond memories. Happy Spring days

  8. Oh my gosh, you had me in tears of joy and laughter here. First off, the davenport lol..why did they call it that? My grandparents did the same. Then I remembered our general store the same way. In fact, I think one time, I took something, went home and told on myself lol. My parents made me of course return it, and I never stepped foot in there again:( I love that you still have the swan!

  9. elaine simmons says:

    Debbiedoos, we called it a davenport growing up also. I think it is an English term. As I got older I realized none of the younger generation called it a davenport so started calling it a sofa.