As a child at my great grandparents home I was always playing with the Skelton keys of the house. When I walked up the back steps there was wood neatly stacked to my left. I remember running up the steps opening the back door, I'd open the big heavy wood door with the white porcelain door knob and the skeleton key hole into the mud room. (The smell of the wood and the earth filled my nostrils. That memory reminds me of my great grandfather teaching me to stack the wood neatly ensuring it wouldn't fall. I can see his strong rough hands, in my mind against the split pieces of wood.)
There was built in cabinets, the pie safe, (with grandmas fancy lipsticks in the drawer) the ringer washing machine and the white farm sink lye soap sitting in the dish. Up the step, into the kithchen. To the right was the modern stove and next to it was the wood cook stove, all white with black enamel accents. The kitchen is open and surrounded by built in to the ceiling cabinets. Another farm sink to the left and grandma's flour sack dish towel. I can smell bacon in the air and see the fancy dishes on the table. The green candy dish where granddaddy kept the soft caramel candy. (that you couldn't sneak because when you lifted the lid the music box would play) The 24-count of original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts. And the bowl of bacon. (Certainly the secret to a long life because my granddaddy ate that every day and live 96 years.
Theres another room next to the wood stove. As a child this room was like a magical room to me. It had one of the many Skelton Key hole on the door with a fancy door knob. The pantry had King Syrup in a can. My grandaddy's Prince Albert pipe tobacco can. Shelves and shelves of fruits and vegetables in Ball glass jars canned from the summer garden. Grandma would send me in there to get her items when I was helping her cook. It was the best tasting food you've ever eaten.
Just to the right was the winter porch. This room was filled with grandma's plants...the next door took you outside to another magical place. The smokehouse. The smokehouse was filled with my grandmother and mother's toys from their childhood. Two generations of playtime memories. It also had a Skelton Key. Id run through the kitchen, past the wood cook stove, down the stoop and outside, pass the Gem water pump, to the smokehouse door. My grandma would let me go retrieve something magical to play with from the magical, toy treasure room. The toys were so unique, Spirographs, mouse trap game, Rock em Sock Em Robots, dominos, marbles, tin trucks, tinker toys, Lincoln logs, games, dolls and so much more. I would choose one toy and carefully take it back inside to the living room floor to play. I always took very good care of these toys not because there were strict rules. But because to me these were special toys, that nobody else had. I played with them and put them back until the next time I visited.
One Christmas when we went to grandma and grandaddy's house under the silver metallic tree was more presents that I had ever seen. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was only Mom, Dad, and I. Who could all these presents belong to? Well you can imagine my surprise when my Mom told me they were all mine! My red hair and green eyes must have really lit up!
When I opened the first present and it was the mouse trap game from the smokehouse. That Christmas I received all the toys from the smokehouse, the magic room with the Skelton key. That was my most memorable Christmas as a child. To this day I still have all those toys. They are priceless to me.
It wasn't until many years latter that I learned the reason I behind my favorite Christmas. My Mom and dad were struggling and didn't have any money for Christmas. My great-grandmother said, just go to the smokehouse and choose some toys from there.
To this day it is my most memorable Christmas. I still have all those toys. I've cared for them kept them neatly preserved. I never really understood why they meant so much to me. In this modern day most people would just throw them out. But to me they are little reminders of pure love and perseverance, dedication. grit and disciple. I guess my creativity was fueled by having these magical rooms with these fancy keys at my grandparents house.
So that's the reason for the key! The Key is a tangible reminder, a connection to those memories. It's a reminder to never loose hope. To never become so bogged down with the sterile transactions of everyday life that you forget to imagine. It's a reminder enjoy the little things through the eyes and wonderment of a child. That's the key! It's a tangible connection to all those details that trigger a flood of feelings from my childhood.
So the key is the symbol to always keep a little spark of creativity. It's my reminder to keep a youthful perspective. No matter how old you get. How many trials you face there is always a way if only change your perspective. Focus on your core values and Never give up.
I wear a key around my neck, I have them in my studio and on my car keys and now you have one too.
Everyday, I get to freeze time for my clients and create tangible prints that connect families, with the strength of time.
Never in our human existence have we been so connected by technology but disconnected to real human interaction.
The wonderment and amazement of a child, is timeless and always warms the heart.