Families and Companies Created around Grandma’s Table!
The Chief Blonde (middle..beige overalls) with her cousins and Grandma
When I was little, my family and I went to visit my grandma and grandpa at least once a week. When we weren’t outside helping Grandma with her flowers…
or playing in Grandpa’s apple orchard…
we were in the house..almost always sitting around Grandma’s table.
Grandma’s table was a light blonde faux wood formica number, edged in chrome, from the late ’40s/early ’50s. It was truly resilient and lasted her until the day she died at 86. A lot happened around that table. Grandpa cut all his grandsons’ hair at the table…
The Chief Blonde’s brother loving his buzz cut from Grandpa
We played games, especially with the Carrom board around Grandma’s table…
The Chief Blonde in a lovely purple dress with her brother…can’t imagine why I was making that face?
We grandchildren ate a lot of foods around Grandma’s table, not just meals, but tons of yummy snacks.
Grandma would toast the large four square saltine crackers (why don’t they make these big saltines anymore???) and then butter them, topping off the whole concoction with her homemade strawberry freezer jam. The salty and the sweet combo of this snack was divine!
Of course, the adults enjoyed Grandma’s table too. Loud card games (with tons of swearing and insults) went on deep into the night as the grandchildren attempted to sleep in various bedrooms.
Look at the men smoking right in the house! Smoking cigars no less, right at Grandma’s table! You could have cut through the smoke with a knife, it was so thick. These were different times indeed!
Almost every birthday was celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
And every holiday, for years, we wore our Sunday best, ate special family dishes, and drank tea around Grandma’s table.
The Chief Blonde’s grandmother (in gray) and her brother enjoy tea and cake
My grandparents worked hard to create wonderful family memories for us. They shared their hopes and dreams and memories as we gathered around Grandma’s table, and as a result, they created a wonderful close loving family that blooms to this day.
Around Grandma’s Table with Bigelow Tea
This is why Bigelow Tea and its history means so much to me. Cindi Bigelow, third-generation owner and company president, tells the story of how Bigelow tea was created around her Grandma’s table.
The company was started by my grandmother back in 1945 in her kitchen..(by) Ruth Campbell Bigelow and her husband David. They worked together. Really, what happened is..she was an interior designer, she lost everything during the depression. She wanted to get into business for the family, didn’t think we had a good tea, and created this wonderful product from an old colonial recipe and named it Constant Comment. That’s really what started us… I always like people (customers, employees) to remember our company roots, our history, it is that what makes this company so special. We are the number one specialty tea company in the country and I am convinced it’s because of the family aspect!
Bigelow’s Constant Comment Tea, a beautiful black tea with orange rind and black spice, is America’s favorite specialty tea to this day! Ruth Campbell Bigelow couldn’t have realized the impact that she would make on generations of her family or America as she toiled in her kitchen and around her table to develop and create one of this country’s most iconic products. I know my family has always enjoyed Bigelow products. My husband, Walt, is currently hooked on Bigelow’s green tea blends while I love Orange & Spice Herb Tea.
Bigelow Tea’s Founders Ruth and David Bigelow serving tea around their table
I admire Ruth, the company’s founder, and current president, Cindi Bigelow, for keeping this personal family element of pride in their product lines. Did you know that family members are involved in the creation, development and tasting of every new product to this day? While both my grandmother and Cindi Bigelow’s grandmother have now passed from this earth, I can almost see Ruth Campbell Bigelow smiling as she watches over her family with pride, just as surely as my grandmother must be!
Blog Note: The Chief Blonde was not compensated in any manner for this post. I wrote this as an entry in a contest for a trip to Bigelow Tea’s Plantation in Charleston, NC. Should I win, my date will be my loving husband Walt but I’ll bring a picture of Grandma, because she would have loved to sit around Cindy Bigelow’s table as well!
UPDATE: The Chief Blonde was chosen to attend a special event in Charleston based on this post. She is extremely grateful to Collective Bias, Bigelow tea and everyone who supported her in this post!
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Sherry Compton says
Congratulations on the post and the memories. It’s wonderful to have grandparents growing up. They are such an important part of our lives. Today is grandparents Day. A day to honor our grandparents and older adults. I really enjoyed your pictures and stories and know you’ll carry on traditions of family get-togethers.
Shelley Zurek says
I was so blessed to have 4 great and caring grandparents. I even got to meet two of my GREAT grandparents. Shelley
The entire story reminded me of weekends spent with my grandparents, and the picture of everyone gathered around the table is exactly like the old B&W pictures I have and cherish.
Lisa Weidknecht says
Oh, those saddle shoes!!! LOVE!
Gail Williams says
We did this, too as a child!!! I am 60 now and I do it with my granddaughters now.
Savannah Harrop says
Thanks for sharing!! Families are very special! I remember all the times my cousins and I spent around our great grandmas table eating home made chicken veggie souo she made the best souo ever I sure do miss my bebe!
This brings back fond memories of my own family and the way we gathered at my grandma’s table for various family occasions. The grown-ups drank coffee and tea. Children drank milk or kool-aid.
angela schoolcraft says
wow this is kind of like when i was a kid at my gradma’s
Lisa R says
Love the pictures from the past. Not sure where the old photos are since my mom passed in 2000. Thanks for sharing yours, they brought back memories of when I was young just by looking at yours
sibabe64 at ptd dot net
thank you for sharing the photos – it’s interesting how generations have shared memories.
Our family also gathered at the grandparents and a lot of cards was played. And the air was blue with cigar and cigarette smoke. My dad set my oldest brother’s hair on fire when the ash fell off his cigar. Back then, it was a funny family story. Today it would be looked on as child endangerment.
lauren p says
When our grandparent’s leave this earth they eave their legacy with memories for us to give to furture generations. Thanks for sharing
Awww, such cute pictures!
Susan C. says
My grandmother only drank Canada Dry ginger ale ~ that’s something I’ll never forget!
Thank you for sharing such fond memories you had of your Grandmother with me.
My Grandma was one of my favorite people too! I remember her making me home made crepes and serving hot chocolate to me out of demitase chine cups every time I stay the night…such wonderful memories!
Oh, and I love tea…esp, the afternoon kind!
Darlene Jones-Nelson says
This tea has history I am glad that I got to know more about the tea. Thanks for the review.
love the pictures…we always had fun times at our grandmas house!always a card game going on after the big dinner!
Happi Shopr says
My Meme (Grandmother) just passed on March 27th and then we lost Mama on April 10th. I am so missing the old days right now. This post brought back some great memories. Thanks!
Amanda Alvarado says
That is so sweet! I remember the “boys” being banned to the basement at my grandparent’s house to play cards and smoke cigars! 🙂
my grand died and then she would do a ll the cooking in the family and then she new how to get thing done with 113 kdis around
S. McIntyre says
Nice to read this. 🙂
I get lonesome for the past at times.