This sweet little green chiffon dress has been with me for 20 years, and some personal reflection

I bought this dress, and the two hats below (along with another wide straw hat covered in daisies with rhinestone centers - that I was too lazy to walk to the other end of the house to get for this blog post) at my favorite old time thrift shop - 'The Leprechaun Shop'. Ah, those were the days, when you could find something older than 1980s in a thrift shop. It was run to raise funds for the St. John of God Special Education School. The shop was down a narrow one-way street in Woodbury and it was run by church ladies who volunteered their time. The prices were written on a big carboard sign hanging behind the counter and they never changed for as long as I shopped there, which was for over 15 years.

I remember that I bought these items 20 years ago, because it was in 1990, when my Mom had a brain aneurysm and then a stroke. She was in Pennsylvannia Hospital for over 2 months. I quit my job and went to the hospital every day with my Grandmother. Came home, made dinner for my dad after he came home from work, and then went back to the hospital with my Dad after dinner.
Then she was moved to Bryn Mawr Rehab as an inpatient and she was there over 3 months. We couldn't visit until after 5PM, so during the day I was packing to move, because my parents had just started building a new house when my Mom ended up in the hospital. Construction continued because my Dad wanted her to come home to a new, larger house. We changed the plans to make the door to her bedroom and bathroom bigger in case she came home in a wheelchair. I barely remember packing though, it's like it was all a blurr.

It was one day that I went over to the thrift shop for something else to do, a little break (Dandelion Vintage was still 7 years away) I ended up buying this dress, another small chiffon dress from the same period, the 3 hats plus another. These were special items, so they were priced a little higher - $5 each. Well worth it. I bought some other items too, and that night when I went to visit my Mom, I took my haul with me to show her, because she loved thrift shops too. Over the years I've sold the other things that I bought that day, but I've held onto the dress and the hats.
The dress hangs on the door to my office here at Dandelion Vintage headquarters and I see it everyday. Two of the hats hang out here too and the other hat is in my bedroom.



Straw flowers above and chiffon flowers below -


The new house was finished a week after my Mom got out of the hospital, which was a few weeks before Christmas. I drove her to outpatient rehab 5 days a week for a year. I worked part time at night doing fittings and alterations in a bridal shop during that time. After rehab finished, she was able to walk with a cane and do some things around the house, so I went back to work full time. After 5 years at that job I was fired, and I during my unemployment, I ended up setting up shop on the internet and Dandelion Vintage was born!

I often wonder what my life would have been like if my Mom hadn't had her stroke. If I hadn't lived at home all those years, if I had gone out on my own. When I worked fulltime in retail, I was miserable. I liked my job, but I hated the main office and the way that they wanted things done. I wanted my own shop and I knew how to run one because I had hands-on experience. I was miserable at home too, I felt trapped, and felt that I would never be able to move out. But once I started Dandelion Vintage, things changed. I was finally happy with what I was doing with my life and I was able to deal with the stress of having a disabled Mother. My Dad has retired now so it's mainly on him for now, I'm just the backup.

I bought my own house. Then what did I do a year later? I sold it and moved with my parents to down here in the Woods! But it's alright, I feel very lucky. Things happen for a reason, why the hell they do it the long hard way, I don't know. But this is where I'm meant to be. If I had been selfish and left my Dad to care for my Mom alone, who knows what I'd be doing now? Slogging it out in retail, probably barely making enough  money to squeek by. I would never have been able to afford to live on just my savings while I tried to get a business started - and it was a long time before I started making a somewhat steady income from vintage. There might not have been a Dandelion Vintage if I had thought only of myself and what I wanted back then.

Wow, this turned into a deep post. I love that little green chiffon dress.

10 comments:

melina bee said...

Just a darling dress, and proof that all good vintage comes with a story, both a history and your own.
melina bee

Kathleen at Studio1950 said...

I love the dress and your story. You seem like a very compassionate person - and a good, loving daughter. Your family is lucky!

Lizzie said...

What a super story. It warms my heart to think that you were willing to give up your job and all to help out. That sort of unselfishness is getting rarer and rarer!

PS: LOVE the frock!

Custom t-shirts said...

The old sweet little green chiffon dress is so nice because of its color selection and stuff this was may i star dress of its time.

Marlene said...

Lovin the dress wonderfull taste u have

if you like vintage dresses check www.vintageenzo.com (Vintage Enzo)

Its just arrived i bought i lot of things there!! also nice dresses

x Marlene

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bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bruce said...

Highly Inspiring and Interesting!!
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donna said...

I loved your story and Melina's comment ~ I feel that people attracted to Vintage for the most part have a good energy about them. That's why we're pulled to certain old things that others once loved and why we in turn love them. And that kindof way of looking at things shows up in lots of areas, like making the choices you did....kindof reminds me of me living with my folks now? So many people around me don't get that ya know, so it's fun to find people to geek out with!

♥ cool story, cool person!

from Donna in Alabama

girls clothing said...

hats are similar to sophias line. dress is awesome and above all, I luv this color. I think, we picked it from http://www.sophiasstyle.com