Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meet Hank and Irene... the Elephants

I love Elephants. I also happen to collect them.

 My love of them is closely tied to my Nana as she had an affinity for them as well.  She passed when I was only 8 but I recall even in the years after her passing finding little elephant statues here and there around my grand parent's home. When their estate was divided upon my grandfather's moving to a nursing home I was given the majority of her elephant collection.
It is a beautiful collection that includes her travels all over the world as the wife of a Naval Doctor- my grandfather. I cherish it. And recently I have started adding to the collection myself whenever I see a unique or pretty statue here or there and have expanded from just statues to include broaches, pendants, earrings, home decor.. really anything that represents my love for them in a unique way.
I always knew my Nana only collected Elephants who had their trunks turned up and that it had something to do with luck. But after reading this post my Aunt Juliet shared with me what it was she used to say.  " The luck never runs out of an upturned trunk!" I'm so glad I finally have the quote now! My Aunt shared one more quote with me which I also love considering the meaning!
" You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time!"
So I am continuing the tradition and only collect elephants who have upturned trunks.

Today, I thought I'd share the two who have their namesakes with you all on this dreary rainy day. They also happen to be the largest ones in my collection.

This big fellow is my favorite from the ones I received from her and will one day reside in a special place of honor when I have a home of my own. He is about 1 1/2 feet long and 8 inches tall and as very small children I and all of my cousins liked to sit on him when he lived at Nana's and Grandfather's. Good thing he is made of metal! He withstood our rambunctious age gracefully and has aged with a beautiful patina.
My Grandfather's name was Henry and a lot of people called him Hank. Maybe its because this fellow reminds me of the strong domineering personality my grandfather had. Maybe its because my grandfather lived and fought Alzheimer's for the last 6-7 years of his life and even then only ever forgot mine and my Dad's name once. In fact he became incredibly upset when he realized he'd forgotten my dads name. And Elephant's likewise have incredible memories. Or maybe its just because this guy has wrinkles and and an air of dignity about him, much as my grandfather did, but I've decided to finally name him and call him Hank. It just seems right in my head. And everytime I see him I always think of my Nana and Grandfather anyway. So Hank, welcome to the family, even though you've been around longer than I've been alive!

Meet Irene the Indian Elephant. My Nana's name was Irene. My Nana, as I've mentioned, loved Elephants. Call me weird or crazy or senile, but I like to think that she and Hank are dating. 
This beautiful girl is one of my newest additions. My mom found her in an antique shop we like to stop into now and than and came home to tell me about her and I wasn't sold when she described her as bright orange but I figured I'd go check her out anyway. 
 When I saw her I still wasn't sold, but since we were there and well, I do love elephants and want to expand my collection, I said I'd take her. So my mom got her for me as an early birthday present. Boy am I glad I did, because over the period of about a week she worked on me. I'd pass by our sunroom where she currently resides and see that POP of orange and I couldn't help it. I fell in love! I can't wait to use her as a beautiful accent of color and visual interest in my future home one day! 
In the mean time, I like to think that they have similar personalities to my grandparents... she's stylish and sassy and he's strong and stern. and I imagine that she and Hank go on adventures around the house when no one is home. Kind of like how my grandparents Hank and Irene went on adventures all over the world when he was in the Navy.

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