Between the four daughters from the first generation, we added eight daughters to our family tree. These eight daughters began to marry and have children, producing more little girls for the third generation to wear this treasured skirt which had been carefully preserved. Today, the little skirt must travel around in the skies, transported on airplanes, to the various family homes since our extended family is scattered around the country. The first-generation daughters have encouraged the safekeeping of the little skirt and we pay attention to the skirt’s traveling itinerary. The pleats are still intact and the fabric is still a vibrant red plaid. As of this writing, the little traveling skirt is more than 70 years old!
Cameras are now digital and pictures travel through text messages with this third generation. Computers can be held in the palm of a hand or worn on a wrist. We live in a fast-paced culture today compared to the 1940s and 1950s when my sisters and I first wore the little skirt.
I finally decided to slow my own pace down a bit to write a family memoir about this little traveling skirt. I wanted to preserve the tradition, the memory. As I started writing, a vision began to form within me to take a leap and write a fun story for publication for other readers to enjoy outside of my family. And thus, Talitha, the Traveling Skirt came to be!
I am so pleased my illustrator, Courtney Smith, could capture the essence of this story with her delightful illustrations. If you purchased the book, you will notice the passage of time with the three generations is subtly depicted in all of the illustrations, starting with the calendar on page one, the aging of the photographer and his upgrades with his camera, the aging of Mother, and even the types of skates. And toward the end of the book, Tippy is no longer around, rather he is remembered in a framed photograph, indicating his passing. Speaking of Tippy, our first pet dog, Tippy, was a part of my family in the 1950s.
I selected the name Talitha from the book of Mark in the New Testament, chapter five. It means “little girl” in Aramaic. I believe Talitha’s story paints a precious picture of preserving a family tradition, spanning three generations and beyond. Let me know, my readers, if any of you have had special items that have been saved and passed along to the next generation. I would love to hear from you!
Pictured below are five of my six granddaughters, age two, wearing Talitha. A sixth granddaughter, Amara, will be added in 2020! The third generation, left to right, are Selah, Tanayah, Belle, Journi, and Ava. My oldest sister, Nancy, has four granddaughters who have also had their photographs taken wearing Talitha. And for fun, with a creative spirit, my sister Jincy had two grandsons photographed at age two wearing red plaid shorts with straps, following after my sister Libby, who had her son (second generation) also photographed with red plaid shorts. And I’m quite certain more little ones will be born into our family, adding to this third generation.