Monday, November 28, 2016

Czech Republic Blue Crystal Chandelier Dilemma

My mother was a national beauty queen. During the year of her reign, she took a modeling job for a car company called "Skoda" in which she traveled around Europe and behind the "Iron Curtain" into communist territory and modeled it at shows. 

When she went to the Czech Republic, she said that there were no shops with anything in the windows or in the streets and that all the buildings were tall, square and of the same make and build. There was no color anywhere. She brought back a black wool skirt that was what all the women were wearing as the communists wanted everyone to look and live the same.  

She was able to purchase some Czech crystal goblets there and also, a Blue Crystal Chandelier. My entire life, this chandelier hung somewhere in our home.

My mother LOVED her crystal chandelier and basically, crystal in general. I think to her, it represented the only color and difference or originality that the country she visited had to offer as everything else had been stripped away. 

They took their culture from them in so many ways but since they were known for their crystal making skills, they were allowed to keep that as it would furnish crystal for the military and government needs. To my mother, I think it represented peoples freedom as that was about all they had left to control. 

When I took my mother back to Czech Republic a few years ago for the Skoda Grand Opening of their museum, she gave some of the workers a copy of a cd she had recorded when she sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for ten years. 

The women she gave the CD's to said they had never hear a choir sing in their entire life! They were about 30 years old! During the time they were occupied, they were not allowed to congregate and meet for church or choirs etc. so after the occupation was over, they had lost much of their culture, folk music, costumes, traditions etc. 

I was so sad that they hadn't heard choirs. Some of my fondest memories have been singing with choirs, touring with them etc. I LOVE music and don't know what I would have done without it in my life. 

I am still going through my mothers estate and found the box with the blue crystal chandelier in it. A few years back, she had a house fire and many of her things were in that house and burned. The chandelier had gotten damaged and crystals broken over the years and when I unwrapped it, I would say that at least 1/3 of the crystals are broken beyond help. Some of it was missing or perhaps broke and was thrown away. 

What was left probably wouldn't have been of value to anyone as there were chips in many of the strands that were there. 

I thought about making a Christmas tree ornament with a crystal for each of the grand children but then one family may get more than another and I don't think my girls would want a blue ornament amid their color schemed trees yet many of my siblings just have odd ornaments and colored lights so it could work for them. 

I personally thought it would be nice to hang it on a string and hang if from my rear-view mirror so it could catch the light while driving and would remind me of my mom often. Others didn't think they would like that. 

The other thought I had was hanging it on ribbon and using it as a window crystal hanging off one of the suction cups you put on a window. So, I cleaned the entire thing washing it twice with "Totally Awesome Cleaner" which I just sprayed on the crystals and off dripped the greasy, dirty mess from the fire and years of use. I then rinsed them well and hand dried each crystal and they came out sparkling!   

My siblings didn't give much input when I asked what they would like me to do but everyone wanted some of the crystals so I just divided it into even sections and gave everyone either one of the group with a pointed crystal or one with a round crystal tray type thing as there weren't enough of either for everyone to get one of each. I personally think I am going to make something to hang in my car since I don't have anything blue in my house. 

I think my mother would be happy to know that all her kids have a part of that item which brought her so much joy and memories over the years.

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