Ours weren't 50 years old, though; they were new. Miss Bency brought two five gallons cans of house paint—white and a medium blue. We could paint our own can however we wanted—blue first and then white, or the other way, and with any designs we wanted. We could mix the paints in cups. Mine had a wavy line all the way around with dots in the waves of the line. I remember it was a water-based paint, but it wasn't acrylic/plastic. It wasn't shiny at all. ("Matte," but I was seven and didn't know that word yet.)
We potted the ivy cuttings, and kept them in the classroom for a while, and then on a Friday we took them home and were advised on how we might hide them. I was lucky to have my granny living next door. She only lived in Española for a few months. At first she had rented a house across from the elementary school and I could go there for lunch. Then she moved into a tiny house across the dirt road from our house, and this was during that time, which was more important than just having a hiding place.
On Sunday I gave my mom the ivy. She loved it! It did well. When my granny went back to Fort Worth, she took a cutting. When an aunt on my dad's side came to visit from Colorado Springs, she took a cutting.
Years passed, I went to college, my parents divorced, and I asked about the ivy, but my mom didn't have any anymore. I knew my aunt and granny still did.
My cousin Nada had grown up with us. A few years after the divorce, my Aunt Doris, Nada's mom, came up from Texas to live near Nada, and she brought some of that ivy, which she had from my granny.
I was busy, I went to Albuquerque and married Keith and had kids. I was at my sister's house about ten years ago and she had some of that ivy! Aunt Doris had died, and Irene got the ivy. I told her what it was, and asked for some. Yeah, okay, she said. I kept asking. She got divorced and left that house and left the ivy. I asked my niece and nephews and their dad a few times. Sure, no problem.
Well FINALLY, in February 2009, Elijah brought me ivy, from the same ivy my teacher had given me to give my mother in 1961.
Since I was a teenager, I've looked for more of the same ivy, to find out what it's name is, but I've never seen any. I never pass an ivy stand in a store without scanning for this ivy. None. I'm hoping someone here can identify it. Each time I visited my older female relatives in the 60's or 70's, they would tell me "Look, here's your ivy." So all those years it was "my ivy," and my memories had all to do with my mother and grandmother.
For Mother's Day, I told Holly I wanted a photo of me, her and the ivy. It's as close as we'll be to a four-generation photo. None of the photos are perfect, so I'll share several that have a nice aspect along with a flaw. Instead of a single image, it will be some documentation of the project of creating an image. Sometimes Holly used a timer, and sometimes she was holding the camera.
Thank you, Holly! Thank you Irene, for taking care of this, and Aunt Doris, and my granny Annie Mae Hathcock, and Miss Bency. Thank you, Elijah, for taking a cutting for me and driving it to Albuquerque.
Addendum, Thursday, May 14 (arrived by phone, from Ashlee):
These are at my friend's house. I totally knew what they were because of your blog!