If you are confused by the name of my blog because you thought that Rhode Island was the Ocean State, not the Hope State, you are not alone. Hope is the Rhode Island state ‘mantra,’ if you will, and is written around the anchor on our state flag. Hope is also the name of both my grandmothers (and more aunts and cousins than you can imagine). I forget the full thought process but it seemed like a fitting name at the time.
Here are two shots of my paternal grandmother, Mumma, taken in 1928 (she was only 13! do you know what I looked like when I was 13??) on a family vacation to St. Croix. I love how her style exudes personality and elegance despite being reduced to the most basic elements: a knit bathing dress, sneakers with no laces and a gold bangle (kind of a thing among women in my family. The kitchen is always full of jingle noises at the holidays because of it, but I have yet to partake in the tradition. I think technically you are supposed to sail to the West Indies to get one).
Her outfit in the second photo is almost too cute to describe, and knowing my grandmother, it is SO much like her: an appreciation for nautical style, walking shoes, an artsy french beret (her parents went to France on their honeymoon and bought a river boat with the wedding money that they were supposed to spend on china and other boring things. They lived on the Seine, painting their way around Paris until WWI broke out, at which point my great grandmother was pregnant with my grandmother and her identical twin, Kate. They bought tickets to get back to the US on the Lusitania, but the ship sank before their trip!), and of course, her watercolor set!