Anyone who has had to go through a loved one’s home after they’ve passed knows that, for a lot of reasons, it’s a challenging and difficult task. I’m in the process of going through the home my parents lived in for over 50 years (and I, of course, grew up there) and I’ve barely touched the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Figuring out what to save and what to get rid of is proving to be one of the challenges, but I’m slowly getting there.
My mother was a ‘saver’ – not a hoarder, but someone who kept all kinds of things stashed away forever. Letters, my old schoolwork, photos galore from when she was a child and before, up to my own children’s pictures she’d taken. Clippings of all kinds from newspapers and magazines, often with notes attached – in fact, her notes are everywhere – stashed in drawers, inside collectible pottery, stuck in books, and attached to all kinds of things. Needless to say, I’ve shed a lot of tears going through it all, but there are things that make me smile and laugh, too. (My school papers and a few letters prove I wrote a lot of goofy things as a kid!) :-)
Today, I’m sharing some of the random treasures (a term used loosely!). I hope you find a few interesting, and maybe one or two that make you smile. :-)
For many years, my parents had stashed in a closet a stack of old newspapers headlining important events. Here are a few from the WWII Leyte Gulf invasion of the Philippines my father was a part of, and from when JFK was assassinated. Pretty amazing to hold them in your hand as you read the history!
I just found my grandmother’s copy of Gone With The Wind that I vividly remember staying up ALL NIGHT to read at about age 13 when I was staying with her for a weekend. Look at the inside print – pretty light on paragraph breaks, and oddly formatted! Not very inviting, I don’t think, but apparently that didn’t bother me. :-) I’ve found all kinds of really old books that are fascinating – old cookbooks, gardening books, and novels from the turn of the century that must have belonged to my great-grandmother. Am really loving looking through them.Here’s one of the many things I’m not sure what to do with. Wonderful to live in this amazing internet age where we can look up anything that has a mark on the bottom, isn’t it? I typed in markings for this pitcher, and found there are many pieces of this pottery called Corn King. Can’t say I love it, though it is interesting…maybe I need to start an eBay business for stuff like this? ;-)
Now this, I love. It’s my grandmother’s journal from a trip she took with her sister to Amsterdam, Paris and England in 1965 (born in Bolton, Lancashire, she emigrated from England when she was 21). I adored my grandmother, and this journal is so cute and funny, just like her. She mentions she bought me a doll in Amsterdam…I so wish I knew which one! And I’m SO curious – how in the world do you think it’s typewritten? She obviously wrote it as it happened, not from memory – anyone know if there was some tiny portable typewriter in the 60s?
And this was one of my biggest laughs. I have no idea if my mother was a Baywatch fan, but even if she was, why would she have a poster of David Hasselhoff?? Clearly, ‘manscaping’ wasn’t popular back then – I wish you could see it closer as it’s quite impressive. :-D
Then there are the simple things. I used this little cup measure all the time growing up. Then later at Christmas gatherings after I was an adult, and more recently when I’d fix food for my parents sometimes. I never thought about it at all until I was packing up the kitchen and it occurred to me it had to be quite old. Again, I typed its markings – Fire King – into the computer, and found the mark on this one was on glassware from the 1940s, and realized it must have been a wedding gift. That makes it feel like more than just a cup measure to me now :-)
And the teapot? I’ve made more pots of tea in it than I can possibly count. Never thought it was particularly pretty – it was our everyday pot. I’ve learned it’s a Halls teapot, and quite collectible. Thinking of the tea we shared over the years makes me glad to have it. One more? Part of a very old Monopoly set – the houses and hotels are made of wood. Alas, though, the board itself was ruined years ago when our basement flooded. My father was a crazy expert Monopoly player who loved the game, and getting rid of this part of it feels wrong…*sigh*
Do you own anything that makes you think about a grandparent or parent? That makes you happy or sad or both? I’d love to hear why it’s meaningful to you.
I have a new release out this month (November) titled HER CHRISTMAS BABY BUMP It’s part of a four book series, MIDWIVES ON CALL AT CHRISTMAS with Scarlet Wilson, Louisa George and Tina Beckett, whom I thank in my Dear Reader introduction (below). They were hugely helpful to me, as I hadn’t written a continuity before. Thanks again, ladies! :-)