22 August 2013

Recent Finds

 As I've mentioned in recent posts, my parents' house is like a time capsule. Many things are just as I remember them from back in high school, and even elementary school. Each box I open, each closet I explore seems to have some object (sometimes even a treasure) which takes me back to those days. In today's post I thought I'd share a few interesting things I've found lately.

Recently I've been going through some boxes which belonged to my grandma who passed away in 2004. When she died, my mom packed up a lot of her belongings and stored them to sort through at a later date. For whatever reason, that never happened, so I'm doing it now. In addition to being an only child, I'm an only grandchild and have only one aunt (Grandma's remaining daughter) who can help me figure out what to do with Grandma's things.

 I recently ran across Grandma's sewing box. I'll be honest...I was hoping my aunt would take it. But it was too painful for her to even look at, let alone keep, so I told her I would take it. I thought about it for a few days and wondered what I would do with it. I already have a sewing basket...and I don't sew anyway!

 But the more I looked at it, the more I saw. My grandma was an excellent seamstress and worked in the upholstery and fur business for many years. She sewed clothing and made countless stuffed animals, many with their own wardrobes. Her sewing box is filled with measuring tapes, thimbles, chalk, googly eyes...all of the tools she used for her beautiful, imaginative creations.

How could I not keep this box? I've never liked my sewing basket anyway. :)

 Here's a box of beautiful, intricate tissue paper roses my grandma made. There are countless treasures like this.

Not everything I've found should be saved. Remember Lawn Darts? They're illegal now, plus this set was in poor shape anyway. I took a picture and let it go. :)

Oh, look...a poster of Bobby Sherman! Did you know that after he was a teen idol, he became a paramedic? I gleaned this useful tidbit of information on one of those middle-of-the-night "Where are They Now?" shows. Should I frame this???

 Last week I unearthed a box of Christmas decorations which belonged to my Grandma. I already have her Shiny Bright ornaments, so I was happy to find a few more pieces. Unfortunately this set had been stored in a box in the garden shed, and mice had chewed up a few of the reindeer. But as you can see, some of the pieces are just fine.

I got very excited when I found Grandma's "bottle brush" and cellophane wreaths which hung in her windows at Christmas. (So excited that I didn't stop to focus this picture!) I couldn't believe that they were still in perfect condition. Rest assured that I'm not letting go of these treasures!

My aunt was thrilled to take home this little set which she remembered from her childhood.

Oh, my goodness...I was so upset when I found these elves (like the current "Elf on the Shelf" elves) in such a sorry state! Mice had made them into amputee elves! My aunt was equally distressed and took them home to create new bodies and outfits. I hope they'll soon be able to join the other elves already at my house. 

Remember Captain Kangaroo? I watched that show every morning. This "Presto Slate" was in fine shape, despite being stored in a box out in the garden shed.

And then there's my napkin collection. I don't think I've ever known anyone else who collected paper napkins. In retrospect, it might not have been such a great idea.:)

I got them out of the box and spread them on the floor. This is just a sampling of the 12-inch stack of napkins packed into that box. In my defense, I will say that even back in high school, I was always intrigued by color and design, and most of the napkins I kept reflected current styles or images I liked. Of course, there are a fair number of ugly or plain wedding and anniversary napkins packed in the box, too, given to me by people who knew I had a napkin collection. I remember thinking at the time, "they don't get it" as I dutifully packed them away.

All of these discoveries make me wonder why we choose to keep the things we keep. They're often significant only to the person who owned them. But I'm happy to have a few of these treasures. For me, they're connections to people, places, and times past. 

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