We all have them. This is where I keep mine. I speak of those pretty, sentimental things that I don't truly require, but I can't bear to part with. These days, I'm more about practical and functional but these items are the exception to the rule. These are some of the few things I held on during the great purging of 2016.
When it comes to the concept of heirlooms, in general, I believe in using them. I still have, for example, a few lovely old Staffordshire platters that are quite valuable. I serve food on them on a daily basis. I do not keep them packed away for future generations so they can also keep them packed away which was a baffling suggestion from far more people than I expected. Nor do I hold on to these items for my children to some day have to sort through and probably sell. I certainly do not display them as a show of "wealth" or "stature" which I read somewhere was an explanation of why people display their collections. Here is the truth: I keep them and have them out where I can see them every day because, A) they are pretty and that always makes me smile and B) they serve a useful purpose and C) each item reminds me of someone/something that is important to me.
One year ago today, we signed a ton of papers, handed over the keys, shook hands with the new owners, got in the car and began the long drive to Florida. We met in an office in Parker Station at 9 o'clock and literally were on the road before noon. The weeks preceding that moment involved a lot of sorting out. We down sized from a house that was over 3200 square feet (not counting the basement or garage) to one of a little more than 1500 square feet (no basement or garage). Less than half the size. Clearly a lot of things had to go.
Some things were easy to part with. Surprisingly, most of the furniture was the easiest. All of them were large items that we carefully chose, but none of them held any deep, emotional connection for us. It was just "stuff". Wintery clothes? Easy peasy don't need it in Florida. Small kitchen appliances? Here you go. But making decisions about, for example, my Nana's wedding china? That was a lot harder. I sent some of those "family" things to the each of the kids, sold a lot at the yard sale, donated most of the rest but at the last minute, I packed up and kept just a few things for myself.
I wasn't certain what I would do with any of it once we got here either. But that answer revealed itself during the kitchen reno. I remember our builder-guy saying to me at the end of the day that the cabinetry went in, that he could not imagine what anyone would do with such odd little shelves. I smiled and said, "Oh I'm sure I will think of something". These are very narrow, angled shelves, the only open shelving in the kitchen and Tim and I kind of insisted upon them.
You see? These cabinets, I mean the standard, rectangular glass fronted cabinets, could have just ended square, 90 degrees to the wall. That is what our builder-guy expected certainly. But when we asked for the more whimsical, funny little angled shelves, he just shrugged, smiled and did as requested. He came back to check on things many months later, walked right to those shelves and said out loud, "Oh! Pretty. I wondered what you were going to do with those." Mystery solved!
Many times every day now, I see the things on those shelves and I cannot help but smile thinking of the people who gave them to me. I rarely use any of these things for more than a trip down memory lane. Which is still a purpose and an important one at that! There is a story and a person I love attached each item here. And that makes it all the more precious to me.
Just a note here at the end of today's Blogpost. I'm taking next week off. Everyone have a wonderful ten days! And we can meet back here on the 19th! Have fun and be safe :)
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.