10.22.2009

What's Hiding in Your Closet?



My Paternal Great-Grandmother

When it comes to my past and mementos from it, there isn't much. Many (well you could even say most) of the older generation passed away long before I could even begin to realize how important their stories were. I do have a few items which mean a lot to me...a hope chest, some gumball machines, a quilt, but one of my most treasured possessions is a family album. All you scrapbookers out their would just pass out if you saw it - sticky pages in a three-ring binder - but it works and frankly I have thought about transferring the photos, but some of them are simply stuck, perhaps forever.

Recently, my son was asked, as part of the Cub Scout pack, to be a part of the flag salute at a city council meeting (yeah, the one where they flipped a coin to decide who was going to be mayor). Oh, this kid LOVES (could not use {heart} there..he would kill me...too girly!) being a Cub Scout, so even though we were leaving in a couple of days and I had not packed at all and we had about 2,000 things already going on, we some how made it to the council meeting so he could be a part of this ceremony. I am glad we did, he was so proud.

This got me thinking about one of the photos in my treasured album. A simple photo of two kids holding the American flag and saluting. It is so All-American (which I {heart}!). I wish I knew the story behind the photo, but alas, I never will.

So, I ask what is your most treasured heirloom or memory? How do you hang on to your pieces of the past (the good pieces...this is not therapy!)? I would love to hear your stories.

Enjoy!
Holly

PS - Some fun Halloween stuff coming. Yeah, I know, could I wait any longer?!

26 comments :

  1. my mom gave me a bracelet on my sweet sixteen that my dad gave to HER on their fifth anniversary. It's not an heirloom, but i LOVE it!

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  2. My mom gave me, as a wedding gift, a painting by my great Aunt Esther (painted around the time of your photo above). I was touched. A little piece of family history. I may have to "borrow" this idea for a blog post as I got nothing today.

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  3. That's why it's so important for us to notate on the back of photos what they are. Of course, even that fades over time. I wonder how much will be lost now that all our photos are digital? What will people pass down to their kids...their jump drives?

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  4. I love this...I have soooo much old family stuff and I love researching family history. I think I got the love from my mom. She was very proud of where we came from and of the fact that she was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Daughters of the American Revolution. My favorite possessions are the photos, the love letters my grandfather wrote my grandmother during WWII, and a few pieces of jewelry. I love this topic so much, that when I ever get around to re-vamping my blog this will be one of the main topics I write about!

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  5. My mom and I are both very sentimental so we carry around tons of stuff from our past. My mom has a shoe shine box of my granfathers with all the tools and it says 5 cent shine on the box..he was 1st gen american..I love that. I have all my daughters teeth in a china box with a fairy on top..someday it might be in some auction box..and someone might open it and see all those old teeth with... I laugh at the thought of that..but I could go on forever with those things..but your family album is awesome..I have tons of photos too..and even if you dont know the story..you are still connected.

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  6. My Grandmother and best friend, passed away from a 15 year battle with cancer when I was sixteen. I have the charm bracelet, with her name engraved on it, that my grandfather gave her at the Iowa State Fair - which is also when he proposed to her.

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  7. Last year, my mom FINALLY let my sister and me divy up my grandma's old "breakables" (candy dishes, decorative plates, etc.). Since there are only two girls...with no "squabbles", we were able to gracefully do this with both getting the pieces we wanted and no hurt feelings! The boys (my 2 brothers) got a tough break. I now have several beautiful and very old pieces to pass on to MY girls!

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  8. I really don't have anything from my side of the family (my parents are still holding on to them) but on my husband's side we have a few quilts, some well over 100 years old and an album filled with black and white pictures kind of in the same state as yours. His great grandmother is still alive and is 102 years old. She loves to tell us about life back then and we love to listen to her. :o)

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  9. Probably the only real treasure I have that I love, but very rarely look at is a suede jacket my dad used to wear a lot. It was the only item I asked for when he died. Because it was suede it captured his scent. It's wrapped tightly and I only dare to open it maybe once a year. I take a long breath and remember. Great post...now I need a tissue. Have a great day. Holly at lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

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  10. I have my grandfather's wedding band that my grandmother engraved with their initials and date of marriage. I got married in it.

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  11. I have a lot of old art and furniture from my family--all displayed. I love it and it makes me feel comfy! xoxo

    SC

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  12. We have tons of photos from my mom's side of the famliy, but I do have my paternal grandparent's wedding photo and family bible. My favorite two things I have from my maternal grandmother are a hammered sterling silver thin bracelet (she only wore silver) and a ring that my grandfather (her husband) made for her when they were first married. It's the handle of her silver baby spoon, with the "spoon" part removed, bent into a ring; the top of the spoon is a carved rose, it's beautiful.

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  13. I have lots of jewelry. We also have one whole house of antique furniture. We are waiting to find our special house in San Luis Obispo to move all the furniture to our "new" house.

    I am our family researcher, and love finding and sharing all that I have learned. I love history. Once we are settled in San Luis we plan on having our own museum. (More about that on another day)

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  14. I forgot...I do have my grandfathers dog tags from WWII. He came back from the war, but my grandparents had all passed by the time I was 10. At 10 what do you care about the past. I have tried to go through some old photos with my parents and put names and places to people. I love old photos and the memories.

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  15. I have so many things...dishes, furniture, pictures, jewelry. I could go on and on. One of my favorite items is a ring that belonged to my grandmother. I wear it every day. I have been thinking about doing a blog post about my grandparents and adding pictures of some of my heirlooms.

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  16. Hi, Thanks for your lovely comment... Jessie is one of my memories... to remember her I have kept a snippet of her mane. I will always have a part of her wherever I go.

    Another heirloom I have is from my late mum Fran. She had a horseshoe brooch the had a emerald stone set in it. The brooch itself isn't much but the history behind definitely is.

    I love your blog!

    Cheers..

    Lizzie x

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  17. There's not a whole lot of mementos around for us children that my parents/grandparents/great-grandparents/etc. passed down, but the ones I love the most are pictures of my parents when they were young - and by young I mean in their late teens/early 20s. One picture of my mom, an uncle had re-done into a portrait and it looks fabulous. My mom's about 16 in the picture and I love it. Another one is of my dad when he was quite young, in his early 20s, and looks youthful, energetic, full of vigor... I guess that's how I came along ;)

    Thanks for sharing your picture. It's really cool to know that you have a connection like that to your own past.

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  18. Oh, Holly -- I heart the Cub Scouts, too! Your post is making me feel a little nostalgic, because the tall boy just finished his last requirement to become an Eagle Scout; he will leave our Troop and go off to college just as the fabulous neighbor's little boy bridges over from Cub Scouts.

    My favorite heirloom photograph is one of my dad and his brother -- taken about 1939. They are real Texas cowboys with boots and overalls -- and nothing else; they both carry fishing poles. It's right out of Norman Rockwell.

    xoxo --
    Liz @ twenty-firstcenturyhousewife.blogspot.com

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  19. I am fortunate to have several pieces of handmade furniture (coffee table, bureau, some shelves and stools) that my grandfather made for me. After he died, I adopted all of his art stuff. I paint with his brushes, keep lines straight with his ruler, and work with his tools. He's been gone for nine years now, yet he's never far from all the moments when I'm the happiest...

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  20. Holly, your post really got me to thinking because both my parents are still alive. I don't think I have anything yet that I value because it's all still with them. The ONLY think I can think of right now that would matter to me, that I actually have, is an old silent movie reel of my parents when they were in their early 20's. They were at a wedding and they look sooooo young and thin. I hadn't realized what a beautiful woman my mom was at that age. Dad was a lucky man.

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  21. I have a few. My grandmother's quilts, the clock that sat on my grandparent's mantle my whole life, and (my favorite) a painting of their farm. It's an aerial view. I just love it.

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  22. My grandmother's engagement ring, its the most equisite peice of jewellery, Im not game enough to wear it, but it signifies a lasting love affair between she and and grandad and I hope that even just a little bit of that love passes onto me.

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  23. Oh, I have a few things, great question. One of them is my great grandmother's wrist watch. She was born in 1894 and was our family matriarch but was very close to my mom told my mom to give me the watch. I also have a kind of large locket from my paternal grandmother, who I was very, very close to (she lived with us during high school) that has old photos of my brother and I in each side. Both of those items mean the world to me. I have lots of little things from my kids and husband but those two items are probably my most treasured.

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  24. beautiful picture.

    i have an entire box-full of pictures of my grandparents (on both sides!) that i enjoy looking at from time to time.

    i'm someone who has trouble throwing things away, so i have a lot of favorite family treasures...

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  25. Hi Holly! I saw your post over at Willoughby's Cocktail Party and wanted to stop by and say hi! Your post was great!
    My favorite heirloom from my mom is a Mother Mary medallion that my mom wore on a chain beginning when she was a little girl and for years and years . I don't wear it but I keep it somewhere and safe and periodically take it out to look at. I don't want to wear it and risk losing it. I like knowing I have it in my homw safely tucked away!

    I hope you have a great weekend!

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  26. Thanks for sharing this! Great blog btw!!

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