Thursday, September 29, 2011

Keepers of Memories

Aunt Jane and Uncle Ivo did not have children of their own. 
I never knew why for sure.  This was not a topic discussed by that generation, other than in whispers.  I remember asking my mom "why" once, but don't remember the answer.  I was pretty young at the time.  I really need to remember to ask Aunt Yvonne, mom's youngest sister.

Jane and Ivo - 1946
You would think that since there were no kids to fight over the estate, that for once there would be no family squabbles.  Unfortunately, that isn't the case.  One family was closer to Jane and Ivo than anyone else, so I always assumed they would be the beneficiaries of their estate.  That is what happened  - and rightfully so.  One person has quit speaking to everyone else in the family because of this.  I want to shake her 70+ year old body and say "grow up".  It was theirs to do with as they wished.  Period.

Jim and I find ourselves often taking on the roll of caretaker of memories.  We like to preserve the past.  Our kids will be left with the task of deciding what to do with our addiction when we're gone. 
Sorry guys!

Iron Bird Feeder

This iron bird feeder was hidden away underneath one of the sale tables.  Jim spotted it first.  It was love at first site.  We have no idea how old the feeder is or where they had it.  They had a farm in Lohman, so I'm thinking it might have been there.  Or maybe their back yard.  I just don't know.  There is an iron spike that sticks into the ground to stabilize the feeder.  One.  There used to be four.  The remaining one will probably break off soon, but the feeder is heavy enough that it isn't going anywhere as long as  it is sitting solidly on the ground.  We need to put on our thinking caps and figure out a way to repair it, but for now, I'm enjoying just seeing the birds flock to their new/old restaurant.

This carpenter's box had to come home with us.  It is rustically primitive.  Since I don't know its story, I've had to come up with my own.  I'd like to think this box belonged to Ivo's dad.  I can just see him loading it onto the back of his buggy or model-T at the turn of the century as he headed out for a long day of work.

Carpenter's Box turned Game Chest
  We were outside loading up some of our purchases, when I happened to walk back into the auction hall and the auctioneer was holding this skillet in the air.  I raised my hand to bid and he said SOLD!  I got it!  I've been wanting a good old, already seasoned, cast iron skillet this size.  My friend Patti at Osage Bluff Quilter says she has been watching for a Wagner #11.  This one is a Wagner #12.  Close enough?  Although I've yet to fry chicken in it, I've used it several times.  Love, love, love it!

Iron Skillet
These pillow cases were my steal of the day.  They were preserved in a plastic bag.  The auctioneers had thrown them on the table with old linens, bath towels, and such.  It was towards the end of the sale and they were the last thing I planned to bid on.  By this time the auctioneers were lumping things into piles and these were added to a pile of towels and pretty much worthless kitchen stuff.

Since I was the only bidder, I'm pretty sure I was the only one who knew what treasures that pile of stuff held. stuff.  The auctioneer said, "who bids $2".  I raised my hand.  "Do I hear $3.00".  I kept my hand in the air.  "$2.50"  I kept my hand in the air.  He finally looked at me and said "I already have you at $2".  I didn't care.  I was taking no chances.  Finally, I heard "SOLD for $2 to # 159"

Lace edged pillow cases
 I like to think Jane & Ivo's neighbor lady, Mrs. Gadd, crocheted and embroidered these beautiful pillow cases.  They are too pretty to use.  I will probably display them on a quilt rack. 
Shame on the auctioneers for not valuing what they were selling more.

Embroidered Pillow Cases
My new favorite yellow coffee cup was also included in that $2 pile of handiwork. 

As I sit here blogging and sipping coffee, I think of the need to start documenting the stories of the many antiques and family items we have chosen to preserve.  Hopefully my children and grandchildren will want to carry on the tradition of keepers of memories.


Toriz said...

Sounds like you got some wonderful treasures - and memories - there.

Family are so qquick to squabble and stop talking to one another... It's sad really (it's a common theme in my family... We have a huge family, and I bearly know any of them because of events that happened before most of my cousins, my siblings and I were even born!

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

You got some great treasures. I saw some of that relative greed when my in laws passed away. Terry and I sat back and let the others go at it. I think we came away with one glass pitcher of my MIL's and Terry got a jacket that had been his dad's. One of the brother's wives had gone through the house and put her name on everything.

Love that birdfeeder. Carpenter chest were their pride and joy. That is gorgeous.

Nezzy said...

We always hope our family won't be one of 'those' but there always seems to be one greedy sole in the bunch.

It's so sad 'cause life is too precious!

You defiantly have a load of treasures there.

God bless and have yourself a terrific Thursday sweetie!!! :o)

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

What finds! The blacksmith said he'd love to have that carpenters chest! Of course I like the skillet, but I really need a #11.

Glad you won some family things!!!

AliceKay said...

It's a shame families have to squabble over things, but it happens. I've seen it happen just recently in my husband's family.

The iron bird feeder looks great in your flower garden. I'm sure your visitors will love it just as much as Jim does.

Great idea for the carpenter's box. It looks like it would make an excellent game chest. Looks nice there, too. :)

I think Terri would probably want to get his hands on that skillet of yours. (don't let him) Happy cooking!

The pillow cases are beautiful. I have a lot of crocheted and embroidered pillow cases and kitchen towels that used to belong to my grandmother. Karen will get them one day.

Beautiful treasures, Deanna.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Your treasures are perfect, and priceless because of the family memories. Bless you for keeping beloved treasures for your children & grandchildren & g-grandchildren. We have a situation close to us presently that is rather heartbreaking, and precious family heirlooms are being sold off. Family memories are priceless and greed is so very sad.
I like all of your finds, but I am partial to that happy yellow coffee cup! :) -Tammy

ChicagoLady said...

You got some great items at the auction. I'm so glad there are people that still want to preserve their heritage and pass things down. It's an art that is being lost to the latest generations.

tmarie said...

If your yellow mug turns up missing...I know nothing about it.

p.s. I love that you are the keeper of memories because I want to be too. So if you do your job well, then I won't have much to do! :)
Love ya!

Rita said...

I love the iron bird feeder! And the chest and the skillet and the pillowcases and the cup...glad you are the keeper of memories.

So often you see the squabbling after somebody passes. I will have absolutely no part of it. I would rather have nothing whatsoever and walk away from the fray. Hence, I am not the keeper of memories in my family--LOL! ;)

That corgi :) said...

Yes document the treasures!! Because your kids will be looking at them years down the road and wonder what to keep, what to give, what has sentimental value, what has monetary value, etc. Plus I'm sure there are lots of stories behind them you would want to preserve from generation to generation.

Family squabbles. Totally ridiculous. Over possessions, families will often be torn in two. Makes no sense, like you know!

When my mom died, she had hardly anything, but I resolved I wouldn't fight for anything. Wouldn't you know it, the one thing I wanted, a prayer book she used, my sister "claimed". I just bit my tongue and moved on. Hubby is adopting the same attitude between he and his brother; if his brother wants something, he'll gladly give it to him or let him have it.

I liked those pillow cases; so very nice!!


Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Deanna, you got some neat things at the sale. The bird feeder is really unique and I like the old chest. The linens are pretty, too. I like going to estate sales, you never know what treasures you'll find. Too bad about the person that is being difficult, there seems to be one of those in every family!

Intense Guy said...

I've a couple sister-in-laws that ... well, lets say the body was even cold before they were over at the house looking for loot.

Shakes head.

I love that shot of your Aunt. The leg up at the wall - was she fake threatening to jump?

That bird feeder and wooden chest are true gems - and the cast iron fry pan is too -

The handmade items are beautiful -

The suctioneers aren't setting the value on the stuff - the bidders are... and in tough economic times - it seems like there are few that are bidding much.


I hope you keep the memories alive - and some youngster in your family wants to take them up.

Journaling Woman said...

Great finds! I am a firm believer in making sure that people should leave journals for the future generations. There's something about journals that reveal the heart of a person. Sometimes you find out why you act like you do. :)

Texas Gal said...

Yes please do...document. I have pictures of people taken in the 20's that I have no idea who they are and neither does my sister. Noone wrote names, history or anything. I have one chair that belonged to my grandmother and a lot of heirlooms from my mother. I've told my children where they came from..hopefully they will want them when I'm gone and not sell them off!