I am sure that plenty of you have/had grandparents whose homes were filled with old things, the things memories are made of.
My grandparent's home was totally the opposite. My grandmother always liked to have the newest/brightest stuff out there. She had no appetite for antiques, unlike my grandfather who loved going to auctions and picking up interesting old stuff.
Their home held precious little from our pasts. No toys from her children's childhoods, nothing from their own childhoods, no closets stuffed with memories or interesting old "junk".
In fact, there is a long held family tale about an aluminum Christmas tree. My grandfather brought the tree home in the 1960's, thinking it was the most wonderful thing he had ever seen. My grandmother thought it was the most beastly thing on earth and tossed it right into the yard!
Once I started to be interested in antiques my grandfather would tell me about that tree and muse that he was sure I would have loved it. (How lucky I felt when I managed to find one I could afford at long last, only two weeks ago!)
Anyway, I think the lack of stuff like that around me is why I really seek out old things now.
Cleaning out their house has yielded very few things that made me excited in that junking kind of way, but here are the meager few contributions to my own collections:
A vintage Ohio art sandpail. I always admire these in those country living photoshoots. I found this one in a box of garbage in the garage. (Literally garbage. There was 20 year old potting soil and trashy plastic pots in the box.)
A glass candle ornament. (Kind of hard to see there, sorry.) Also found in the garage, also amongst garbage. Actually, it's kind of miraculous that this thing is still around. It was on the garage floor, near heavy boxes of old tiles, in a pile of leaves and really faded fake flowers off my grandmother's grave. I bent down to pick up what I thought was just a candle clip and up came the ornament.
And the best find, a vintage doll quilt. It's actually the saddest find for me as well. It was in a box of my old doll clothes in the basement, and I squealed when I uncovered it.
Of all the quilts I have managed to collect I have NO doll quilts. And this one was clearly mine as a child.
But I don't remember it at all. :-(
Because my childhood was abusive and crappy in so many ways I have developed what I lovingly refer to as "swiss cheese head". Essentially I have very little memory of growing up. Even now, I find myself unable to remember a lot of things that "normal" people would remember. Like my husband's birthday. (If only I were joking.)
I filter things in and out like a whale filters baleen.
It was clearly a survival strategy for me as a child.
So, I dug this sweet little quilt out, and I *knew* it was mine, it was in *my* things, in *my* grandparent's basement, and yet, it is not in the swiss cheese head anywhere.
C'est la vie I suppose.
And that brings me to the last thing I have time to say today, I want to thank all of you who have been there with me and for me this year.
I am surprised every day that so many of you are still on this crazy journey with me.
Clearly I am working through a lot more than just my grandfather dying over here. I am finding myself in the middle of trying to really and truly digest my past. To accept it and move beyond it ONCE AND FOR ALL.
The swiss cheese head has not been enough to get me through this part. It has required constant pushing on my part.
Pushing to remember it. Pushing to forgive it. Pushing to focus on what was good.
Right now I am *this* close to being on the other side of that stuff.
This has, in many ways, been a real rescuing of Sarah. A time to truly make peace with the past so that it blends a little better with the life I know and love right now.
Perhaps *that* is the gift my grandparents truly left me.
Labels: New house