"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!" - Amanda Bradley

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

what we keep

So far this year has been very contemplative for me. Soul searching. A reminder of what is important. Who is important. The new year, mixed with high emotions from the end of last year and the hospitalization and death of my grandma have put me in an almost peaceful content mood (most of the time at least).After my grandma died her house needed to be gone through, of course. What a job. Emotional, exhaustive. How does one decide what to keep, what to toss, what to donate? Because it was only my aunt, uncle, and one cousin (the lovely Lorinda) we had to make decisions for the rest of the family. I believe we made good ones.

Of course most of the things in my grandparent's home are sentimental to us. But, what to keep? Obviously the person isn't their objects, objects not the person who owned them. However, there are certain items that can help bring us that feeling of a person. Remind us of them.
So, what did I keep? More than I expected to. A few things that are just things - a great, old Tupperware caddy and a vase that I don't ever remember seeing. A little metal figurine of a man in a barrel that I assume was my grandpa's. A necklace of my grandma's. However, those things aren't the things that stirred up my emotions.

So, what made my heart sing? What did I feel like I HAD to have?

Well...for starters Mark Twain up there. He always sat on a coffee table next to the shot glass stage coach. My grandpa had a collection of items from the McCormick Distilling Company. What is great is that Mark Twain's head comes off...he originally came full of bourbon.

And the toaster salt and pepper shakers (picture above). My grandma had a vast collection of salt and pepper shakers. Some were quite remarkable. When I was about 7 or 8 I bought her the toaster ones at an antique shop. If you lift the handle the toast pops up. I love them. Always have. Now they sit above my stove, not to be used, but to be loved. I also grabbed the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox shakers that I bought her on a trip to Minnesota with my other grandpa.

She also wanted me to have her knitting needles. In the hospital I told her I was learning to knit. Even though she said I "have a long way to go" she was excited and insisted I take them. I will never have to buy knitting needles. I guess this means I need to continue with this hobby - at least long enough to knit purple scarves for me and my cousin! :)

There are a few other items I picked up, however the one I will treasure, that both Lorinda and I cradled in fear it may be damaged is the cookie jar. It would figure I would have a love of the cookie jar. When we walked in the house it wasn't sitting on it's spot on the counter. I was confused and I could see concern in Lorinda's eyes. I turned around to talk to my aunt and in seconds Lorinda comes to me cradling the bird and handed it over to me...makes me tear up thinking about it even now. I love the birdie cookie jar - I need to fill it with some oatmeal cookies soon, but most of all I love my grandma, I love my cousin. I love that I have a family so rich in blessings.

Have a great love week all! Enjoy!


  1. Great pictures & explanations about the "things" that meant (and mean) so much to you!!

  2. Those are wonderful keepsakes:) My grandma is still kicking at 90 but when she had a scare and went to the hospital several years ago, some greedy family members went through some stuff and took some cute little baubles, grrrr:(

  3. I love the idea of bringing special items from your grandparents to your home. Those unique gifts will always be a beautiful reminder of happy family times. The birdie cookie jar is very sweet. Enjoy knitting! I should take it up. I hear it is very relaxing : )

  4. I hope you continued to be surrounded by the wonderful memories and love of your family each time your gaze falls on each of those items. We have some things like that in our house and sometimes my eyes skip right over them...but when I take the time to pause and remember, it makes me happy.

  5. Excellent memories! Love the toast S&P shakers, and I'm an enthusiastic fan of cookie jars too. The birdie one is fab!!


  6. Nice memories. It is the little things that remind us. Love the toaster. Who got to have the stagecoach shot glass thingy?
    You've done so well through all of this, now you just have to clean your house...

  7. This was such a great post Jerrie. I have some little treasures from both of my grandmas, as time passes they become more precious.

  8. Hi Jerrie, how do you get the image and title at the top of your blog?


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