Monday, April 14, 2014

What Are Your Heirlooms?

I've been in the process of moving for a few weeks. I'm actually in the middle of a three way move (and not in the fun way). My son is buying my house and my husband and I are moving in with my parents. But before we can move in with my parents, we have to make space in their house. Hence, the long process.

Things got slowed down when we decided to do some renovations at my parents' house but we're on track and ought to have every done in a week or two.

It's a good move for everyone for a variety of reasons. My parents need the help. In fact, now that I've been spending more time at their house, their need for assistance (and just some company) has become more evident. Plus, they really like our dog.

It's a good move for my son because he'll be a homeowner and he's getting a good deal.

It's good for my husband and me because we're ready for a change and it's an opportunity for us to downsize even more. Plus, though I'm sure there will be many stresses of sharing a house, particularly with my aging parents, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to make their lives a bit easier.

I've been helping my mother sort through the mounds of items in her home. Many are nice things that she's kept, presumably at least in part to pass along to my brother and me and my son.

As I've been sorting through my own items, I'm forced to make decisions about what to keep and what to dispose of. I'm not sentimental and I don't have any grand family heirlooms to save.

All of this leads to today's question---what are your heirlooms? 

When I look around my house, the items that make me smile are an odd assortment.

A conch shell. It's pretty basic and probably came from The Shell Factory in Florida. So why does it matter to me? My grandparents had a trailer in a mobile home park in Florida for the last 30+ years of their lives (which is also the entire time I knew them) and the conch shell was prominently displayed there. The conch shell represents fond and funny memories: taking walks (pretty slowly in the later years) with my grandpa around the park where everyone knew him. Watching Wheel of Fortune with the two of them in their living room. The time grandpa started his car outside the guest room window early on a Sunday morning to make sure I woke up to go to church with him.

It's not like I come from a long line of pirates, but that conch shell connects me to my past.

Plastic Rats. Several years ago my mother sent my son a box of junk for Halloween, including a package of plastic rats. For some reason, my son started stashing them around the house to surprise me. I'd pull back the covers on my bed, and there'd be a plastic rat. Or I'd come home after doing errands and find one on my computer keyboard. We're not a real mushy family, so each of those rat sightings was an "I love you" as far as I am concerned.

I'm trying to think of a good place to hide a rat or two for him to find after he moves in.

What about you? What are some of the items that mean the most to you? 


  1. Oh, I love the idea that you will leave a few rats for your son. When I was a kid, I had a rubber snake I'd purchased at Disneyland. Ralph used to appear in my mom's bed, in the shower, much like the rats. I don't know ever what happened to Ralph...

    As for my heirlooms, I have a rose ring from my mother. She fell in love with it and bought it against my stepfather's wishes. I'd always thought it was "just okay," but she has arthritis pretty bad now and she has given me most of her rings, including the rose one. Which I now love.

    1. I read this early this morning (before making another trip to get stuff from my old house) and thought you said your mother gave you a Nose ring. I was very relieved when I read again and saw Rose.

      Love the story about the ring, especially the fact that your mom bought it against her husband's wishes.

    2. A nose ring is not out of the question. At at the age of 70, my mom got her first tattoo. She now has six.

    3. Love it! Is that more tattoos than you have?

  2. Enjoyed this post Celeste, I think it is a wonderful thing you and your husband are doing. I would definitely stash the rats around the house for your son to find lol. Wishing you all the best with the move.

    The things I treasure are mainly ornaments and knick knacks I have been given over the years. My father also compiled a book of our family history and tree a few years ago which he dedicated to his children and grandchildren.


    1. Thanks Roz! I may need regular reminders that this is a good thing to do. :)

      Love the idea of the family history. Sometimes I toy w/an idea like that and now that I'm here w/my parents, maybe I can do something like that. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the idea.

  3. I loved reading this. It made me think of going through my folks things and then the gradual reduction of my mementos over the last two years. The things our daughter wanted have been passed on and I'm down to one bin and whatever fits in this space, so they are small things. The truth is they never mean as much to someone else as they do to you, because it's not the things but the memories associated with them.
    Good luck on the move.

  4. You're exactly right, it's not the things but the memories associated with them. Makes me wonder what my son and (hopefully) grandchildren will treasure of mine.
    Maybe some of my books. LOL!

  5. Boy, I had the hardest time moving stuff out of my mom's house because she WAS sentimental, and she had a million heirlooms-- great stuff, too. I'm not so sentimental, so some of it feels a bit like a burden, but some of them are treasures to me too. Her wedding ring, my great great uncles ivory dominoes, my grandfather's gold pocket watch, an old wagon wheel from the farm, two original desks and a piece of the slate from the one-room school house where my grandmother taught, both grandmother's sets of china, the family silver... I could go on and on! LOL. I did manage to offload a great great uncles violin on my aunt!! :)


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