Saturday, September 11, 2010


You never know what will become popular in the 'antique decor' categories. When I page through home decorating magazines, devouring the photos and 'picking through the clutter' that often appears in them, I often spot things much like items that I own.

My kids sometimes poke fun at me for collecting the old things that I do. Why would I want those old-fashioned milk cans that stand in my kitchen? Why do I stack those small old-fashioned overnight cases near the window in the guest room? Why do I want that old toolbox with the peeling paint in my house, that holds magazines? The answer is easy for me to give.
These, and other items that are old and appear useless to my kids, are meaningul to me because they belonged to someone that I loved. The milk cans were not owned by my Dad or my Grandfather, but they are a part of a small vignette of dairy bottles, a photo of my grandfather in his work uniform near a G & T Dairies truck. This little 'monument' is to honor their days as the milkmen who delivered dairy products to our doors in the wee hours of morning so many years ago. The toolbox belonged to my late brother, the small, shabby suitcases to beloved family members.

So many treasures have been added to my decorating, which were used by someone who went before me. Not all were owned family members, but many were. Some things I've made part of our living space are things that I've purchased, just because I like them. The pine trunk which I use for a coffee table, the treadle sewing machine in the sunroom, the old fireplace surround are examples of pieces that I've added, which, I think add more personality to our home.

Why should we treasure only bits of jewelry passed down from ancestors? Should our past not be dragged into our present by the use of well-made furniture, no matter how worn it is with age and use? Should not the quilts made by grandmothers and great-grandmothers be displayed, or even used on our beds? I believe so. These things bring our history into today and remind us of those whose blood flows through our veins. It makes us feel connected to something, someone, and gives us a very real feeling of 'belonging'.

My hope is that one of my children who live in this age of 'replacement and renewal' will do a turn-around and begin to see the importance of preserving their own history, their own treasures... and mine!