Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Family Treasures


I just got back from a day in the mountains with the boys. My grandfather died recently, and I went to my parents’ house to help clean out some of his stuff. Didn’t I tell you recently how he never threw anything away? He had at least eleven calculators in his room, not to mention his collection of nine watches, ten pocketknives, thirty-ish pill jars of state quarters, and so on. Not a lot of valuable stuff, a lot of “just in case” stuff. My mom got a big kick out of emptying his wallet, which had about 43 items in it, including ONE Driver’s License, TWO pictures, and NO credit cards; most were cards to organizations he belonged to, including the State Electrical Board in the 1970s, and his lumber measurements card. Maybe if you grew up in the Depression Era, you didn’t take stuff for granted.

So what did I end up with? Besides a few pictures and a quilt, I mostly have the memories of the kind of grandparents every kid should have – a grandmother who always had time to bake cookies – and whistled and wore an apron while she did it, and grew flowers, and canned stuff, who went to every party she was invited to, and loved to have her picture taken, and made a quilt for every grandchild she had, and crocheted a blanket for every great-grandchild she had, and prayed for them every day; and a grandfather who was a Boy Scout, and fixed stuff, all sorts of stuff, took whatever job he had to to provide for his family, and tried to invest well, and thought highly of being a law-abiding, country-defending man who loved his wife and kids, and prayed for his family every day.

Actually, I did end up with a lot of irreplaceable family documents – wills, deeds, birth certificates, death certificates, journals, etc. Neat stuff for a genealogist, which I aspire to be.

And it was nice to see my parents, and give my kids the opportunity to have the same sort of grandparents I had.

4 comments:

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a lovely post - a lovely tribute.

My grandparents were just like that..my grandmother was fantastic baker and seamstress and and probably the main reason I bake and sew today.

My grandfather was a kind and smart man would gathered and kept everything too..My mother is still sorting through his things and he died 5 years ago!

Glad to hear you've got great memories...that's a best gift.

Sara said...

I am sorry about your grandfather. That is always hard to lose a loved one. But the memories will keep him alive to you, I'm sure.

SteSue said...

Proverbs 13:22 - just trying to do my part in keeping the inheritance going.

quiltmom said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for sharing your loving story of your grandparents. My grandmother died 5 years ago and my mother and sister took weeks to
clean out her house that she had shared with my grandfather for 67 years. She would be 91 this year so she lived in the depression years- she canned and baked and made the best fried chicken, bar none. My mother is a wonderful cook but she can not recreate that recipe's flavor no matter how hard she tries. It is interesting how that is- each cook has their own trademark dishes ahd unique way of making things( even when one uses the same ingredients).
As for the genealogy materials - you are so lucky to have them- I have loved family history and tried to get my gran to write her stories. She didn't think she had anything important to tell- that she lived an ordinary life - Thankfully my mother was a good note taker and is recording some of those stories. Some times it is hard to find the information of the 20th century so you may find that those papers are a real treasure trove of information.
Celebrating family is a gift that is worth treasuring- thanks for sharing your memories.
Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,
Anna