Thursday, June 09, 2011

Heirlooms & Treasures

After my Grandma passed away in March, my mom, her sisters and brother had to start cleaning out Grandma's house in preparation to sell it. I mentioned a few times on the blog about some special things that I inherited from Grandma's.

This week, I took some pictures of a few of those "heirlooms and treasures" which I thought I would share with you.

*Note: Please ignore any dust or dirt around my home in these pictures. My mom was in the other night and she told me my house is dirty! Great!*

First is Grandma's ironing board. Because it was actually a piece of wood from her Grandmother Lang's kitchen table, it was not treated like a normal old ironing board would have been (ie, thrown out or put in a yard sale). My mom and her siblings wanted someone to have it, and they thought it would be nice if it were painted with a nice design, perhaps of something that symbolized Grandma or the family. Fortunately, my Aunt Nora happens to be a very talented artist, so when I agreed to take the ironing board, she offered to paint it for me.

She did a beautiful job! I love the sunflowers! I haven't decided where to hang it yet, but I like Aunt Marion's idea of hanging a grouping of pictures of Grandma in her garden and flower beds around it.

Aunt Nora told me she painted a chickadee on it because that is her favourite bird...

...and of course she included a robin, which was one of Grandma's favourite birds.

You can't really see it well in this picture, but this is the back of the board, where Grandma wrote where the piece of wood came from and the date everytime she changed the cover on it. Aunt Nora framed it like a postcard. I'd like to add something about how it came to be in my possession, but I don't know exactly what to write yet.

This is the wind chime that I loved so much. "The Herd of Elephants". Again, not sure yet where to hang it, so for now it's in my kitchen, and when I stomp around too loudly, they jangle, and I smile thinking of Grandma saying, "Would you listen to that herd of elephants!"

When rooting around in Grandma's cedar chest and closets, my mom and aunts discovered that Grandma had a whole bunch of old quilts stored away, so we had a quilt "free for all" the night of her burial. This is the one I chose. It's well worn and so comfy. I'm using it as a blanket to wrap up in when I'm reading or watching a movie.

This used to be a robin, but his "red breast" is kind of worn off. Nobody wanted him (especially not my mom, who hates birds, even fake ones), so I took him. I think my Grandma might get a kick out of it if I use him to scare Mom from time to time!

I don't think it's a coincidence that since Grandma passed away, I've taken note of the robins on the railing of my back deck. I never noticed birds before, but now these robins are catching my eye in my yard all the time!

Grandma also loved humming birds, and always had a feeder hanging outside her summer porch. I took this humming bird, along with her Gardening Angel to add to my small collection of Willow Tree figurines. Lord knows I need a Gardening Angel looking out for me, since I didn't exactly inherit Grandma's green thumb!

Ignore the junk on the bottom shelf. (I have no idea where I'm going to put some of that stuff!) The top shelf is my newly-formed teacup collection. It started when my Aunt Mona told me to choose three tea cups from her vast collection back in March. Then my mom gave me four more from Grandma's, along with the two teapots.

Oh, I wouldn't forget about the dogs (and one cat). They are also still looking for a "home". They're not staying on my dining room table forever!! haha!!

I was so thrilled to inherit Grandma's scrapbooks. They date back to the 1930's. She was meticulous in clipping from the local newspaper any sort of news that caught her eye, particularly births, deaths, and marriages. I used to love looking through them as a kid, and I remember asking my mom once, years ago, if I could have them someday when Grandma died. She said, "Oh no, one of us will keep the scrapbooks." Something must have changed though, because they decided I get to keep them after all!

I can't believe I'm actually posting this. I'm not exactly looking my best here. But I had to show off the hat!! There were two of these in Grandma's closet - the hats my aunts wore as bridesmaids at my mom & dad's wedding. Aunt Marion and Aunt Linda passed them on to my sister and I!

This is the quilt that Grandma had given my Aunt Marion's in-laws years ago, and her sister-in-law returned it to her after Grandma died, to pass on to one of us. I was the lucky one she gave it to. I just love it. I can't wait to get a quilt stand to display it on, and I hope to one day put it on my own bed, once I have sheets to match it.

Last but not least, we have the book case which was in the big bedroom upstairs. I found out my grandfather built it. He passed away before I was born, so I was grateful to claim this, as a piece of his hard work. On top is one of Grandma's bibles, along with the green ribbon she wore last summer after we lost my cousin Jeff, in his memory. My green ribbon disappeared somehow, so I'm happy to now have hers.

I'm still trying to find places for things, so my house has been in disarray, but I'm so grateful to have so many of Grandma's treasures, to remember her by and enjoy in my own home.


Lindsay said...

Wow! Im sitting over here with tears in my eyes! What wonderful treasures you've inherited, you have no idea how lucky you are that your grandmother held on to some of those things!! The ironing board turned out BEAUTIFULLY! The book shelft, quilts and all the other treasures and priceless! Such a nice post!! xo

Stacy said...

that ironing board is REALLY neat...I think you are in good hands...Grandma is like living with you - you have so many treasures~

Nicole said...

My grandma kept newspaper clippings too... must be something of that time generation! Super cool!!! And that ironing board!!!

Nadine Hightower said...

That quilt is beautiful!!! And it was probably quilted by hand. I only have one quilt by a great great grandmother and her sister. They pieced it together by hand and another great grandma quilted it by hand for me. So that one blanket means so much to me. I stopped using it so it wouldn't fall apart from wear and washing.

And PS: Love the Hat!

Raven said...

awesome things! Aren't those the best? The things we have that mean something to us? I had a quilt JUST like that one that my grandma made. Wish I still knew where it was....

Mom said...

What happened to the dining room table????

Jill said...

It was too covered in junk to take a picture of!!!! Good job on managing to find the blog and read it, Mom.