Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Family Treasures

The June/July issue of AARP has an interesting story about PBS’s Antique Roadhouse. I’ve watched the show numerous times and have often thought of childhood items such as old lunch pails I wish I had saved.

But, my family has in our possession items that would never pass muster at Antique Roadshow.

My mother was an artist, writer, and poet. Numerous short stores and poems written in notebooks or typed for posterity remind us of her active imagination; drawings and paintings remind us of her skill as an artist.

She was left-handed yet her script was perfect, identical to the writing seen atop old chalkboards at school. After all, she took penmanship class in college. For years I tried to emulate her penmanship with little success.

Several photo albums hold pictures of the many cakes she decorated for birthdays, weddings and other special occasions. Not to mentioned the untold number of photographs and slides she took as she recorded our family history.

Many of us have in our homes the bed quilts, baby quilts, Christmas tree skirts, or doll dresses she sewed or crocheted, and the ceramic tile coasters she painted adorn our end tables.

And then there is Dad. He built wooden headboards and bookcases, webbed lounge chairs with our initial or name embedded on the back, and caned the numerous chairs sitting around our dining room and kitchen tables. He even caned the headboard of his bed.

Dad attended the School for the Blind in Lansing during the mid to late 1930’s where he learned how to cane. He later taught a caning class through the local community center.

Throughout our homes, we see on a daily basis the priceless family treasures no amount of money could buy. And I don’t think any of us would trade these personal items and the memory of how they came to be for anything we could have appraised at the Roadshow.

What family treasure do you have? What story does it hold? Better yet, what legacy are you passing on to your family members?

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