A couple weeks ago we took a family trip to see Chris' grandparents down in Houston. We usually get to see them at least a couple times a year, but this trip had even more importance than usual.
Gram and Pawpie, as we lovingly call them, are both in their 90s and are preparing to move out of the home they raised their children in, and into assisted living. It's an emotional time for all of the family, but I could see how especially hard it is for Chris' grandmother. I can only imagine how hard it would be to leave a home of so many memories behind. From that home they have created a legacy of love and deep family values. I have always felt loved and welcomed in my husband's family and am grateful for how instrumental Gram and Pawpie were in helping to create that.
The picture above is of my daughter Eleanor and Chris' grandmother Elva during our visit. We'll visit them in their new home, too, of course, but it we'll certainly treasure the moments we spent together in their home.
Before we left, Gram gave me some old sewing supplies and other sweet things she wanted me to have. I don't know that she's ever seen my blog, but she does know that I'm crafty and would appreciate them. Here are a few of the treasures she passed along:
I don't know the story behind each item, how long ago, or how often she used them (I don't think the Cub Scout pins were hers exactly), but I like to imagine the things she might have made or places she went with them. I love the little needle cases--I've actually never seen any like it. And although I don't think the gloves are actually all that old (there were a bunch more with them), I love them, and they fit, well, like a glove!
I came home with some more thrifty finds after awesome Maker Mama reader, Veronica, shared a local estate sale she thought I'd like to check out. And she was right. I love estate sales, but they're definitely bittersweet. These finds were from the home of a woman after my own heart though. And I even ran into Veronica while I was there!
The records above are only a few from the over a hundred that were there, and although I haven't put them on the player yet, I love the album art.
This embroidery has to be my favorite find though. It's an unfinished embroidery of North America and the original pattern packaging from 1944. The designer, Mary Ellen Crisp, was actually an embroidery artist with work in the Smithsonian. An amazing find, or what?
There was a collection of fabric I picked something from, and I found a kitchen cabinet full of these gorgeous glass jars. I would have loved to take them all home, but wanted to share the find (and spare my wallet).
There's something about entering a stranger's home and looking through their things. You get a glance into their everyday life. And finding something of theirs that you treasure connects you to them.
Secondhand items connect unseen people together. I don't usually think about it this much, but I appreciate the life of the people and things before me. Not just throwing things out for all things new. The past is what brings us to where we are today. It's worth honoring holding onto the treasures and memories that came before us.
This isn't quite what I thought I'd write about when I started this post, but I didn't feel right posting about these things with out thinking more deeply about where they came from.
Do you have any special family heirlooms? Are there any stories behind your favorite secondhand finds?