Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stories of My Stuff

"Perhaps the remembrance of these things will prove a source of future pleasure."

Virgil -Eneid I. 203

Recently a friend of mine came over for a visit. As we sat in my tiny dinning nook munching on muffins and fresh fruit, sipping hot tea there was a lull in the conversation. She sat gazing around at my home and asked me about an item on a shelf and where I got it. I told her it belonged to my great grandmother and relayed the memory I had that was attached to the object. The longer we visited the more she asked about the stories behind my stuff. She sighed and said she wished she had such rich stories and memories. This, along with a recent conversation I had with my aunt about some things she has in her home that I have been instructed not to let her son throw out because he won't know what it is, why she had it, or the story behind it, got me thinking about all the stuff I have, who gave it to me, why I have it, and the story behind it. For some reason family members trust me to have their treasures and the memories that go with them.

I thought this would be a fun thing to post on from time to time so my children will have this knowledge before they sell all my stuff to some quirky junk lady for twenty-five cents each! Maybe they will see what a rich family history they have and that the value is in the memory and not the object. I have promised not to pass along my stuff unless they really want it and I will not haunt them nor the lucky quirky junk lady, who might just think she scored big with the black poodle spice holder with all her little spice holding babies hanging on both sides! Oops, I forgot I gave that to my dad. My dad and step-mother actually had an argument over who's spice poodle was displayed in their kitchen, it was hers, I had dad's. I saved their marriage and added to their poodle parade. Sorry kids, the spice poodle is spoken for.
Okay, aside from a few really strange things I have inherited over the years, I have treasured the trust and use of the things put into my care. One such instance was a large box that was given to me when I was 12 by a relative of a deceased family member. My mother sat close by oohing over each thing I unwrapped. I was thrilled with the box until I got to the bottom and found a collection of shot glasses, a weird collection of outhouse salt and pepper shakers with "S" and "P" above the doors, and the strangest of all, an anatomically correct sock monkey, NONE of which do I still own, because my mother quickly confiscated them. About the time I pulled out the sock monkey her oohs turned into a strangled gasp followed by a quick grasp of said monkey whisking him out of sight. Bless her heart, she thought the salt and peppers tasteless and tacky, the shot glasses totally inappropriate in our tea-totaling household much less for a 12 year old, and the monkey nearly sent her southern self into an actual swoon. The relative who passed the box to me apologized to my mother profusely and explained that they had only gone partially through the box and assumed there were just other knick knacks and photos in the contents.

I come from a rich line of story tellers and I have tried to keep that tradition alive with my own children. As much as I love passing on family treasures and their history I have an even greater desire to leave my children and my grandson a more valuable legacy, a legacy of faith. More than the memories which might be lost or fade with time, more than objects that can be broken or discarded, more than anything I want to will to them the stories of how God sustained us in tough times, how He blessed us so richly, how He protected us, how He provided for us, how He made a way for us through His son for eternal life. I want them to enjoy what they have here but to hold it lightly and I want them to find joy in eternal things and to hold onto them tightly. I hope that when they open that big box of faith that they can pull out the memories and ooh and ahh over them in awe and wonder at what God had done. I hope their big box contains a few surprises to unwrap along the way, ones that will make them laugh at the remembering and retelling of them. I hope there will be no apologies or regrets about what their boxes of faith contain and I hope they too will have wonderful stories of their stuff.

Photos: 1. My Dinning Nook 2. Vintage Spice Poodle Holder


Angela said...

What a beautiful dining room you have! A lovely place to sit with a friend over a cup of tea.

It is important to pass our stories on to our families. Yes, technically it is just "stuff", but it is the stuff of our memories.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Not sure why it is not allowing you to subscribe. The address should be, no (.) between homeschool and blogger. Let me know if it works for you.

Have a blessed day!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

LOL! Oh my! That must've been an exciting moment for everyone involved.

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