ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

When you're through with that....

I am starting a national campaign - I've never done this before so I'm not sure how to proceed but we can consider today the official start date of the When You're Through With That campain.

This thought started a few months ago when reminiscing with my sister about a treasured person who passed away at an appropriately "old" age. She maintained a place in our lives since we were about ten years old. She taught us both to play the piano and was a cousin to our grandfather. Louie Blanche was a modest collector of fine but useful things. She used items of her mothers (we'd call them antiques) up until her death. She was a lovely still life artist as many of her generation were. She had no children and few close relatives. Her estate was liquidated to distant relatives we didn't know and we did not have an opportunity to obtain a tangible memory of our time in her home.

How we wished now that we had let her know we'd love a keepsake - when she was through with it.

I surprised my sister this weekend by joining her (five hour trip for me) at an estate auction for a woman who was a hoarding collector of stuff - there were items that hadn't been touched in over fifty years and items that were in good condition, well over 100 years old. There were those at the auction who were old friends who were now bidding against dealers for their memories - you can't win in this scenario!

We all thought: wouldn't it have been great if these friends would have mentioned they'd like a keepsake - when she was through with it?

I had a dear friend; we lived next door to her in London, England. We moved on,
the way military people do, leaving behind lasting memories. Fortunatly, we came back to visit a few years later. Chris had a lovely antique hand carved wooden bowl on her table. It always held fruit and goodies. I made mention on this trip that I loved that bowl, it reminded me of her qualities: great shape, useful, beautiful, a timeless treasure. She immediately emptied the items into another container and gave me the bowl. I was overwhelmed and gladly accepted the gift. Little did I know at the time, but that was the last visit I'd ever have with her. She passed away unexpectantly from cancer a year or so later. I am so glad I told her I loved the bowl, and so glad she passed a tangible piece of herself to me...did she know it was the last I'd see of her? Or was she so generous of spirit? Maybe both, definitely the latter.

Everyone complains that this is a throw away society; some say we've lost touch with the past and our roots. Starting the When You're Through With That campaign could bring some of that feeling of being connected back. The items I wish I had are generally connected with my childhood and probably were discarded along the way as being of little value. My grandmother had a small lidded dark brown crock she always made pickled beets and eggs in. The lid was glued together several times, it was nicked and chipped and shabby. I loved that crock - I don't know where it is now - probably thrown away.....if only I had mentioned I'd like it when she was through with it....my daughter loves picked eggs with pickled beets - wouldn't it be awesome if she used that crock for her daughter some day - a lost opportunity.

For those important to you, ensure you have a keepsake of theirs, let them know how much an item means to you, suggest that you'd like it - when they're through with it....it might make their enjoyment of the item that much more precious, knowing it is valuable to your connection - or they may ensure you have that tangible reminder of your time together while they can see the delight you take in receiving it.

When you're through with that - pass it on.

15 comments:

Susie said...

You relay a great message here Melissa. This is a wonderful idea.

Queen of Dreamsz said...

What a great message. I am the daughter of a military man. This I'm sure explains partly why I do not possess any of my childhood dolls, toys, roller skates, etc. There are so many times that my heart wishes so badly to *pet* them again..

I have to believe that I wasn't supposed to go down memory lane to that extent..

I do so agree with you though on making it known to others of the things that make your heart pound faster :0)..I know there are several things that I've told my sister of that she IS to make sure they come to ME..LOL It's funny though how some just laugh and never carry through with it....I certainly will. :0)

Thanks for a gentle reminder of how important it is for us to have these things to treasure that bring fond memories of those that passed them to us as well as just enjoy the beauty of it.

Love & Light,
Stephanie

Wolfie said...

It's a wonderful idea.... and something I've thought about alot in my lifetime.

I've had items I would love to have had... little monetary value... great sentimental value ... from people in my life.

I never even got items that were dear to me from my own mother.... my sister being a money-grubbing witch who kept what was willed to me as well as everything my mother had to include pictures of my childhood which I'm sure she tossed out in the trash.

I hope that this "movement" takes hold and flourishes.

WOLFIE

Tami said...

This sounds like my sisters and I we always tell my mom as well as each other when you are tired of that well take it....I have several items that my mom has passed down to me. Love them too!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such sweet commments.....I've put your enteries into the bowl for the giveaway!

Have a great day!
Hugs~T

mlc said...

What a nice idea. Second on the sentiment expressed in keeping something special to remember those special people in you lives. I love the few things I have that have been in my family.

Do you have a plants that came from members of your family? Many plants in my herb bed came from a favorite aunt of mine. My snowball bush is a start from the one in our back yard on our old farm. And the list goes on...

Yarn Princess said...

Good idea, Melissa. Very good. Too many times people don't know that something they may not consider out of the ordinary a friend or relative might consider special because of something that it brings to mind about that person.

I had a relative on my mothers side of the family that raised peacocks. I visited there with my grandmother and mother several times in my childhood and took home a feather each time. I can't see a grouping of peacock feathers without thinking of being at their house.

On another visit to family up north an elderly aunt let me pick a cow bell from the collection of bells that her husband had kept after giving up farming. That must have been when I was about 10 or so. 40+ years later I still have that bell that bell.

Daisy said...

This is a lovely idea, Melissa. It is so sad to see when someone has an estate auction and there are so many things there being sold that hold many memories.

Margaret said...

My grandmother always had loose salt in a glass salt bowl, ny sister loved the way gran sprinkled the salt on her food, I don't think she ever got a little salt dish. When my Aunt died I made sure my sisters girls got a piece of jewellery. I made up a box of kitchen things for my nieces daughters and gave them a box when they turned 18. I agree it is probably best to say if you like something belonging to an older relative.

Julia said...

I love this idea. Sometimes I would feel like doing this was weird, but I think if you said it in the right context or had a clever way of an intro or some way of delivery that seemed like you were not begging for it now I would be happy. I'm going to have to mull this one through and see how I can apply it, but you are so right about things just disappearing or being thrown away!!! Saddening and maddening. I am a total save and use it again person.

A Joyful Chaos said...

That is a great idea!

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hello there from Sevier County!! I finally got moved to my cabin. :0) I know you must be very busy getting your new home arranged just perfect.

I've got a few months of carpentry and electricians, etc..before I can really concentrate on decorating..

Just wanted to drop by and say hello and announce that I'm now here....YAY!!!

Stephanie

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

This was a thoughtful post, and it makes a lot of sense to me. I have a locket of my grandma's~ it is not an expensive one, but is worth SO much to me because it is a connection from me to her, even though she is gone...She also gave some beautiful crocheted doilies she made to me as a wedding gift right before she passed away, and they are a tangible reminder of her to me. They are not simply things, they are MEMORIES! It sounds strange, but it's true! :) Anyway, I really relate to what you're saying here!

I hope you are having a good week! :)

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

My Grandmother is always asking me what I want in her home-She wants to make sure everyone has a special something that belonged to her.
I told my husband I am ready to give two diamond rings he bought me to our daughters-This shocked him-But I don't wear them and I know they love them-It only makes sense.

Thank you for the lovely comment on Noelle, yes, I do want to "squeeze" the precious little pumpkin every day-I am blessed that I get to!

I LOOOOOVE your house it's my dream home! (someday) and I do believe that! Enjoy it! :)

Robin~♥

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