Yeah – a first time for everything. I’m trying to get back into a blogging groove (both here and at the other place – where I have, incidentally, posted all my posts related to my 2008 trip to Rome)..and these memes are a good way to get there. For this 7 quick takes, I thought I’d share my 7 favorite items I’ve brought from my parents’ house – I haven’t brought much, but what I have, as they say, “speaks to me.” They are items that both match my own style (simple, color, not design-based, strong, not “pretty.”) and/or are suggestive of a time and place.
These glass mushrooms stood in our kitchen windows from some point in the 60′s on. Had to have them in mine.
I don’t remember this ever hanging anywhere in our house. I found it in the basement. My aunt (my dad’s sister) was really into needlework during the 60′s and 70′s, and lived in the Southwest, so I’m guessing this was made by her. I really love it. It’s so mod!
My mother was an artist. Unfulfilled and, well…enough about that. She did manage to do some larger pieces that I brought, but I really like this one the best – small, simple, suggestive.
She was also a theater major. This is a notebook she evidently had to do for a costume design class. I have it propped up and change the pages every now and then.
My parents were low-income academics during the 60′s (as were all academics at that time!) but from the beginning, despite the tight resources, they committed to buying one nice piece of art every year. One resource for people like my parents – people of moderate means seeking to expand their personal art collections - was Associated American Artists. My parents bought several pieces through them, including two Thomas Hart Benton prints. This is one.
The last time I was up there – two weeks ago – which I hope will be the last time I’m up there before a real estate closing occurs, I thought I was almost done – I thought I was done going through everything, thought I had found every single box that I needed to go through…when tucked away in a closet, I found not one, but…four boxes of…MY STUFF. Now, I had sort of been wondering where all of that had gone..and there it was. All my gee-gaws and knick-knacks and dolls that had decorated every room from Indiana to Knoxville from 1960-1978. It was tempting to take it all, but upon reflection, I decided that I really didn’t care all that much, it would just be a few more boxes sitting here in Birmingham..and someone would find it all in the estate sale and take great pleasure in scooping up this treasure of mid-century girlhood. So I just kept this one thing. Manageable, small – a kicky, bright little wooden pencil holder that I probably got in the mid-60′s. Sally Draper wants one, too.
Finally – this is the oddest thing of all, the least valuable, and the most valuable of all.
I always knew I would take this when it was time. There was no doubt. The last time I was up there, I considered whether I should take it then or just label it as “DO NOT SELL” for the estate sale and then retrieve it later. The risk was far too great, I decided, so I stuffed it in the back of my car and hauled it across Tennessee, southern Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and back to Birmingham.
It’s a stepstool. That’s all. We’ve probably had it since the 70′s. But the role it played at my parents’s house was high chair. Every child of mine – every grandchild, from Chris, born in ’82 to Michael born in ’04 – sat at my parent’s kitchen table in that chair. Sometimes we’d turn it around and the back of the chair would function as a front rail to hold on to, and sometime it would face properly. But every one of them sat in it on visits, eating their morning cereal, their lgrilled cheese and lunch, and the hamburgers my dad cooked outside for dinner.
It’s beat up and dirty, but there’s no way I was going to let anyone else have it – if they wanted it.
And you know what? I expect that when I die…this just might be one of the items – one of the few – that there’s a fight over.
So what about you? What valueless, but immeasurably valuable items have you acquired?
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!