Archive for the ‘guardian angel’ Tag

Your Family’s Stuff   13 comments

My Great Great Grandfather Baugher wore a chain on his vest, with his retractable brass toothpick attached.  It's a scary looking thing.  The toothpick, I mean.

My Great Great Grandfather Baugher wore a chain on his vest, with his retractable brass toothpick attached. It’s a scary looking thing. The toothpick, I mean.

Old stuff.

This painting was done by my Great Great Aunt Alma, and was given to my Mother and Father as a wedding present.  It'll never hang in a museum, but what a treasure!

This painting was done by my Great Great Aunt Alma Shull Parsons, and was given to my Mother and Father as a wedding present. It’ll never hang in a museum, but what a treasure!

The last time I visited Mom, we agreed that my next visit would include a session where we identified family heirlooms.  Mom would tell the story. Sis would write the description.  I’d take a picture, and then I’d combine those elements into one document.  That way, we would always know what’s what, and what belonged to whom.

Simple, yes?  Not really.  You’ve got to find the time.  I live 1,800 miles away.  Sis is 200 miles away. Not. Simple.

At long last, the planets had aligned and we were ready.  Mom proceeded to trot out a diverse lot of, uh, stuff.  Let me be clear that we’re not talking about items with a high dollar value.  We are talking about stuff that had been handed down from previous generations … like a brass toothpick owned by my Great Great Grandfather.  Things that no one outside of my family would ever care about!  But, oh my, what stuff Mom has!

I was amazed at how much I learned.  You see, I’ve sat around Mom’s dinner table and talked about our ancestors.  She’s got books and books and 3-ring notebooks of pictures and written records and birth certificates and service records and … STUFF … that we have discussed for hours.

We’ve got the family pictures and family tree documentation pretty well in hand (I hope).

Now, however, we’re learning about physical objects that rarely see the light of day … and now our entire family gets to know their story!

Pictures of my two favorite items are below.  As you can see, it’s not about the monetary value, it’s about the family stories.  The only way for you to capture those — the ONLY way — is to talk to your family members about what they know while you still have access to them.  You never know when you’ll move away, or they’ll move away, or tragedy will strike and communication just won’t be possible anymore.

Find the opportunity to talk to your family members about what they know.  You’ll find that the old stuff that’s lying around just might take on a whole new meaning for you when you know the history of each item!

Pocket watch?  Not from my family!

Pocket watch? Not from my family!

This pocket shot glass was handed down, but we don't know who it belonged to.  Alas ... but it sure does illuminate a fun heritage!

This collapsible pocket shot glass was handed down, but we don’t know who owned it originally. Alas … but it sure does illuminate a fun heritage!

This graphic of a guardian angel (sorry for the poor photograph!) hung in the home of my Great Grandparents, James Woods and Matilda Rebecca Swartz Decker.  It now hangs in Mom's home.

This graphic of a guardian angel (sorry for the poor photograph!) hung in the home of my Great Grandparents, James Woods and Matilda Rebecca Swartz Decker. It now hangs in Mom’s home.

Mom presented this counted cross stitch of a Guardian Angel to Velda years ago, and it's hung in our home since.  I didn't know it was the same image as the one that hung in my Great Grandparents until Mom told me last week!

Knowing Velda’s love of angels, Mom made this counted cross stitch of a Guardian Angel for Velda years ago, and it’s hung in our home since. I didn’t understand it was the same image as the one that hung in my Great Grandparents’ home until Mom told me last week!

 

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