Family Heirlooms Part II

Let’s just dive right in, shall we? (Ummm…yes….I’m trying to fill in with additional posts because we have reached that horrible part of winter where work is nearly impossible because everyone is freezing. Feel free to skip if you are waiting for more construction posts).

Engines by Jim

Tyler’s maternal grandfather made engines as a hobby. We own three of them, which were gifted by his grandmother after Jim passed. This one in the photo is the first one he made. The engines run on an air compressor (you can move the mechanisms with your hands though of course). I think what is so fascinating, is that he took metal, cut it down and shaped it and built these engines off ideas in his head. In fact, lately I’ve been thinking about how his engines would make a fantastic art exhibit because their function and beauty is part of what makes them so fascinating. They feel like art pieces in our home.

Opal’s History of Minnehaha County

So this is one of my most prized possessions. My paternal grandmother had this book because a relative of hers is featured in the book. It tells the stories of many of the prominent families who settled in Minnehaha County (the greater Sioux Falls area) at the turn of the century. There are even portraits of some of the people mentioned. And it has that historical book smell, but not the historical book fade or damage.

The Barton Jesus

Okay, understandably, Tyler thinks this photo is a little odd. But, it was hanging in the dining room of my Great-Great Grandmother for a number of years. It was passed down to her daughter and her daughter-where my uncle took it to be framed in this gold and velvet matte. I actually like it even more with the velvet! After my maternal grandmother passed away, it was given to me. It currently holds a place on my jewelry box, but will be put in the dining room, just like it was over a hundred years ago, when we eventually have a dining room.

Doreen and Thelma’s Jewelry Boxes

Getting this white jewelry box (a little worse for wear) from my mom was such a highlight a few years ago! I grew up sneaking into her room and looking at the items inside this jewelry box. Everything smelled a little bit like an Elizabeth Taylor perfume and looked so fancy (the inside is a vivid red color and has little spots for rings and brackets, etc. The wooden one isn’t actually old, I don’t believe. But it was Thelma’s. I really liked my great-grandmother Thelma and use to have sleep over at her various apartments. She didn’t pass away until I was 19, so I was fortunate enough to grow up with her in my life. She moved frequently (a real nomad) and therefore didn’t have hoards of items. So owning anything she had is very special to me.

My Mom’s Glass Tray Thing

You know, I’m not sure what this is for? But everybody had them, didn’t they? It was maybe for your beauty desk…or for your liquor cabinet…or to pretend you were some kind of royalty? But I recall seeing it growing up and desperately wanting it. I wanted it so much, that I even bought an exact duplicate at a garage sale the first year I was married. I always imagined it holding beautiful bottles of perfume. Out of sentimentality, I re-purchased all the perfumes I have worn at different times of my life. The bottles aren’t the most beautiful and some are very small because damn, perfume is expensive (not to mention the ubiquitous Victoria Secret’s Love Spell from my early middle/high school days DOES NOT hold up as smelling nice….yuck), but I have a little tray of memories.

It amazing how a scent can take you back immediately. To high school, or freshman year of college. Or when I first moved to Boston. Or when I competed for Miss South Dakota the last year. Or grad school. Or my first year of marriage. Or the year the music school opened.

And that’s what heirlooms do as well. Take you back to the people from your past; so it feels like they are still on the journey with you. When I look at these items, or use them, I sometimes feel my heart radiating around me. It’s nice to have things in your everyday life that cause such joy.

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