Passing it on

ANZAC day was a bitter sweet day for me this year, and it had nothing to do with commemorating fallen diggers – though I do usually do that as well.  This year the family gathered at my grandparents house in order to clear out a lif time of collected furniture, kitchenware, books, crockery, and thousands of knick knacks that my Grandmother gathered on their travels around the world.  My grandfather, at 91 has recently moved to a nursing home, a move that he was and still is very reluctant about but which is the right thing to do, sadly.  He is very old, getting confused and in need of more care than could be offered to him in his own home.  I hate seeing him in the nursing home, because I can’t quite get the fit, robust and jovial image he was out of my mind to be replaced with the man I now see (that’s a good thing probably).

My parents, siblings and I all have houses full of furniture so the prospect of fitting in lots more was not one any of us could manage, but each of us have taken a few special pieces or items that we needed.  For me the bigger items included an enormous chest of draws to replace the old, cheap and broken pine set Mr Good and I have in our bedroom.  We have also taken some bedside tables and lamps.  These will be coming by truck in a couple of weeks and I will share pictures then – they are beautiful.

The rest of my collection included some lovely jugs, cups and saucers, a teapot and milk jug, vases, a couple of knick knacks that the girls picked for the crystal cabinet and some useful baking trays and kitchen items.  I also have my Grandmother’s travel journals that I will hopefully find time to read soon.  These are things I will cherish and hopefully use (I’m not into dust collectors, I like practical but beautiful) and then pass on again.

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These items plus those taken by the rest of the family are just the tip of the iceberg and dealing with the rest of it is a stressful and time consuming task my Mum is undertaking.  It’s terribly hard to dispose of all those seemingly precious items and you can fully understand why people end up with the endless clutter in their own homes, feeling obligated to take it all.

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3 Responses to Passing it on

  1. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, know just how you are feeling, and how your mother is also feeling – we had this daunting task to do with my then mother-in-law who was a hoarder of sorts. She also had to go into a nursing home (how do you fit a lifetime of living into one room) and was torn with what she wanted to take, and with what she had to take – one thing I did convince her of was taking beautiful cups and saucers for her tea drinking and when family/friends visited (she just loved a good cup of tea) and some beautiful crystal glasses (always kept for good!!!) to drink even her water out of. Taught me to never leave the “good” things until too late, and like you, not to clutter up the place just with “things”. Your kids won’t thank you, and it makes their job harder and sadder than it needs to be – having said that, I rescued quite a few things from my parent’s house, and from my mother-in-laws, and use them often, always remembering them in the process. I have actually give quite a few of my own “things” to our mutual friend so they can be used in the here and now, and I get the enjoyment out of seeing them being used. Take care, and remember your Grandmother every time you enjoy a cuppa out of that lovely teaset in the photo, and know they both would want their things to be used and loved – something that I’m sure you will do.

  2. Cat says:

    When my wonderful Nanna passed away we were in the fortunate position of setting up our camper at the time. My Nanna comes away with us regularly when we take away her kitchen accessories, blankets, sheets and things.

  3. A says:

    Your grandparents have lovely taste. I hope all that is precious can find a place amongst you, and places in your everyday lives 🙂

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