Family History, Part 2

Last time, I confessed to being unable to throw away much of the Ancestral Stuff that now lives at my house. I have brought myself to donate some household items, especially those I don’t associate with anyone. Also I’ve tossed some things that are completely useless to anyone, like the mixer with the frayed cord.

But that leaves a lot of Stuff that I’m just keeping stashed in boxes. This raises the logical question, “Who am I keeping these things for?”

At first, I said it was for my kids. Yet I know perfectly well the younger generation doesn’t want silver that they’d have to polish–not that I ever polish it, but then, the guilt kind of hangs over my head. The afghans won’t work with their decor, and they most certainly do not want handkerchiefs. The rationale for holding onto stuff is getting mighty thin here.

But I may have figured out what’s behind this Keep-It-In-The-Family obsession.

I believe what I’m really after is connection.

Connection with my history, my roots.

pictureI’m terribly impressed with my great-grandparents who raised Missouri mules, and their forebears who served in the Civil War, and my grandparents who worked in banking, and my high-school-shop-student Dad who never quit making useful (if excessively heavy) things from wood.

My sentiment runs along the lines of “Lookie, one of your ancestors, a real person, used this very {pen, goblet, quilt} over a hundred years ago.” That sort of thing.

I love my life now, but don’t want to forget the generations before.

After all, everybody has a story.

Your Turn: Have your family mementos taken over your world, or at least your house? Or have you left the past behind, content to live in the present? Do you remember any good stories from your grandparents?

Next time: If connection is important to you, how can you create it?

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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4 Responses to Family History, Part 2

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jan, I have the same picture ! Isn’t that Gretchen and >>> Ringen? I feel your pain on all the stuff–I have the same problem!

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  2. Donna Price says:

    We have a space in the foyer for history. David’s grandfather’s 100 year old WWI Marine uniform with a round dog tag hangs on the wall. There are pictures of him from WWI and David’s daddy from WWII. There are memorabilia from both wars from David’s grandfather, David’s father, and my uncle. There are pictures of my two uncles in their uniforms from WWII. At the bottom of the bookcase that holds all this history is a quilt made by my great-great grandmother in the 1800’s. It is a great talking spot.

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  3. Pingback: Family History, Part 3 | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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