as promised in my sunday post, here are photos from the sale my folks had last summer. when dad retired from masonry work, he started buying and restoring antique furniture. he was very gifted at it, patient and diligent about taking all the pieces apart, removing old paint and varnish, applying a new finish and replacing broken handles, etc. over the years he filled their home with so many beautiful pieces. in the photo above my daughter megan and i are standing in front of an oak armoire that was one of the very first pieces dad refinished. it was gorgeous. that's my brother, rodger, standing to my left. his big purchase of the day was a shotgun that had been in my dad's family for several generations. i think all three of my brothers and several cousins were in the bidding.
this is the tea set i posted on sunday. i was wrong when i said it was missing a cup. it is actually missing a saucer.
these tables are filled with all the ephemera and wood working equipment from my dad's garage/workshop. there were boxes of old leftover wooden legs and odd ball wooden pieces that were just crying out with stories about where they'd lived in previous lives. i bought two cigar boxes full of old keys and spare handles. i cherish them as items my dad often rooted thru to find just the right item for a project.
while my dad was buying old furniture at auctions my mom was collecting antique chocolate sets, hummels, roseville pottery, hull pottery, and a big menagerie of interesting dishes.
around the time of the sale people asked me if i wasn't just heartbroken to see all these things go. as i said in my sunday post, many of these things were just that -- things. they were gorgeous antiques that my mom had enjoyed collecting and displaying in her home. i bought a few and was happy to see my daughter and the rest of my family buy some as well. as a group we kept a large number of the family heirlooms in the family. but more important than the things was knowing that my mom and dad are still here with us. and, by having the sale we were able to lighten their load a bit if they decide to move off their 3 acres and into something much easier to manage.
on the clothesline behind megan and me you can see a large collection of quilts. these were family heirlooms with a great deal of meaning and emotional attachment. my paternal grandmother was a prolific quilter. and, there were quilts made by her grandmother as well. when these family quilts came up for sale the women of my family stood strong together and we were able to keep all of them in the family. i'll post photos of mine soon.
it was an emotional day and you can see the strain on the faces of my family here. so many memories and family gatherings were tied up in these items up for sale. as your parents age you are so in denial that the day will come when you have to say goodbye. this day felt like a dreaded precursor to that inevitable day.
one item i bid on but ended up not getting was the oak curio cabinet/secretary in the middle of this picture. as i always do at auctions i set a limit on what i wanted to spend and that number came and went very quickly. i would have liked to have it but there's an even nicer one still in the house. maybe one day. i am proud to own a few pieces that my dad refinished. i have a rocking chair he gave me for christmas one year and he redid an old oak church pew for me a couple of decades ago. i'll post photos of these someday soon as well.
one funny thing that happened on the day of the auction was when my niece kyley fell in love with an old child's guitar. it came out of the attic and none of us know where or when dad acquired it. kyley entertained us throughout the day by playing and singing in an old pair of my mom's cowboy boots. (when in the world did my mom ever wear cowboy boots???!!! must have been an 80's thing!!!) kyley was an absolute hoot and gave some wonderful comic relief.
every one of these pieces was in the house before the day of the sale. and, there were two more rows of antiques not in any of the photographs. oh. my. goodness. how did they all fit???
so, here you have it, my blog friends. the story of the farmer family that collected and refinished and salvaged and stored away until the seams of their home burst open. now all these pieces are lovingly displayed in other homes for other grrandchildren to ooh and awe over. memories in the making, memories in the making. i know i'm filling my home with items that my children and grandchildren will want one day. and the circle of life continues.