Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a lifetime collection

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.

8 comments:

willow said...

A very poignant story of the circle of life, Julie. I love that old dress form, BTW, and have a similar one.

steviewren said...

There were so many things out in the yard, I wonder...did they keep much? My mother is a collector. My siblings and I dread the day we have to clean their house out. Your parents really have made things easier for everyone by taking care of letting go of these things themselves. But it must have been so hard because of all the memories.

nanatrish said...

What a great assortment of beautiful items! I'm so glad you got to keep so many of the items in the family. So many pretty pieces. I'll bet it was difficult, but as you said, these are material things and it's a blessing you still have your parents and can help them lighten up. Cherish your folks.

The Vintage Sister Studio said...

What a lovely story Julie! You are sooo lucky to have both of your parents to enjoy life with. I'm sure it was very hard to see all of those wonderful things go but that's the great thing about memories, you will always have them!
Thanks for sharing:)
Tracy

cindy : quaint said...

beautiful post and it is easier your parents are with you. my father-in-law has a massive bottle collection and none of the kids are really interested in it. he decided to sell it bit by bit in auctions a few years ago. when the first group left his home he cried from sadness. but, when the check arrived, he cried tears of joy!

i'm so happy you were able to keep those quilts in the family because they are personal.

Lavinia said...

Oh my goodness, I know I was waiting this post, but only now got around to visiting and catching up on your blog. Oh , my, God....look at all that stuff!!!

Your narrative is amazing. This was so much more than a sale or auction, it was.....I don't even know the word. These pictures tell only half the story, I'll bet, but the half they do tell.....there is lots of it!

Family saga is right.....what an amazing post....I'll have to tell my sister to pop over and see this, she would have loved to come by, I can tell you that!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh...I came across your wonderful blog, in my search for a vintage grandmother's flower garden quilt! It was so good to hear that you and your family were able to keep many of the beautiful items from your parent's sale. I love vintage, hand crafted items, especially quilts.

I would love to post a picture of your grandmother's flower garden quilt and add quote part of what you said from that post.

Please email me and let me know if you do not mind. Sincerely... mgbotelho21@gmail.com

my blog is www.personalizedsketchesandsentiments.blogspot.com
(fairly new at blogging and didnt even know what a blog was until our daughter showed us hers last spring!)

Blessings & Aloha!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I don't know if it went through...so just in case, I am resending this:

Oh...I came across your wonderful blog, in my search for a vintage grandmother's flower garden quilt! It was so good to hear that you and your family were able to keep many of the beautiful items from your parent's sale. I love vintage, hand crafted items, especially quilts.

I would love to post a picture of your grandmother's flower garden quilt and add quote part of what you said from that post.

Please email me and let me know if you do not mind. Sincerely... mgbotelho21@gmail.com

my blog is www.personalizedsketchesandsentiments.blogspot.com
(fairly new at blogging and didnt even know what a blog was until our daughter showed us hers last spring!)

Blessings & Aloha!