Friday, January 02, 2009
Keeping Old Things
Want to see something weird?
This is a turkey I made in grade school as part of a Thanksgiving project with my class. We made turkeys out of food and sticks and things and took them home to our parents. Cute, right? I think so, unless the parents save the turkeys for over 35 years.
This one has a prune as the body, a raisin for the neck, gum drops for the head and feet, and a little muffin cup for the tail feathers. He was cute when he was new, but now he's just crusty and icky, not to mention pathetic. You know that standard scary movie story line with the bride who was left at the altar still living in her wedding dress 50 years later, and her moldy wedding cake sits on the table, and cobwebs drape over the banquet tables and champagne glasses? Seeing this old turkey reminds me of that bride a little.
My mother has a china cabinet in her living room filled with special dishes and things she has collected over the years. In the early 70s, the Marathon gas station in our town in Indiana gave away juice glasses and a matching decanter depicting the different Apollo missions. They looked like this one on the left, and my mother collected the whole set. The set has had a special place in this cabinet ever since. There are nice crystal pieces in this same cabinet and antique pieces from my grandmother and the plates we use for Christmas dinner.
My turkey sits on a shelf next to a small crystal and gold pineapple that was a gift for my parents' 50th anniversary. Is that odd?
I used to think it was disgusting, and my kids are repulsed by it. But as my own daughters grow older and spend less and less time at home, I am starting to see why my mother would save something like a turkey one of her girls made in the third grade. I have opted for saving my daughters' hand prints in plaster and mother's day cards they made with construction paper and crayons. I have their first report cards in a drawer, and I have their first baby dresses and tiny shoes tucked away for safe keeping.
These things are treasures, and I will keep them as long as I possibly can. They aren't made with dehydrated fruit and rock-hard gum drops, but the sentiment behind keeping them is no different than what drives my mother to save the turkey in her china cabinet filled with special things.
What are you saving that your kids have made? What have your parents saved that was yours?
at 8:41 AM