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?


Rich said...

I have a trunk full of stuff icluding some of the first teeth my kids lost. I know I know sounds weird. Your post reminded me that I do have their hand prints done on canvas board with acrylic...maybe I'll dig those out and frame them and hang em up.

I'm not sure my parents saved much from my childhood - maybe a few of the arrest warrents from when I was a teen.Tee hee

Shazza said...

Oh, I LOVE the turkey!

I have quite a few little things that I've saved from my kids over the years. Handmade noodle ornaments painted in gold, a ceramic "thing" that says I Love Mom on it a bunch of pictures that they made and I've hung over my little art table.

My Mom saved a leggo Santa that my brother made one year and a styrofoam block covered with red construction paper and red pipecleaner hearts I made her for Valentines Day.

Fun stuff.

Keep that Turkey!!!

dive said...

Woohoo! Your turkey is fantastic, Robyn!
And those Apollo glasses are super-cool!

I'm mighty glad your mom was wise enough to save your old things, and that now you are gaining that wisdom yourself.

As for what my mum saved of mine? I dread to think. Please don't encourage her. Hee hee.

savannah said...

we have stories that they each wrote in third grade that were made into books by a very wise teacher in los angeles they were all fortunate to have. lots of drawings, handprints, christmas gifts made at different schools. it never ceases to amaze me how we held on to all these things with our many moves!
happy new year, sugar! xoxo

lynn said...

I have some of my boys' teeth too Rich. I have their first shoes, cards they made for me and even some wrapping paper they had lovingly stuck together, as I told my amazed son the other night. He's now 20. I have a pen he used at college and of course all gifts they gave me and the most beautiful little notes they wrote me, their school books and their stories. They are precious beyond words.
I'm not sure my parents saved much of mine, perhaps some school books and christmas decorations I made.

lynn said...

I have my eldest son's birth tag in my wallet and a tiny paper bookmark one of my other sons made me with crayon, a little glitter and the words Mum Is Cool. It's really delicate now and I adore it.

Robyn: don't get me started! LOL

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oy. I save too much. But I love the little things made so lovingly by the hands of my little ones.

After the Northridge quake in LA ('94, I think), everything in my house was broken. I lost the TV, dishes, lots of stuff. Didn't care. The only thing that made me cry was the broken pinch pot one of my kids made. I glued it back together.

MmeBenaut said...

I have a box with things that my granddaughter has made for me. Sadly I don't have the children's things as they (rightly) belong with their father. I hope that he has kept them.
My mother has a box with some things from my childhood. I loved poring over it when I was younger but to be honest I haven't looked in there for years now as she lives in another state too. I wasn't much for sculpture, like your fascinating turkey but I did quite a few drawings and made cards for mother's days.

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