Monday, October 24

Heirlooms

I guess we are turning into one of those houseblogs where there is a flurry of activity on Sunday evening and Monday morning, and then we don't post again all week. I suppose it is inevitable, as we don't really spend all that much time working on the house during the week, so unless we are going to post stories about my crazy students or recipes for butternut squash soup, there isn't much to write about.

I'll fight the inevitable a little bit by NOT posting the photos and the report from what I was doing to Professor Plum in the library with a paintbrush while K. was busy tiling the bathroom floor quite yet. And hopefully, if we're lucky, I will get around to posting those photos in a relatively timely manner, unlike last time. But we'll see. Maybe while my students fight with the chain rule on their exam later in the week.

This weekend did mark a few milestones with our possessions, though, which got me thinking about heirlooms. And, in particular, when an item becomes an heirloom. Dictionary.com simply says that it has to be passed through 'successive generations', but I have to admit that most of the belongings that I get from my parents I don't really think of as heirlooms, no matter how much I love them. And it isn't just about the generations it has been through, because while I consider some of my grandparents' possessions to be heirlooms, I have to admit that the dining room table I inherited from one of my grandmothers just doesn't have that feel to it (again, no matter how happy I am to own it), probably because she bought it in 1995.

In any event, I certainly consider my grandfather's grandfather clock to be an heirloom, and this weekend I finally got around to having someone out to fix it. Or, rather to "fix" it, as it turns out that the only thing wrong with it is that my parents had removed the chains to move it up here without either reading the minds of the inventors or going back in time to find a copy of the instruction manual. So for the low low price of $35, a very nice clocksmith (clockworker? clock-dude?) came out and fixed it so that now every fifteen minutes -- like clockwork, as they say -- it chimes throughout our downstairs. It's very exciting.

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(yes, dear reader, that photo could have been taken before the clock was fixed, and there is no way for you to tell that it is indeed chiming. you'll just have to take my word on it)

And today I arrived home to find two large boxes that had been shipped to us from my other grandmother (my father's mother, in case you are keeping score at home) and which primarily contained her wedding china:

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When we registered for wedding presents almost five years ago, we decided that we were not Fancy China people and that instead we wanted to be Casual China people, which it seemed ironic to us was actually significantly more expensive. (our actual pattern is Denby's Energy Leaf line, if you are wanting to get us that belated wedding present) And while we have both remained happy with that choice, it is quite nice to now own a real fancy set of china, even if it means that in addition to finding guests to come over for dinner, we now have to find Fancy Guests.

We are both honored and touched that she gave these to us, and extra happy that we have them now and that we can send her photos of how nice they look in our house (while we consider it a success that our parents read this blog, we won't push our luck with Grandma). She also included several other nice items, including a McGuffey's Reader from the turn of the (last) century which she received when she retired as a schoolteacher and which will find a nice home in my newly painted library, which I'll tell you about another night...

3 Comments:

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

We, too, decided we were not Fancy China people. We registered for Fiestaware instead. But now that we have this fancy old house, I'm scouting for a vintage set of china ... you know, for that time in the future when we actually have dining room furniture.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger J. Blobbom said...

I'll be happy to eat off the fancy china when I visit.

I have my grandmother's china too. Haviland. It was her wedding china from 1910.

Jay

 
At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Jenne said...

Is your Grandmother's china Homer Laughlin, by chance? The pattern looks faintly familiar to me...I love beautiful old dishes/china, but I never have any events in my house [yet] to warrant its use. Maybe someday...when all the drywall dust settles :)

 

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