Monday, February 20, 2006

Beginnings...we all have them.

As a kid, I loved staying with my old Grammy as often as possible. Her rickety old house, which had evolved from a shack by the time I was born, still had outdoor plumbing and well water pumped with a big iron handle. Her water heater was an old propane stove and a big kettle, and she washed clothes on a metal board when I first knew her. My bath was a round metal tub with handles, retrieved from the porch and set on the planked kitchen floor, usually on evenings before an event that required some extraordinary cleanliness, like church or going visiting. Her house and sheds were the places where I had my first adventures, and where I first marveled at the treasures she had accumulated during her hard life. Among those treasures... the old furniture, crocks, tools and that WWII trunk from Uncle Floyd... well that was where I began my love of old stuff.

Both she and my Granddad Dewey, seemed happy to tell me about each big thing or little trinket that I discovered if I asked, and I did ask. Great-grandma's cracked crock, Floyd's dagger that he got in France, Aunt Neva's cupboard, Peggy's rusted sled, all things Grammy just couldn't part with. While the details of those long ago conversations have faded, for some time now I've understood her reasons for keeping those things till the day she died. It wasn't a love of things, it was a love for family.

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