From time to time, I consider the following question. If I had to load my earthly possessions in my small car and evacuate, what would my I count as irreplaceable treasure?
Like most, I have photographs. I have two small trunks full of old mementos. The trunks themselves are heirlooms. Then, there are my books. I have a lot I would not pack. But, I have previously shared comments about the ones I would try to save.
I have a large pottery jar and an ostrich egg. There is a glass tray of sea shells. An old flour barrel has some dolls and toys.
I do have a few pieces of furniture I would like to somehow stuff in there. They wouldn’t fit in my car. So in my imaginings, I allow him to place them in the truck. One piece is a credenza. It is full of glassware collected from both grandmothers, my mother and my own purchases.
Three jewelry boxes should go in the pile. For themselves as well as for the odds and ends in them.
My kitchen cabinets are an entirely separate problem. The collection of dishes, pots, pans, casseroles is two lifetimes of work. My mother’s and my acquisitions are interwoven behind those birch panels.
I am resisting getting up from my writing to wander the house and see what I am missing in my description.
Just today, I pulled from my shelves a small assortment of vinyl LP albums. These are the melodies I would put on the turntable on sultry summer afternoons. Exotic, dramatic orchestral performances by Mancini or Mantovani. What does this collection of music my mother acquired reveal about her?
Many of the tunes familiar from old movies that were broadcast on our little television that got two channels, NBC and CBS, until I was a freshman in high school and mother got an antenna booster than allowed us to get ABC, too.
Those albums would go in there someplace. Though I don’t have a turntable to play them anymore, I would rather not leave them behind.
I have had to let go of so many people and so many ideas and dreams for one reason or another. My treasures, strange though they may seem to onlookers, help me feel a connection with my ancestors. Perhaps my strange treasures will help my descendants feel a connection with them also. And with me.