Family things …

Family things …

Normally I’m not particularly invested in things, especially in light of having spent the past three months trying to figure out what to do with all of Patrick’s belongings, but this week has brought both the arrival of Patrick’s furniture from California, and today, from my grandmother, two lovely silver trays that belonged to my great-grandmother Charlotte.

It’s kind of nice, these family things around me. When I left California, I felt so bad for leaving Patrick that I gave him all the good furniture. And while this is the last way I would have wanted to wind up with it again, I really like having our things back. This is a great coffee table, and sitting here on my couch, with my feet on the coffee table, typing this entry feels homey. The little antique card table and the two captain’s chairs that originally belonged to my parents are good to have around — they’re pieces of furniture that I’ve known my entire life, and since there isn’t much that survived the various moves and financial disasters that punctuated my childhood and adolescence, it’s lovely to have them in the room.

And then there are the pictures and tschokes — I opened a box yesterday and there were the three little antique quail decoys I bought for Patrick two years ago when I was in Paris. It was a delightful purchase, one of those French transactions that seem to bring an entire relationship along with it as the salesman and I discussed at length (in French no less, a thrill in itself) the many ways in which these little guys are tres charmant. And while it gives me a terrible pang to think of how and why they’ve come back to me, nonetheless, having our things around me makes this little house feel more like the house we shared in California, and that is a comfort.

It’s good to be home, and to feel this home integrating with the home Patrick and I shared for those couple of years. It’s good to find old beloved photos, and new ones I hadn’t remembered, and to have to find places for new things from my grandmother (who doesn’t part lightly with her things, so the gift was doubly appreciated. Of course old silver is one thing, but the real treasure is her Matchbox car collection, a collection she jealously guarded and rarely let us play with as kids. Which seems weird now, but at the time made sense in a kid kind of way — we didn’t like sharing, so why should she?).

2 thoughts on “Family things …

  1. I love knowing what the Matchbox car collection means to you, Charlotte. My sons are now 26 and 29, and in their Christmas stocking every year they still receive a new Matchbox car to add to their collections (This year it was matching PT Cruisers) Some fine day I hope to have grandchildren who will inherit their dad’s playthings, but you’ve given me the idea to start a collection of my very own for when they come here to play. Thanks for the thought!

  2. Objects are what make our spaces more than shelter, and better still if the objects can connect us to our pasts, and past selves. . . otherwise we might just blow away. I think many people do, figuratively at least, in this culture that values so much the ‘new’ over the ‘used.’ It’s good to have good things to anchor you to your own history.

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