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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cleaning Treasures

The coolest thing about cleaning and organizing is not the ultimate reclaiming of rooms that have spent the last couple of years as essentially storage rooms. Do not get me wrong there. The prospect of getting our kitchen annex back to usable additional prep space for the kitchen and having a working office/studio for my projects is exciting. We have three rooms that have been stacking places for the boxes of things we’ve accumulated and two years of disarray in our lives. Between losing my Grandma 2 years ago and the legal responsibilities that went with being the administrator of her estate and the huge cleanup at her house, which is the biggest source of the many boxes all over my house, and my health trials last year, I’ve had no time, no energy, to keep up.

Last year the dust had settled, some literally, from Grandma’s estate and I’d planned test-surgery-recovery for my back that tuned into a half year of tests with symptoms of my eventual MS diagnosis getting worse. During the 2010 cleaning at Grandma's my back, hip and knee on the right side had gotten pretty bad and I was relegated to sit, sort and shred at Grandma’s house with David, Dave and Laura bringing me boxes to “quick sort.” Quick sort is if I thought “maybe” put it in my box to take home, no reading, no reminiscing. We were all traveling a good distance on weekends to do the clean out and time really was an issue. Well, it ended up being BOXES, not box, with David asking a few times, “Where are we going to put this stuff?” Well, for the most part that answer was the upstairs office and the kitchen annex. I chose to reclaim the kitchen annex first since it’s on the main living level of the house.

I started cleaning Tuesday and I’ve gone through 4 of the boxes from Grandma's house as well as half the cupboards in the annex. I was telling my Dad last night that it would have taken the 10 years ago Nani about three days to finish the annex but the mobility-challenged Nani of today is thinking 2-3 weeks. I may need chairs and help lifting the heavier things, but I have the necessary drive to achieve! I just have to make sure I employ the necessary brains to take breaks.

Today I have a treasure box to share for Vintage Thingie Thursday!

It’s such a pretty little cardboard box. The edges are definitely worn and no question it’s old. I don’t remember seeing this at Grandma’s house, but I’m sure I was the one who decided it should come home with me because I don’t know that Dave would have just assumed I wanted it, he might have, but neither David nor Laura would know the significance of what was written inside.

The name written on the side and in the box is “Opal Pugh.” Dave would have known that was our Great Grandmother, with whom I was very close. She was born in Sutton, West Virginia, in 1906 and was only Opal Pugh for 16 years. She married by Great Grandfather in 1922. But that’s not Mums’ handwriting and the crayon markings under her name make me believe it might have been a trinket box from when she was little. Tori and Rina had trinket boxes that I gave them to have at our house when they were little. It was someplace to keep little things they collected, rocks, prizes form cereal, those kinds of easily lost things. Maybe this was a box like that for Mums.

When I opened the box this is what I saw

There is a crocheted hat pin cushion,

Crocheted string pincushion

a beautiful white silk handkerchief with royal purple trim

Silk handkerchief, SO soft!

and a crocheted band in variegated oranges. The band might have been a choker, which was a common accessory at the time, but there isn’t anything to close it. That closure may be something that fell off.

Crocheted string, maybe a choker?

So the box itself is at least 90 years old, but I think closer to 100. My Great Grandmother would have been 105 last month, she’ll have been gone 10 years in July. The items inside could have been put there at any time, but I’d guess the things were probably put in it maybe sometime around Grandma’s birth in 1925. It’s a guess, but that handkerchief is the softest and finest silk I’ve ever laid hands on!

Thanks for joining me in my treasures and guesses today!

See more vintage treasures at The Coloradolady, where Suzanne hosts Vintage Thingie Thursday every week!


LV said...

What wonderful, vintage treasures.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

What a lovely find of family history.

Ann said...

That box is sweet. But I really love the crocheted hat pincushion. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was nine. I'd love to make something that wonderful! Thanks for visiting and your nice comment.

Flora said...

wonderful finds!

Edna B said...

I love the box, and the crochet things bring back memories of my childhood. My mother used to make beautiful crocheted things and taught it to me.

I have a hard time cleaning out things that I have been saving. For some reason, I still need to keep all the stuff. Must be a human thing.

Now I must get back to work. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.

C. Joy said...

I love your vintage family treasures. So glad you know at least some of the history of your little box and it's contents. Enjoy.