Sunday, January 18, 2009

Old Treasures

When I was growing up the person who had the greatest impact on my life was my grandfather. The time we spent together will always be full of fond memories: teaching me the right way to build a compost pile or the perfect method for a lettuce and marmite sandwich or just sitting dozing at the kitchen table for hours while I read to him. And, when I was much older, having afternoon medicinal whiskies on the front porch rehashing his war days in Japan and Korea.
When I was a teenager he gave me two gifts that I still think were the coolest items a rather odd seventeen year old girl could possibly get; his old army trench coat (that I wore every winter for years) and his metal trunk. I think the trench coat is in a closet somewhere in my mom's house, or at least I hope it is. And the trunk has served well over the years as a coffee table, wardrobe and secret storage facility while I was traveling. When I returned to SA it was filled up with photo albums, old UN documents, permaculture magazines and craft books and shoved under the stairs.
This summer I realised that the girls' dress-up basket was getting too small for their collection and thought that The Trunk would make a perfect place to keep all the paraphernalia needed to become the personality or animal of the moment. And so we hauled out the trunk and went off to the hardware store to purchase a steel brush and some gold spray paint. I had a great time unpacking the trunk and unearthing my pre-motherhood interests, not such a great time finding places to put the things I wanted to keep and saying goodbye to those I didn't.
And so the process of cleaning and painting The Trunk has begun.

I got as far as one afternoon's scrubbing with the steel brush and have had to take a break as more pressing issues such as making lunch, doing laundry and getting ready for the new school year have once again taken up my time and energy. I don't know how other moms manage to raise children and pump out fabulous crafts and works of art! (I know a mom - who is actually a dad - who takes care of the kids and manages an entire organic farm, including homemade apple preserve! The mind boggles)

But I look forward to slowly completing the project, and am so grateful for all the wonderful memories of my grandpa that the trunk still holds


Barbee' said...

What a pleasant post, thank you for sharing those thoughts and memories with us. It stirred memories of my own.

Debbie said...

What a great idea. You will be happy whenever you see it.

Julie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and enjoy your date tonight!

Alan said...

Thoughts from a crusty old "treasure". GOOD JOB passing this one on. Hope you shared the stories (or as many as are appropriate) with your girls. Such an heirloom for them to love and fight over.

Keep up the great mom example. We are all inspired.

P.S. Date Night? Sounds like a post. Haven't had one of those since 2001. Hope it went WELL!

forever folding laundry said...

What a sweet gift from your grandfather! That's a great keepsake for your girls!

Fioleta said...

What a generous gift to give to your daughters, hopefully they will add their own stories to The Trunk's lifestory.