Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Family Heirlooms And What To Do With Them

You THINK you've culled your stuff really well before moving, but after unpacking your boxes and looking for places to store the aforementioned stuff, you realize that, like the hermit crab, you brought the old house with you.

And the stuff from the old house that you brought with you that doesn't seem to fit the new house--either decoratively or physically or both--is those old family heirlooms that you can't part with but don't use either.

So what to do with, for example:
  • Great-grandmother's silver tea set?
  • My parents' antique salt cellar and pepper set that look like dolphins and everyone thinks is sugar and pepper and wonder what that is about?
  • Odd pieces of old silver serving pieces that don't match up?
  • Great-grandmother's demitasse set which features four pieces for each eensy weensy little china cups?
  • Engraved cigarette box marking the 30th wedding anniversary of my grandparents--maybe it would hold mints?
I won't use these things, but I can't possibly sell or give them away (except to another family member), either. So Portia and Babs can start thinking about where they are going to keep these things when in the fullness of time, they get full care, custody and control of the family heirlooms.

Do you have family "treasures" you never use, but can't dispose of too?


Sam said...

Oh my gosh, do I? I'm an only child so I get everything - woohoo (not)! My best friend and I are going to sell all our family heirlooms and take the trip we've been planning since Jr. Hi. I think my grandmother would approve. At some point we both decided, it's just stuff, there are more important things.

If I need to remember any of them, I've got my grandmother's eyes, my dad's nose, my mom's sense of justice, and my grandfather's stubbornness, that's enough.

zorra said...

I have more silver trays than you can imagine (well,no,actually I'm sure you can), including a big one that was engraved with the names of all of the "field men" Daddy had trained, at his retirement. Not to mention the huge plaque from his retirement that is engraved with the name of every agricultural chemical company extant in the Western hemisphere, proclaiming him the "Man of the Century". (I agree, by the way.)

I've sold a number of pieces of silver with no sentimental value, but one doesn't really get very much for them.

Quotidian Grace said...

I knew you'd know what I was talking about!

I've got a very large silver vase inscribed with awards to my grandfather from his company in a closet. El Jefe suggested I try to pass that on to my nephew, which I think is a good idea.

Rev Kim said...

My mom is already trying to give me many of the family heirlooms. She & my dad have all of my paternal grandmothers' sterling silver - cutlery, serving platters, serving pieces, etc. There's my grandmother's china, which I can do without - it's a little busy for my tastes. Also, lots and lots of knick-knacks which I can definitey do without. But the silver I don't think I'll ever be able to part with, even with the polishing.

Sue said...

Silver. Tea. Sets. *shudders*

We've been moving my grandmother's tea set for almost 30 years. Argh. My sons want nothing to do with it. When we're long gone to meet our Lord, they will likely put it on ebay, so really, why shouldn't I do it now?

Because it belonged to my grandmother.