Treasures From Mom’s

As I have mentioned, my mom’s house is a split level where you walk in the front door and go up to the kitchen, living room and bedrooms (which has been completely renovated)……

or go down to a scary, dark, musty space consisting of a family room, small office/bedroom, laundry room and unfinished storage space.

The lower level was stuck in 1973, and was filled with not only my mom’s stored items but some of her grown children’s furniture and belongings.  Before we could rip up the carpet, paint and beautify the space, we had to sort through and reduce the content down there.

The time had come to divide and conquer.  I marked boxes for each member of our family, along with huge bins for recycling and donating, and purged, purged, purged.

I was relentless.  I’d say I recycled about 90% of the school papers Mom had saved for each of us.  This experience really made me rethink what I save of my kid’s schoolwork – the topic of a post for another day!

Betwixt and between all the purging, there were absolute gems to be found.  Next thing you know, the recycling would come to a screeching halt and Mom and I would spend an hour looking through a forgotten pile of photos or old letters.  However, it was clear that the term “treasure” is oh-so subjective.
For example — what might this be, that Mom has saved for decades?????

This I can see saving:

…but the weird clay ashtray/bud vase/pencil holder???  See – totally subjective!!

Here are a few of my “treasures” from Mom’s this month:

Mom’s bank book when she first came to Boston from Ireland.  Notice the first entry:  $10 – all she brought with her from home besides her little suitcase of clothes!

A wedding shower gift from my aunts to my mom –
silver-plated flatware.  
This might not be worth a lot but it’s priceless to me.  I’m going to give that box a makeover, and use these pieces for special occasions.
Since my mom has two granddaughters, I thought they could share this set and hopefully will enjoy using it once in a while.

My parents’ wedding invitation.  I have never seen it before and am overjoyed with this discovery!!

Wedding cards and telegrams from Ireland, and ten months later, congratulations on the arrival of the first baby!

Tons of my dad’s possessions.  Ordinary to him, cherished by me.  
My brothers and I were 10, 7, 6 and 4 when he died so anything that belonged to him is coveted.
I came across a whole box of his business cards (that I’ll be handing out to everyone who knew him!)….
 his shoes and belt…
and his missal with his handwriting inside (apparently back in the day all the good Catholics carried their own missals to church.  Dad had given one to Mom for a birthday present too.)

Then I hit the motherload and found a stack of letters from Dad to Mom when she went home to Ireland for a couple of months when they were dating.  I spent hours, hours, pouring over them!   While I didn’t steal the letters, I may or may not have taken home a few (dozen) photos.  How could I resist???  They were so stinkin cute, my Mom & Dad.  I love my dad’s wavy hair, light blue eyes and crooked smile.  I love my mom’s Jackie O hairstyle, lovely figure and huge, pretty smile lighting up her face in every picture with Dad.

Despite the paint in my hair and all over my hands, the cobwebs and the grime and the sore back, I have so enjoyed this past month with my mom, working on her house together and uncovering these treasures.

Tomorrow I’ll share how the lower level has progressed so far at the March After Party!  I hope you’ll join me in sharing before and afters of any kind.  I’m  looking forward to seeing what you’ve been working on!

Do you have any special “treasures” from your family?  Tell me about them – I’d love to hear!!