Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hidden Treasure

We're moving. 

Oh, not until next year, however, as I was putting away Christmas stuff, I found myself pondering each item, wondering if it were something I would want to take to the ranch. Then it hit me that next year at this time we'll be getting ready to sell our house. Holy cow! That means I only have a year to purge. But where on earth do I start?

Then curiosity took hold. When my mother moved in with us some thirteen years ago, there were three really big, heavy boxes of dishes and such that we basically ignored, relegating them to a back closet.
So with a cold, lazy Saturday ahead of me, I decided to tackle said boxes.
 I can't tell you the fun I had. I expected to find my mother's china, which I did, but I also found so much more.
Like these cranberry glass pieces. Be still my heart. I love cranberry glass. I felt as though I'd just won the lottery.
See the two little figurines?
Not cranberry glass, but so cute.

And I knew my mother had a thing for milk glass, I just never realized how many pieces she had.
Anyone else remember the days of candy dishes?

 I love these painted milk glass pieces.

But the tea lover in me was totally stoked over these finds.

There were a few disappointments, too. Like finding three other saucers, but no teacups. 
And a plate that had been broken and poorly glued back together in the days of rubber cement.
Such a shame because it matched the tea set.
I was seriously considering tossing it when I saw this on the backside of the plate.
February 10th was my grandparents anniversary and Jane is my mother.
 How cool is that? 
I don't know if she gave them the entire set or simply the plate, but crack or no crack, they deserved to be displayed together.

I spent a lot of time Googling stamps found on the backs of dishes.
At least those I could read.
Remember those figurines? 
1956. Cool.
If only everything had been as plainly marked.

Alas, I hit the bottom of the last box and my treasure hunt was over.
My children will be recipients of some of the items while others will be enjoyed by me for a time before being passed down.

It's fun to see those things that my mother considered precious enough to hang onto. And I love
that my children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to enjoy them, too.

Now it's your turn. What cherished pieces do you have from past generations?


  1. I have had to learn to be somewhat heartless as I've cleaned closets and storage areas, so I pulled in Beth and Mandy to help me sort... and they're tough ladies, so we've made great progress! :) But I understand those boxes from "Mom" I have several of those, too, but my goal this winter, when writing feels caught up... is to go through it all and be somewhat ruthless.

    No brothers or sisters are interested in any of it, and my kids are not grabbed by it, so we'll see. And just so you know, I love milk glass, too! One of my favorite gifts from Dave probably thirty years ago, was a beautiful milk glass relish dish.

    Now I have several (and folks sell them at garage sales, so my garage sale queens watch!!!!) because milkglass goes with everything, any season.

    Love it!!!!

    1. Ruthy the ruthless, tackles old boxes with nary a twinge of sentiment. ;)

      You know, I never really cared for the milk glass when I was a kid, but as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate it. And you're right, it's perfect for all seasons. One of the taller candy dishes still had Christmas pot pourri in it adorned with a red ribbon when I unwrapped it. Very cute.

  2. Beautiful pieces!!! I love the cranberry glass. I've never seen anything like that. I have a few pieces of Belleek china that belonged to my mum. And I have a 'tapper' from my dad's ham radio set. Not sure what it's really called, but it's the clicker thing the radio operator used to tap out morse code messages. My dad was an avid ham radio operator even though popularity was beginning to wan thanks to the internet so that's a huge memory of him for me.

    1. Oh, what precious things to have, Kav. Love the memories of your father. The sad thing about many of these pieces is that I really don't remember most of them. I've never seen that tea set before. Thank goodness for the inscription on the back of that plate. Nonetheless, I have a great appreciation for glassware, china and such, so even if I don't know the story, I still love them.

  3. What beautiful pieces. ANd I'm glad they will be out of the boxes and enjoyed. I purged last spring when I thought we were going to have to move. It was so freeing. And yes, Ruthy has the right idea. Get someone else to help because you start sitting there reminiscing and get nothing done. LOL

    But I have a grand niece earning money for a school trip to Washington DC. I gave her all my antiques like the milk glass to sell. It has just been sitting in a closet for years and I figure, she can enjoy the money and someone else can enjoy the piece. Milk glass can be quite valuable btw.

    I've learned over the years from giving grandparent antiques to siblings that unless it is your style of decor, it just sits in another closet. Seems rather wasteful when someone can really enjoy using it.

  4. I must reiterate. Getting rid of all my stuff was one of the most freeing experiences that I still enjoy. After clearing out the houses of five family members and friends after they died, I figure I'm doing my heirs one great big favor. smile Something to think about.

    1. Sandra, I so agree with you. I gave my daughter an entire room of stuff last year for her yard sale and she did really well. I always offer stuff to the kids first. And again, I agree with not leaving my stuff for someone else to figure out what to do with it. I can still remember cleaning out my mom's house when she passed away unexpectedly and it was extremely hard to do.

    2. Sandra, I'm a firm believer that unless they're just uber valuable, things like these are meant to be used and enjoyed. I will be enjoying these pieces for a while, but they're just the tip of the iceberg. The other items are being collected in one spot until later in the year when all five of my kids can come together at the same time to decide what they would each like to have/fight over. :) I offered my mother's china to my eldest and she was tickled to death. Her reaction warmed my heart.

      Since I'm an only child and my aunt had no kids, I have my mother's stuff, my aunt's and my grandmother's. Throw in my husband's great-grandmothers pieces and it's definitely a bit overwhelming. Thank God I had so many kids.

  5. I'm thinking we have a downsizing move coming in the next year or two, so I'm starting to think about what's really "valuable". My mom had a case full of all her family history, so that's a keeper, along with her doll from 1942 and a few odds and ends.
    I've already let go of some furniture and china. Our kids have different tastes than parents and grandparents. So like Ruthy, when I have a strong non-sentimental day, I purge.
    So what's really important? the history, the pictures and the memories. The other stuff is just that, stuff. I think about how perfectly content we are when we go on vacation with a just a suitcase full, how freeing that is.
    I just know I don't want to spend whatever years I have remaining maintaining 'stuff".
    My goal is to downsize my 2200 sq ft house by half. I think I can do it now that we're empty nesters. I can't help but think of all the time this will free up to spend with people we love, enjoying them, maybe traveling more. Who knows what God will direct us when our time's more available? Could be exciting times ahead!

    1. Tracey, I totally agree about vacation! Isn't it funny how we enjoy that freedom from stuff?

    2. Tracey, there's not a whole lot of our furniture that will go with us. We're already passing some off to the kids.

      Photos... I have so many photos, again from my mom, my aunt and my grandmother. And there are plenty where I have no idea who the people are. Fortunately, my MIL was very particular about her photos and labeled everything. Gotta love that.

  6. What beautiful pieces you found, Mindy!

    When my dad downsized from a house to an apartment, it was painful to see items that held cherished memories for me being relegated to a garage sale if nobody (meaning my brother and I) wanted them. So I brought home a van full of stuff. Stuff that has very little cash value (as I found out when I took what I thought was a more valuable item to Antiques Road Show!), but stuff that my mom and her mother thought was precious enough to keep.

    So I will slowly sort through things. There are a few non-negotiables, like the lidded glass 8x8 dish that my mom used to serve that jello/vegetable salad in back in the '60's, and the paper dolls from the '30's that are so painstakingly cut out. I can just see my grandmother cutting those dolls out of a magazine for her only daughter, my mom, to play with.

    Some of the things will go to my children when they have their own homes. Things that hold memories for them. :) My daughter has already claimed my mother-in-law's biscuit cutter.

    The rest will be sold on E-bay or find its way to our local thrift store. And all of that will have to be done before my husband retires. Like Tracey, he wants to downsize drastically. He's looking at 500 sq. ft.

    That's when I remind him that we might want to have people over for dinner sometime... AND that I need an office. With a door. That locks. :)

    1. Jan, just tell him you each need 500 sq ft, 1000 total, problem solved.
      There are a lot of shows on HGTV now trending to small spaces. I shake my head at some of them, not believing what people are accepting, like climbing a ladder to a loft to sleep, not gonna happen with these knees, lol.

    2. Yeah, I watch the show about tiny houses. It blows my mind!

    3. Oh, I so understand, Jan. I remember my paternal grandmother's biggest request being that her stuff not be sold to the general public. And they honored her request.

      I think I'd get claustrophobic in one of those tiny houses. And with our family's numbers continually growing, we need room to spread out. Otherwise, I will not be responsible for what happens. :P

  7. Mindy, how fun! The cranberry glass reminded me of my grandmother! :)

    What a wonderful find. Enjoy!

    1. Missy, it was a great way to spend a cold, rainy Saturday. And these new finds have actually propelled me to get rid of some of my other stuff.

  8. How very fun! I've never heard of cranberry glass. Is it related to carnival glass? I love milk glass. It's so pretty and clean looking. Great treasures!

    1. Virginia, I forget the process of cranberry glass, but no, it's not like carnival glass. BTW, I found a few pieces of that, too. Definitely some great treasures. ;)