It happened again. I was doing research on family histories, and discovered an online article about writing a brief history on a piece of furniture and taping it to the bottom of that piece or in a drawer. I thought this was such a good idea and wanted to share with my readers.
I'm sure it's happened to you. You have guests in your home, and they ask about a piece of art or furniture and you relate the story behind it. Or you tell your grandkids those stories. And we've all visited a friend's home and they delighted in telling you where they got the painting or that their grandfather made that particular piece of furniture. This article said to just write a brief history of that piece and tape it to the back Why let those stories get lost? Besides, can't you just hear the conversation of your kids and grandkids as they go through your things after you're gone? Why did mother save this? If there is a history stapled to the back, they will know. They may still give it to Goodwill, but at least you shared the history or sentimental value.
I'm sorry to be so simplistic in my descriptions, but I'm a visual learner and it's easier if I can SEE what one is talking about. I approach this blog the same way. So here is a pictorial description.
And there you have it. Whether your children and grandchildren actually keep the art or furniture, at least they will know the history. Another way to go if you don't want to damage the piece by stapling or taping a tag in it or on it, is to take a picture of it, and place it, along with the brief history, in a binder. That might be much easier. A friend told me that she was taking a photo of her jewelry and other pieces to be passed down and putting the name of the recipient. If you've had any kin request a piece, that's another thing to include in your photo binder.
Lastly, humor me on this one. When my mother passed, and we went through her house, my brother requested her sewing machine. It's an electric sewing machine and certainly not an antique, so we wondered why he wanted it. It was because that was his favorite place to do his homework growing up. So it reminded him of home and his mom.
I still have the chair that went to my middle son's bedroom furniture and desk. And yes, that's where he did his homework....sitting in that chair at his desk. So indeed, I'm putting the history on an index card under that chair. You just never know. Someday one of his kids might want it and tell their kids, that's where your granddad did his homework.
We all have these stories. Perhaps something you and your husband purchased on your honeymoon. What a treasure. My sister still has the dining table and chairs that she and her husband bought early on in their marriage--I think they had it on layaway, and it was such a treat when they could finally bring it home. What you write about doesn't have to be an antique--just that it has a history to you and your family. Share those stories.
"This was something sure to be crammed with warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world." Haruki Murakami
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!