Monday, February 27, 2012

The Wagon

My dad passed away in 2005 and only now am I considering going through his stuff. He had a stroke in 1998, so things have really stood still in our family homestead since before the millennium. A lot of it will be easy to toss but every once in awhile, something gives me pause. Like that old wagon in the picture. I remember how it was used every week of the year for things like hauling chopped-up wood for the stove, collecting pulled weeds from the garden, and removing washed out rocks from the ditch. I had a lot of fun as a young kid jumping in the back and going on adventures with dad. Now, the bottom is rotting away and the sides are completely gone. It's not good for anything anymore except fond old memories... and that's why I'll keep it around a little bit longer, if you know what I mean. Is there something you've had a hard time parting with for a similar reason?


Leah J. Utas said...

I understand, David. I've got a few things around from my parents I'll never part with dad's old hunting knife. We used to go partridge hunting and he'd use that knife to clean them. It isn't much of a knife anymore, but it's not going anywhere.

Ron Scheer said...

Nicely felt and expressed, David. I found a belt I'd bought for my dad after he was gone. The buckle was handmade. What struck me was that he'd obviously worn the belt for work and the leather was stained and past saving, so I kept only the buckle. I was touched that he'd got so much use out of something I'd given him.

Cloudia said...

a sensitive and dear post, my friend

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Dan_Luft said...

My mother gave away a lot of stuff just before she died about five years ago. When she gave me an antique desk I told her that I'd always think of where it was in her house while I was growing up. She then told me, for the first time, that every time she looked at it she thought of where it had sat in her Aunt Grace's house back in the 1930s and 40s.

G said...

Plaid pants.

My dad had these horrible plaid pants (black, yellow, red, green and white) that he would wear every Chritsmas when I was a kid.

Got these stashed away in my mother's closet.

Randy Johnson said...

When my Grandfather passed, Grandmother gave me three books of his: a first edition of a Zane Grey novel(battered and no slip cover, a 1937 edition of Treasure Island, and a bible with his name in gold leaf on the cover. I just missed on his old manual typewriter that I used to plunk on in his office at his store(one of my aunts got it). I wouldn't take anything for the three books.

Along with my memories of him, probably the most valuable things, sentimentally, that I own.

David Cranmer said...

Leah, How good for you! Lots of memories in that hunting knife for sure.

That's great, Ron. A buckle you could easily display on a wall or frame and pass down a generation or two.

Thanks, Cloudia!

That's the kind of enduring family memento I can appreciate, Dan. I have some items (pictures mostly) from a hundred years ago.

G, "Horrible plaid pants." I don't have the pants but my dad does have a plaid-going-to church jacket and I've saved that gem.

Valuable they are, Randy. My dad also has his name in gold leaf on a Bible cover. I really should have it displayed more prominently in the house.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My parents threw almost everything away during the moves they made in the last years. I have a small milk pitcher-but no one ever used it-I just like it. I have lots of pictures and I kept their wallets. A few odd things here and there but most things went before I had a chance to weigh in on them. They were not savers.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

That's rough, David. I am, by nature, a bit of a hoarder. I hate to get rid of something with even the slightest sentimental value. You just feel like you might regret it later... (I'd keep that wagon too. You could rebuild it and pull Ava around in it... Then it would be sentimental for a whole separate reason. And a connection between your dad and Ava.)

Ben said...

I'm the worst at parting with stuff, man. My childhood Teddy Bear (a beat-up Beagle) is still sitting on top of my bookshelf. There are two other teddy bears up there. Picked them up from the sidewalk. Couldn't imagine letting them withering away when they could get loved by children. Still haven't found a new owner yet, but they're waiting instead of rotting.

See how bad I am at this? I'd like to help, but I can only tell you to keep the stuff if it doesn't cause any harm.



John DuMond said...

There are two kinds of possessions:

1. Things I might need someday (however remote the possibility).

2. Things that have sentimental value to me.

I have a tough time parting with items of the first type, and a tougher time parting with items from the second. I'd probably keep the wagon. But that's just me.

David Cranmer said...

Patti, I have a feeling most of what I keep is going to be considered in the "oddball" category as well.

Alyssa, I don't have the handyman skills but I've considered (once I exit the poor house) to have someone rebuild it for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

Ben, You have a Teddy Bear and I have an old monkey I use to carry around everywhere as a little kid. And right now it's sitting in the corner looking at me and wondering when we are going to play again. I swear he's alive.

John, I know now after this post (and comments) that I'll never get rid of the wagon. I'll place it under a tarp and see if I can get it re-built at some point. I just can't let go and see no reason to let go.

Mates said...

wow, I had not seen the old wagon in years. I had no idea what shape it is in. Things like that you think are still intact over behind the shed somewhere. I too remember riding down to the woods to check the bees, or the sap buckets or just to clear some brush out. Kids today don't have those old memories, my kids do remember sitting on Uncle David's lap and taking a ride around the drive on the lawn tractor.

Mates said...

i also wanted to say that recently when my husband went to work at the same place as my nephew, he commented that My nephew had an old leather wallet he still used that my biological father had made for him with his name on it. I went to my top drawer and pulled out the wallet that my father had made for me, it was all worn & chewed by one of our dogs at some point. But I can not throw it out.

Thomas Pluck said...

I'm wearing my father's gold chain. I have a few other things, including a hunting rifle and a pocketknife. Anchors for memories.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

I have this really old Christmas sweater/shirt thing. It's red with a big tree full of decorations on the front... very ugly. My father bought it for me when I was 22; The first and only present my father ever gave to me for Christmas. I have it stashed away in my closet and I wear it around the house when I miss him...

My father turns 87 this year...

David Cranmer said...

"Anchors for memories." I like that, Tom.

87! A long life, Sabrina. I'm a little sad reading your comment because my mother is 85 and slipping away. I miss her.

Richard Prosch said...

Well said, David. I have my grandpa's confirmation hymn book, valuable for the sentiment in itself, but doubly so since I also have his confirmation photo wherein he's hold it. Wonderful post.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm reminded of the things that often sat around on our farm after they were no longer used. A tractor here, a rusted plow there. We too had a wagon that was falling apart, one I'd hauled many a bail of hay and many a pile of rock on. They may be gone into my past now, but are still in the front of my memories at times.

Nik said...

My late adoptive father's war medals. Though wounded in Sicily, he had a good long life. But he rarely talked about the war... or the friends he lost. The pewter mug he won at shooting in 1956 holds my pens on my desk. A small stone from the pyramids he picked up while in the Army... knives from India... the list goes on!

David Cranmer said...

Rich, We are simpatico. I enjoy all your posts and pics of your family's history. And an old hymn book would be awesome to have.

I hear 'ya, Charles. I have double the number of memories.

Nik, Most of the older soldiers were very quiet about their service. What great use for the pewter mug!

Jacqueline Diana said...

I can relate. A few small items I kept when my mom died (2001); just because of the memories attached. Some small item I gave her once upon a time or an item that I remember from childhood. Found a safe little spot it could all call it's own. For now, like you, just feel I'll keep it a little longer.

David Cranmer said...

Mates, How did I miss your comment above! So sorry and how nice you still have the wallet. I remember them enjoying the rides on the tractor and now I need to get it fixed for Ava!

Jacqueline, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one collecting items great and small. "Found a safe little spot it could all call it's own." Very nice.