TOUCHSTONES

Anniversary 031Look in my closet and you’ll see what I’m sentimental about. Look around my house. I’m sentimental about my childhood.

I know, everyone thinks they had either an idyllic childhood, or a horrible childhood. There were some bad times for our family – sickness, death of loved ones, etc. – but I really had it pretty good. (Yes, even after my sister came along . . .)

I guess that’s why I love some of my “stuff.” I know, it doesn’t take the place of the memories, but they’re like touchstones for me. Photographs, a special toy, a record album (NOT a CD, a VINYL ALBUM!), a lunchbox – they all bring me back to a simpler time and place.

This time of year, the falling leaves take me back to a huge maple in our front yard that literally left a foot of golden leaves every year. It was like the sunshine didn’t want to leave us, and decided to lie about and let us enjoy it for a few weeks before the dreary days of winter set in.

Anniversary 019A fire in the fireplace makes me remember those Christmases at my grandparents’ house, where the only time there was a fire, was at Christmastime. The green army blankets left the doorways where they hung, protecting us from drafts, and the fire warmed the whole space.

Attending a concert given by my daughter’s college choir the other night, they pulled a quartet out to sing a couple of southern gospel songs – they took me right back to my dad singing in a quartet, my grandmother playing for them, and the many albums of quartet music that formed the background music of my childhood – I’ve had “Sweeter As The Days Go By” running through my head ever since.

My parents’ 50th anniversary this year had us looking through old photographs – it brought back so many memories of the house we lived in when I was very young. The recent death of my grandmother brought the family together to share memories of days gone by. I look at my piano, and I can see my grandmother playing it, my dad, aunt, and uncle singing around her.

Quilts. They’re all over my house. I have the butterfly quilt that my mother started piecing when she was 13, and finished quilting when I was 13. I have the “doll” quilt that my paternal grandmother made and always had on the bed in the back bedroom when I would come to spend the night. I have the quilt that my maternal grandmother made FOR me when I was 10 or 12, and upon which she taught me to quilt. Every quilt has bits of fabric that have stories – and we talk about them, still.

skilletBut you know what one of my favorite touchstones would have to be?

My iron skillet.

My other grandmother, who has been gone for several years, told me that it had belonged to my grandfather’s mother or grandmother. It is the skillet that, at her house, I learned to cook bacon (crispy, not limp!) and French toast. I think of her every time I make cornbread. It is seasoned to perfection. I guess you might say it’s one of my most prized possessions.

I know “stuff” isn’t as important as people – but sometimes I think God imbues our “stuff” with the ability to maintain those memories that make us, us. I thank Him for it every day.

To what childhood object are YOU most attached?

11 thoughts on “TOUCHSTONES”

  1. Well said, Regina! I honestly don’t have a lot of *things* kept from my childhood, but when I had children, I gravitated toward what was familiar, toward what spurred great memories. For example, if you look at our game shelf it has Candy Land and Lite Brite and Life and The Barbie Game and Husker Du … well, you get the idea. Each of those games evoked fond memories from my childhood, and I hoped that our children would have similar memories.

  2. What a rich legacy of memories you have, Regina. Love the way things prompt the memories and keep that legacy alive. It’s like you’re being wrapped in a warm blanket of love all the time!

  3. Regina, I think you are absolutely right about God allowing certain thingsto trigger our precious memories. I have little things tucked all over my house. They wouldn’t mean a lot to anyone else, but they do to me.

  4. I am a history buff and love heirloom type pieces in my house. I hope to pass them on to my little ones when they grow up. I feel the same way you do – love the memories that come from seeing those things and hearing certain things. My biggest “heirloom” are my lavender Irises in my front yard. My great grandmother planted them around the old farmhouse (that I grew up in) when she got married. They have lasted all these years from her hand and now are transplanted to my house. I plan on taking them with me if we ever move!

  5. I have some phlox and tiger lilies that originally came from the little house I lived in, mentioned above. Mom moved them to every house, and when I had a house of my own, I took some with me! You can be sure they will go with me wherever I am! 🙂

  6. Love the family photograph, Regina. Looks just like my family!! I’ll bet we all have photos just like it.

    There are certain things that evoke memories for me too, and I’m so glad for that. It keeps our past, and our loved ones, alive in our hearts.

  7. I don’t have many things from my childhood, but I do have lots of family pieces that are all around the house. I understand what you mean when you “see” something from your past when you look at these items. I have quilts both my mother and hubbys mother made my first two boys. I promised them I would pass them on when they have babies, but I don’t know. I may just have to put them in my will instead…

  8. Love this! I don’t know if I have any specific items from my childhood that I’m sentimental about, but I’m very sentimental about my childhood overall 🙂 I do have an old quilt, made from cast-off yucky woolly material (it was made for warmth, not show) that I love because it came from my mamaw who’s no longer with us. This time of year definitely takes me back to that simpler time though. And, old southern gospel music reminds me of the country church my mamaw & papaw took me to 🙂

  9. Regina,

    An iron skillet! Both my grandma’s and my mom had several sizes and it was there go to pan, especially for fried chicken.

    And quilts! I have more than I’ll ever use from my grandma, aunt and mom and I make them to. But you know, when I miss my mom, I just warm up in one of the quilts she made and feel the warmth of her love.

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