Where’s Your Treasure?

Do you have any collections? Teapots? Shoes? Gold coins hidden in your basement?

For the last month, I’ve been sorting through my parent’s rather extensive antique and collectible collection. Comic books, primitives, jewelry, Union Pacific china, depression glass, cut glass, pressed glass, and toys–oh, the toys! And did I mention the 150+ Campbell soup collectibles?

img_0190I’m cleaning, sorting, cataloging, and pricing these treasures in preparation for an antique estate sale at the end of October. Of course, the family will also take some of the antiques as keepsakes, but none of us could possibly house this collection.

My father, a railroad employee and farmer, was a savvy buyer, and he saw buying antiques as an investment. When they started collecting, they changed the garage into an antique room. Since we had a farm with other buildings, we didn’t need the garage. Collecting was something he and mother enjoyed doing together, and it fostered a great appreciation for history in all of us.

362As I’ve gone through these items, the memories have flooded in. Seeing what my mother loved at 50 now through my own 50 year old eyes, made me appreciate her anew. She loved beautiful plates. They were pieces of art to her. As a teenager, I remember thinking it was strange anyone would stare at a hand painted plate, and yet now, I find myself doing the same thing.

My siblings and I have talked about how we know that these things don’t hold the memories; our hearts do. Still, it’s hard to let the treasures go. Then I remembered that my parents also knew where their real treasure was. It was in Christ Jesus, and the beauty they are seeing today is so much greater than can be captured on any plate. That’s the real treasure they left us.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”–Matt. 6:21


Where’s your treasure? What is going to last? What items do you own that belonged to your parents or grandparents do you cherish?

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Lorna Seilstad

Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters Series. She and her husband have three children and call Iowa home. Find out more at www.lornaseilstad.com or connect with her on Facebook and on Twitter.

8 thoughts on “Where’s Your Treasure?”

  1. So true. I do have collections myself, and I used to be so diligent about their care and safety. Now I just put them out and enjoy them. If something gets broken, oh well. I recently used all my vintage lace tablecloths for a friend’s wedding, but there was a time I wouldn’t have risked soiling or damaging them. As we get older, I think we realize the things that are really important–family, friends the love and mercy that God has given us through Christ that we can in turn show to others. xoxo

    1. I agree, Cheryl. I also think our culture is changing when it comes to collections. There will always be people that collect a lot of an item, but I think there are fewer people that fill their homes with “stuff.” I like to use the things I once kept carefully packed away, too.

  2. I’ve always wanted to be an antique collector but never had the finesse for it. Thrift store shopping is more my style, I’m afraid. I imagine it’s been a bittersweet task, sorting through those antiques — but I love that they bring warm memories with them as well. So — when I read your title I immediately thought ‘books’! I know — my mind should have leapt elsewhere first but….I’m keeping it real. That’s all that I collect these days and I fear I am overly attached to every blessed one of them!

    1. Oh, but Kav, I’ve found some pretty nifty items at thrift stores! One was a Milkasa vase, a beautiful piece at $10. It’s worth three times that, plus it is just plain gorgeous. Funny how next time I went in someone had priced another Milkasa at $25. But, that first piece is a pretty sweet find for me.

    2. Oh, I’m a thrift store shopper, too, Kav! Lots of treasures there. And all of the books at my parent’s house break my heart. I know many of them will not find new homes. I know they’re outdated, but–well–they’re books.

  3. It is such a treat to come in and help you a little like I did the other day. We’ve talked about how after John’s dad died, who loved auctions, and his grandfather passed away, who was an auctioneer once, that we had all of these treasures that none of the other family wanted. It began my passion of collecting vintage glass pieces. I have old hat pins from John’s grandmother, and some pieces such as old Hopalong Cassidy coffee cups. Since then John and I have gone to several auctions and sales together and are acquiring our own collections of different things. The best part isn’t always what we acquire, but that we both love to do it and enjoy it together. And we know our kids aren’t nearly as impressed with our items as we are. We’ve sworn we’ll have a living estate auction so we can re-enjoy the fruits of our labor before sailing off into retirement. Ha!

    1. Dawn, knowing that my parents loved doing the collecting together brings me a lot of joy. Couple need those connecting activities, and this one was one of theirs. And when it comes time for that living estate sale, maybe we can do a combo one and go on anther cruise. 🙂

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