Friday, May 11, 2012

The Final Installment of the Keepsakes Trilogy

When our girls were little, Don and I spent many Sundays in DeKalb, IL at his aunt and uncle's farm.  The girls loved playing with the old toys that Aunt Molly kept in the front closet for them.  It always struck me how much they enjoyed playing with these simple toys.

Nothing was ever wasted at the farm.  Junk mail was saved for the art projects.  The girls would place one of the recycled papers on the raised pattern oilcloth at the kitchen table and do a rubbing with their crayons.

As a young mom, it was a day of rest and gladness to be in this peaceful setting.

At meal time a "simple supper", as Aunt Molly put it, was served.  Most everything we ate was grown in their garden.  Baking bread was a daily ritual for her.

Most visits there ended with Don loading some treasure in our car.  Some of our favorite treasures were a butter churner, a coffee mill, and trunks.  Anything I would ask about she would offer to give it to me.  If I would protest, she would say "That will be one less thing for me to dust!"

One Sunday, Aunt Molly asked me to go to the basement pantry for some pickles.  It was then that I spied the mother lode of farm treasures.  It was a Hoosier kitchen cabinet.  Don remembered it being in the summer kitchen of his aunt and uncle's Schaumburg farm.  When Aunt Molly and Uncle Art moved to the DeKalb farm, it ended up in the basement.  Seizing the moment, I asked if we could buy it.  The next time we were at the farm she told us we could buy it.  I couldn't believe my ears when she told me that she wanted $65 for it.   That is what she paid her brother Ben for it when he had fallen on hard times and needed money.

For many years the Hoosier was in our dining room.  One day when I was "playing house", I thought it would work best for us on the porch.  All the original items that came with the cupboard are intact.  Three seasons of the year, we enjoy eating on the porch.  The cupboard holds the dishes that we use for daily use and entertaining.

I thank God for Aunt Molly and Uncle Art for opening their hearts and home to our family at that special time in our lives.

Meg's Helpful Hint...Don't miss an opportunity to speak up for a family keepsake.  If I hadn't, it would have been auctioned off at the farm sale years later.  It pleased Aunt Molly to know that we would make a place for it in our home.


  1. Great post, Mom! I'm so glad that you're writing down the stories behind some of the keepsakes. Love you! Karen

  2. Mary Ellen... your blog continues to look AMAZING! keep up the great work
    sorry I missed you yesterday... my sister came down 2 hours early!