As extremely tiring as moving is, packing presents an opportunity to go through your belongings and see just what you have. That process can be enjoyable.
Among my most prized possessions are my books. My library is comprised of some delightful children’s books, southern literature and Civil War history. I have some books that belonged to Daddy. Those books are especially important to me.
In 1953, Daddy earned a B.S. in agriculture from UGA. I discovered Daddy’s UGA textbooks in the attic of Mama and Daddy’s house, a magnificent find! I had to have those textbooks. I bought a small bookcase specifically for Daddy’s books. When I placed them on the bookshelves, a paper fell out of a sociology textbook. It was a handwritten research paper Daddy wrote for one of his classes. An interesting read, it dealt with the sociology of rural communities. At the top of the paper was a red “A++.” I gave Daddy’s research paper to my son, Paul, who is named after Daddy. Paul was delighted with this treasure.
Mama collected marble sculptures of the various buildings on the Berry campus. The artist only made a few and so the sculptures are numbered. I now have Mama’s collection packed away, waiting to be put on top of the bookshelves which hold Daddy’s UGA textbooks.
The chore of packing continued throughout the week before our move. I packed away clothes, pocketbooks and shoes. I have never understood women’s obsession with shoes! I have plenty and I’m happy with what I have.
As the unrelenting task of packing persisted, out came more boxes. I packed my original Barbie and Skipper dolls (with their original clothes), a Sweet Tears doll (with original clothes), two Madame Alexander dolls and a baby doll with doll clothes Mama made. Mama’s crystal, pictures, pots and pans, flatware, glasses, dishes and my teapot collection.
Years ago Mama had a second-grade student who gave her several pieces of white Victorian ceramics made by his mother. He gave her a teapot for her birthday in September. For Christmas he gave her salt and pepper shakers. At the end of that school year he gave her a casserole dish. Etched on the bottom of each piece was the student’s name and the year, “1967.” Those ceramic pieces were very special to Mama and I could not bear to part with them. That collection is now in my hutch.
I have Mama’s rocking chair. I keep it precisely because it was Mama’s chair and she rocked all her grandchildren in it. She was a gifted seamstress and I have her sewing machine. I have a washstand that belonged to my maternal grandmother. My dolls (of which I have only six) I keep for purely sentimental reasons. My teapot collection is of value to me because my family gave them to me.
The family archivist
I have letters Mama wrote to my grandparents during World War II. I have letters my uncle wrote Mama while he was at Berry. One of those letters said, “Well, I guess I better go. Teacher gave me a look. So I winked at her.” He was 19 years old and enlisted in the Army not long after that. He was killed in France during World War II. You can add those letters to the treasured possessions I mentioned which I cannot let go.