Finding Treasure

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

It’s been a year since we packed up my parent’s house and sold it after my mom died.  We’ve had boxes of photographs and framed pictures stored in a climate controlled U-haul unit until such time as we could figure out where to put them in our house in Buffalo, Texas.  That time has arrived.

I had no idea what framed pictures were in each box as they’d been professionally packed and boxed; took several hours to get past the Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap and plastic adhesive that had been applied to the glass on certain pictures.  It took four large black plastic trash bags to haul off the packing material and that didn’t include cutting the boxes down flat so they didn’t take up the entire dining room.

We now have the guest bedroom lined wall to wall with an odd assortment of pictures and paintings; some of which are probably quite valuable as they are museum quality; but that’s not the kind of treasure I’m excited about.

Other items that were packed away from my folk’s house were thrown into large cardboard boxes and we used anything available for packing material; kitchen towels, bath towels, ornamental pillows, stuffed animals…anything to keep fragile items from breaking.  I found a real treasure among the packing material to protect a table lamp; a hand made quilt that had been sewn by my grandmother, signed on the back.   Priceless!

Other treasures among the packing material would include cross stitched linen table clothes; also my grandmother’s handiwork.  These were placed on a shelf out of the way until this morning when I decided they should be put into service; but you can’t simply toss an old wrinkled up table cloth on the table and expect it to have the same effect as when it’s been carefully ironed and displayed properly.

There’s something to the process of ‘living in elegance’ that requires a little more effort.  It took me an hour to iron two table cloths; there are at least three more cross stitched table cloths that require the same loving care to restore them to usable status.

While filling my glass yesterday I noticed that I’d almost thrown away a ‘limited edition’ Dr Pepper soda can.  So glad I caught that in time or it would have gone to the recycle bin and lost forever.  Exactly what constitutes a ‘limited edition’ can of Dr Pepper?

We have a biscotti jar on the hutch.  It had been a Christmas present many years ago, filled with a variety of chocolate covered biscotti; but the jar was too beautiful to simply throw away after the biscotti had been eaten.  We’d given a similar jar to my sister in law; something of an inside joke.

Her husband, John, died a few years back.  He’d been cremated and his ashes placed in an old shoe box that was kept in the closet; not exactly how John would expect to be treated for time and all eternity.  We quietly hinted that John could use an upgrade; perhaps the biscotti jar would be a better ‘final resting place’ or at least better than the shoe box.

…And it would have been, had she not dropped the biscotti jar.  Maybe we’ll give her our biscotti jar; or better yet, buy her a new one at Sam’s Wholesale, one that’s filled with a nice variety of chocolate covered biscotti.  Treasure is in the eye of the beholder.


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