February 21, 2018

A Family Fortune in Mementos by Lillian Sanderson

Image from homemademanners

When I receive those emails with the photos of the sand sculptures, I’m impressed, but they make me a bit perplexed.   Ice sculptures affect me in much the same way.    I guess I don’t understand why anyone would want to put in that much effort and create something that is so temporary.

Permanence must be important to me for some unknown reason.  I keep things.  I love to know that I have a nice collection of containers with old photo albums and memorabilia from my life.  I don’t keep everything, but if it can be refinished or recycled to a new use, that is satisfying to me.  I have some furniture that has a history to go with it:  a wedding gift, an old clock I played with as a child, a handmade toolbox, chairs I sat in as a toddler.  These are not museum pieces, but when they are used, I think about their origin, and feel a connection to my past..

Family is permanent. Whether you spend holidays or just a visit a year with your family, the memories are permanently yours.  Even last minute gatherings with my kids or grandkids make me want to take a photo or two; it freezes that moment in time.  I love that.   Hopefully they also want to remember our times together, and some mementos can help.

The last few years for Christmas, I have framed copies of a favorite old photo to give to each of my kids.   So far they have received a wedding portrait of their beloved grandparents, a picture of my grandparents, whom they never met, and a couple of old favorite family pictures.   I think I started a tradition!  Another fun thing: framed old grade school drawings to pass back to the original artist as an unexpected gift.  This is only possible because I am a saver.

Drawings or little objects made by children are more valuable to me than any collectable I could buy.   I hope that my children appreciate a few of my treasures and want to pass them on through the family; perhaps with some silly little story.

You can’t keep an ice carving; it will melt away.  And I bet  the grandparents of the sand artists wish they could get a permanent hand made piece of art that will not wash into the waves.

For some reason, I hope they do.

Lillian Sanderson is a midwestern mother of 5 grown children and grandmother of 10.



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