This week’s blog prompt for Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
is “Challenge.” My theme this year is “Our Stuff.” As I explained last week, I have a lot of stuff. This week I’m giving you a little peek into the “abyss.”
In the pictures below you see my genealogy/bedroom space. It actually looks pretty good right? Now stop for a second and think about this: only about 25% of what you see has actually been cataloged, indexed, or recorded for posterity.
|Reference books and two dead-ish laptops
are good company for Topo Gigio.
|All the black boxes are full of documents
that need to be translated from German,
Dutch, or Polish,
The black drawers on the little table to the right contain pictures of me and my siblings as well as unsorted vintage photos of my grandmother’s generation.
And this is where the MAGIC happens! The photo above is the shelf to the left of my desk. I have met one organizing challenge – EVERYTHING on that shelf (except for all the photos of our family 1979-2010) has been scanned and indexed.* The large boxes on top hold some of the family items you will become familiar with this year.
Not only do I possess my own stash of crafts, books, and of course, dollhouse miniatures, I also have most of our daughters’ childhood items. Unlike my friend, Stacy who threw out her kids’ Happy Meal toys as soon as they went to bed, (mean mother!) I still have most of ours. The Spice Girl dolls…. the Barbie stuff… and more books. So, that accounts for close to 34 years of “stuff.” (Thank goodness we had a fire in 1997 or it would be even worse!) I was going to post more photographs of where all this is stored but I don’t want to encourage thieves!! (Although that might be a blessing in disguise, I don’t want mean people owning our stuff.)
|There is one very special item visible in this
stash. If you can identify it, it’s yours!
But, if you take it, it’s at your own risk!!
My mother, Doris Lichtenthal Falcone passed away on December 2, 2011. She was the “original” curator of our family museum. Clearing out her home was a daunting task. Mom’s house was a 1950s ranch with an attic that ran the full length of the house and it was chock-full of stuff. Her stuff, the stuff of her five children, her aunt and uncle’s stuff and her mom’s stuff. It took weeks to clear out the attic, the full basement, and the 1400 sq. feet of living area. My siblings and I sorted, sold, and then finally, saved. There were things that were clearly valuable, monetarily or sentimentally. And then… there was the other “stuff.” Not knowing the provenance or the use of certain objects, but fearing they might be “important,” I boxed them up and brought them home. And there they sit.
So – it begins – the documenting of “Our Stuff.” Telling the stories is important, but I also hope that through this process I can find homes for some of our orphaned items. I know my husband would be happy to have a little more clear space!!!
* I learned a ton about sorting, downsizing and indexing by reading Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past, a book by Marian Burk Wood. Available in print and Kindle on Amazon.com