I am proud to say that I come from a long line of crafters and re-users. The perfect example is this console that my Great Grandfather Harry Blidberg made sometime around 1930. I don't know what it looked like then, I don't remember what it looked like before my brother and his best friend (who I would later marry) painted it black and white when it belonged to my parents; but I do remember when my Mom and I got a hold of it and removed some drawers and painted it white. My Dad then, a few years after that, put some flooring over the top of it because it was falling apart or was hard to clean (I don't remember). It now resides on our porch and has held fishing gear, Stompers toys, and now the barn cats food.
My Grammie Winnie, every year, would crochet all of her grandkids mittens. The other day we were getting Stomper dressed to go out in the snow and my Mom pulled out a pair or crocheted mittens. "Arn't those Ben's?" I asked. Somehow "Grammie Mittens" had survived a toddler and probably daycare kiddos, to make it all the way to her Great Grandson's hands even though she's never met him.
When I was two my parents made me some blocks from some wood I'm assuming they had kicking around. They were painted in vibrant colors of orange, green, black, brown, blue, yellow, and red in shapes of triangles, squares, arches, semi-circles. After I used them Ben and his best buddy (my future hubby) played with them, then my sister, and finally the daycare kiddos. This year I passed them on to Stomper, who doesn't quite know what to do with them, but enjoys them all the same.
This year my Dad took the desk he had made for my brother when he was little and turned it into a tool bench for Stomper (pictured above). It is so awesome to know that this bench has history. When Stomper out grows it we'll pass it back to my Dad for him to recreate something for my siblings kids (assuming either of them marry and have kids some day) or maybe for a future sibling of Stomper's.
I love having these re-used and passed around objects in my home. It's like a little part of the family is with us at all times. I see Stomper's tool bench and I think of my parents, I see Stomper's mittens and I think of my brother and my Grammie who made them, as I pass by the old console on the porch I am reminded that even though people pass on the memories remain.
I am looking forward to when I refurbish and revive my advent calendar in a few weeks for Stomper. Stomper can show his children his advent (assuming it survives) and tell them, "This was my mothers, now it is yours. It was made by a Great Great Grandmother and Great Great Aunts that you have never known but loved you just the same."
Take a moment to stop by my advent contest blog post to send me your ideas on how to help my advent. I really do need some insight, advice, and a bit of encouragement as I tackle this task.