Saturday, July 14, 2012


People are often amazed at the amount of family stuff we have.  Well, I come from a long line of savers, and being the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family; I inherited a lot of stuff.  Some of it was wonderful like great dishes and furniture; but a lot of it we are still wondering what on earth we are supposed to do with it!!!  Among the questionable items are 17 World War II ammunition boxes full of papers from the paternal side of my family; and that are now stored in our shed.
 That's right - 17 of these huge things.  They are about 12" wide, 18" tall, and 40" deep, and they are full of cancelled checks; receipts; birth, confirmation, and death certificates; bill of sales; and lists of this and that dating from the 1880s up through the 1960s.  If you need to know how much it cost to ship a load of sheep on the railroad in 1927, I probably can find a piece of paper that tells you.
 As an example of what we are up against, we recently found this envelope with this note in my great-grandmother's handwriting.  We laughed at how ridiculous this was.  Not only was she NOT going to get rid of these useless papers; BUT my family has kept them since her death in 1951.
 By the time this had filtered down to me, all that was in the envelope was this 1937 receipt.
Now, pray tell, what am I suppose to do?  Do I destroy something that has been kept all of these years?  Of course, we'll keep the birth, etc. certificates -- some of them have lovely graphics and are important family history.
But, some of this stuff is meaningless -- just old.
I've about come to the conclusion just to keep it out in the shed in the waterproof World War II ammunition boxes; and leave it to my kid's discretion after I'm gone.  Sounds like a solution to me -- after all that's what my ancestors did.


Marilyn said...

We know "Doc" would love to have those boxes to go through! About as much as Sarah wants my "treasures"! I was really going to try and work on the basement and garage this summer, but my excuse is the heat. It just does me in!

I think you should save a few receipts, checks, etc., too. Make a collage with them. I wish I had saved a few of my grandpa's, but the basement at my mom and dad's flooded once too often and my mom just threw stuff out. That flooding sure cleans stuff out in a hurry! I've been lucky that my basement floods have been with clean water from broken pipes. Otherwise I don't know how people can deal with a mess like mud, etc.♥♫

Anonymous said...

Sally so many people would love to have those old yellowed pages to do some lovely creating with. Have you thought about doing some kind of creative college with some of the more special ones (like that funny envelope!)

bee blessed

Shelia said...

LOL! sounds like a logical thing to do Sally. :) But it is amazing to have all of this history and I'm sure it was fun going through all of it!
Thanks for popping in to see my Glitter houses.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Jann Olson said...

Sally, It's hard to know what to do with stuff like that. Sometimes we just save it because it's old and has a bit of humor. I don't think I would have the heart to destroy it. I would maybe take out the important items and store them seperately. It's kind of fun to have just bits of vintage tidbit.
p.s. loved what your grandmother wrote.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

As I've just recently come to that part of my life, where I've been called upon to be the keeper of Another's things 'unnecessary'...

I can SO appreciate this post!

Best wishes to you and to your children.
Otherwise, you can start an Etsy Shop and send each slip, receipt, telegram and recipe off to a better CRAFTIER PLACE!
I hear tell...people will pay good money for this junk!

...I'm just saying, ~Pat