Friday, October 4, 2013


It's every homemaker's delimma... To use family heirlooms or not to use them. If you don't use them they will look beautiful for generations to come but they will never be the symbol of family dinners, tea parties, Grandma's noodles, or Sunday breakfasts. If you do use them, you are reminded of generations past every time you hold that tea cup or mixing bowl in your hands. Heirlooms to be passed down that actually have meaning and memories surrounding their presence. Also if you use them, this can happen:

Just one distracted slip of the hand and my favorite heirloom mixing bowl broken to pieces on the floor. I cried out as I watched it fall, in seemingly slow motion and once the damage was done I took a minute with my face in my hands to process what had happened. Then, I picked up the pieces and moved on. What else was there to do?  Ayden was watching the whole thing so it was also a chance to model a way to handle such a situation. I looked at his worried face and told him it was okay. I told him it was my favorite bowl and that I was sad it was broken. First, I threw it straight into the trash because what good is a broken bowl, heirloom or not.  Then I dug it out with thoughts of perhaps gluing I back together so I could maybe repurpose it into a planter like its cousin.

Who knows if I will ever get around to glueing it, or if I'll be able to find glue strong enough. It may end up in the trash anyway but there is no reason to make hasty, permanent decisions. 

I am not usually one to get very attached to "stuff" but I do see the value of heirlooms. I also believe that actually using items is what makes the most special heirlooms to pass down. You may take the chance of breaking them but at least they have a purpose in your life and will be a way to pass that love down for generations to come. If you happen to break one here or there, show yourself some grace. If there is one lesson that I have learned from generations past it is that life does, and should, happen. No sense in living in a bubble and letting beautiful things quickly move from useful, reminiscent items to clutter that just weighs down your life. "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." 


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Nine Lives"

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  1. I also would put heirlooms to use, or else they're not as important cause they don't mean anything to the family. My parents do have a few things that have belonged to family but they don't use them much. The funny thing about objects these days is we tend to buy cheap, plastic utilitarian objects that no will want in 50 years. If I bought a beautiful silver bowl from Tifffany, of course I'd want my family to keep it forever but I don't think I own anything that will l pass down, besides jewelry. If one day I do have beautiful, durable objects, I hope my family uses them and enjoys them. I hope you find a use for the broken bowl!

  2. I know that some heirlooms can be expensive to replace (and the sentimental value may be impossible to replace), but it might be worth looking on eBay or similar sites.

    My mother broke a glass fruit bowl of her mother's and was devastated. On a lark, I checked eBay, and I found a myriad of them, all priced around $15! I gifted a "replacement" to my mother and -- while I know it will never replace the original -- I think it has given her great solace to be able to use the dish again as she used to do. Frankly, I think she enjoys it more now as she doesn't worry about breaking it and knows she could get another if necessary!