My dad is having a bit of a clean-up campaign. With his 90th birthday in the rear view mirror, he's been taking inventory of things in his house that he doesn't use on a regular basis and passing them on to a new home. I could stand a little of that myself.
There are plenty of positives to his efforts to simplify. Obviously, it means he has less to dust, vacuum around and take up space in cabinets and drawers. My brother and niece visited Dad recently and left with my grandmother's dining table, a rocking chair, a set of golf clubs and some saws that had belonged to my grandfather as well as various and sundry other items. They had Jerry's pickup truck packed full for the return trip and Dad said the house felt bigger and lighter with all those items headed to Illinois. Ironically, it's where much of it came from to begin with.
Another plus is that Dad has control over where these "treasures" are going and that is clearly delighting him. It delighted me too when he called to ask if I wanted two cake plates and a few other pieces of glassware, most of which had belonged to my grandmother. I couldn't say "Yes!" quick enough.
When I unpacked my box of treasures, I found these beauties among the styrofoam peanuts. A bright sunny day would have made their beauty show up a bit better than the odd tones in this photograph but you get the idea.
The cake plates and salt cellars are clearly old but don't have any manufacturer information on them. The rectangular salt cellars have a picket fence pattern going all the way around them and I thought that might be unique enough I could find something online. And I did...in fact, not only did I find them, I also stumbled upon a picture of the taller of the two cake plates. Both the picket fence salt cellars and the cake plate are Early American pressed glass and were made in the 1880's.
I shared this information with Dad when I called to let him know the package had arrived safely and to thank him. He was surprised they were that old as he remembers my grandmother using that cake plate on a regular basis. It was fun listening to him describe the cabinet it sat on in the farm they lived in when he was a boy. It was where Grandma kept her treasured pieces and Dad said the cake plate regularly held a homemade angel food cake. He laughed when he said he wasn't allowed to run through the house when the cake was baking but knowing that he's still full of impish behavior, I'm guessing my grandmother had her hands full trying to keep him from doing it. When they moved to town, she stopped making angel food cakes as she didn't have an oversupply of eggs any more.
This is just about the only photo I have of Grandma with Dad when he was a boy. He was probably old enough in this picture not to run through the house. :-)
I love that these things that were special to people in my family now belong to me. An even better treasure is that I have some stories to go with them. Now I just need to figure out where they're going to live in my house. My clean-up campaign is apparently coming sooner than I expected.