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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Memories and French Books

Simone, at Fleaning France has just opened a shop with gorgeous things she finds in the brocantes in France.  You can visit her here:  I recently purchased a set of (3) Antique French books with well worn navy covers on them that I j'adore. They are exactly like I thought they would be and anyone who knows me knows how much I love books.

Lovely French Antique Books
Do you ever wonder about the people and history behind the items you collect?  I do. You've heard "one man's junk is another man's treasure" and I for one believe that to be true. As I look at these books I wonder why they decided to part with them?  Certainly they had some sentimental meaning at one time. I'll never know the real reason but I do have an appreciation for the meaning they must have held for the people who had them.

Maybe it's an age thing but as I have gotten older I have noticed that our children sometimes don't have the same appreciation or understanding for the reasons we "hang on to things."  I realize that it doesn't have the same meaning to them as it would to us.  After all, it's our memory not theirs. Which brings me to the realization the importance of giving our children the history behind the things we cherish the most.   Most children will look upon our things and won't feel the tug in their hearts that we did and will think, "I wonder why mom kept this old thing" and without further examination or thought quickly dispose of the item never thinking about why we  valued it.  It is different now from when I was growing up when even the smallest item had a story and a value behind it making it important to our parents and grandparents.  Too quickly, our children are rushed by time constraints and just want to go through everything as quickly as possible to be done with it.

When my mother passed away, we found a bag full of cards that my siblings and I had sent her over the years. We couldn't believe that she kept them.  I know it really wasn't the cards that mattered to her but the sentiment in the cards and our own personal notes that we added to them.  I'd like to think that these words brought a smile to her face and that she knew that everything she gave up for us, all the love she had for us, was reflected in the cards we sent her.

The same thing is true of my grandmother, who had a cedar chest that was given to her by my grandfather that she gave to me.   In there was a host of items that she had kept over the years, some belonging to my father i.e. report cards, army cap, money belt, books, pictures we had made for her, letters, and mementos of our wedding showers, graduations etc.  She marked everything and before she died she gave each of us the things that she had kept for us over the years. I can't tell you how much that meant to me because when you're young you never think about holding on to that graduation program, or shower napkin, a memento of your accomplishments your to busy moving on to bigger and better things.  That my grandmother like my mom would take the time to do this was a true test of her love for us.  I did the same thing she did, I placed things that I thought were important keepsakes for my children and grandkids.  Each with a special folder that houses their drawings, the tiny shoes they wore, pictures, awards and baby items that I hope one day they too will cherish.  (Grandma trained me well) HA

I've tried to impress upon my children and grandkids the memories that are attached to the things I hold dear.  I don't know if when the time comes they will even remember what I have shared with them but I do hope that my memories of the things that are dear to my heart will give them pause and that they will take a trip down memory lane reflecting on what I shared with them.

Do you think your children will remember what was important to you?


  1. I would like to think so Kris, but they live such busy lives these days and had so many more material things than we ever had when we were young. I think it comes with age, suddenly you relish memories and the things that spark them off.

  2. I scrapbooked for many years so I hope they will at least get a clue by that..! :-D Then it´s all the photos of course; will most likely be a hint to.

    I love old notebooks, books, letters and so on. :-)

  3. I bet your's are a very loving and caring woman...who speaks to the important things in can they forget that? XO, Mona

  4. Amazing...I love to buy old books too & sometimes I find pieces of paper in them from long ago that someone has written and left in there or notes written on the pages, thoughts and that kind of thing. Your not only getting the world of the book, but also the person's world that left it behind :)) xx

  5. Oh Kris,
    Your Grandmother's cedar chest reminds me of a post that I am going to do on my anniversary in August. I also have a small box that contains my wedding stuff. I love the idea that you have a chest that holds everything you love and cherish. Yes, I think my kids will remember the things that were special to me, but only we truly know the importance of them. I think I want to get a chest to keep all my beloved things in now. What a great idea.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  6. What a great post! I love the books, and what a precious story about your grandmother's cedar chest. I keep trying to impress upon my 2 children the importance of those things we cherish. I was really surprised that my son had a few things he had to have that belonged to my grandmother. He wanted her artificial bonsai tree.

    I love your idea to use a chest! HUGS

  7. Those are beautiful books Kris! I love old books and have quite a good collection now and, like you, I always wonder who first owned the book when it was brand new and the pages were all crisp and un-read.

    I do believe my boys will have an appreciation for old things that were important to me. They helped me hunt down my childhood books in a garage full of boxes and didn't give up until they found them!!!

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend and I will not be eating alligator bites again anytime soon LOL.

  8. This is a very touching post dear Kris. I collect memories one way or another and I am quite open about the stories behind the things I like, so I believe soemthing will be there for my kids to remember when they are grown ups...

    Good to be here again : )

  9. Bonjour Kris,

    I am sure your children will remember the things you cherished. Everybody does it because when we are getting old we cherish memory of our past and you, or me and the things we loved or collected will be, now or later, a part of our children's past.This is a link between us.
    One of your old books is a french/english grammar. Now there is a lot to think about that book, about the boy or the girl who held it, who learned from it :o)

    This is an interesting post. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your comment. To answer your question, lately the weather has been fine but I was not able to paint in the garden for I have some other duties...

    I wish you a lovely week.

  10. Hi, sweet friend! Just dropping by to let you know that I have the Liebster Award waiting for you!! HUGS

  11. Hey Kris - hope you had a fab weekend. I adore flea market stuff, and I especially adore thinking about where and who had the stuff before. I know what is important to my mum and nan, so I think my girls will be the same. Have a fab day A

  12. agree with all you said, Kris
    me too I loooove books ... we have a ongoing discussion here at home between my kindle loving husband and me the tangible book lover ...
    especially when we are traveling, his situation is much more practical

  13. What a treasure you found in these books! I do not know why I don't look for used/antique books more when I travel. I love the history of a "loved book" and wonder about its first owner.

    I hope my girls will remember...


  14. Love your books and the sentiment that goes with them.
    My father has a chest that contains every letter my mother sent to him when he was in the Air Force, all the birthday, valentine and anniversary cards, along with numerous other momentoes and love tokens. He is the most romantic man you could ever imagine! I save special cards and have books filled with special, tickets, tokens and notes. M x


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