Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rescuing the Family Jewels

My mother called. She was up to her elbows in the sacred moth balled closet that protects the family heirlooms--hat boxes, satin coverlets, a plethora of cocktail jewelry--Monet, Trifari, Marvella--kid gloves, evening wear, Vera, pearls, and a 1970s, hand tailored, virgin wool men's suit, from Hollywood, with the pimpiest lining a straight man ever wore.

She sounded nearly in tears.

I want it all gone! she cried. She had obviously been attacked by Spring Cleaning Fever, a deadly virus, when one more necklace, lace hat, cocktail dress, unworn stilettos, were going to break down her closet and her nerves. I know this feeling. I have it at least once a week. I pleaded, "Just hold on! I'll drive up today." I dropped everything, grabbed the Vintage Bible, my camera, the dog and headed out.

Luckily, my step-father coaxed my mother away and took her to lunch. A wise maneuver. When all is overwhelming, walk away from it all, is a my favorite motto--at least for coffee, cake, or a shot of Jack Daniels, if necessary.

Upon arrival, "The Albertson Ladies"--present and past, in body and spirit, strewn the closet content onto the carpet, played dress-up, strolled down memory lane and told stories of my great-grandmother, nanny, granny and a gaggle of eccentric aunties who had left this all behind. It was terribly fun. My mother looked much calmer. A weight had been lifted and she--and her closet--could breath once more.

The next day, I took away a car load of goods, all--I promised--to be sold in my shop. (You know I will keep some pieces, but only in the name of "I love it; I want it," and not for "familial obligation." I swear--(repeat this mantra as need be.)
Now, it is all in my little home. And please, don't tell, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed now too. Though, please don't worry! I have a plan--organize, photograph, edit, price, post. It's just going to take some time. There is only one of me.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have so much to do and a fabulous estate sale to attend. It's crazy, I know, but it's all part of my job. ;-)
P.S. If you see anything that makes your heart flutter, please let me know. A fabulous follower like yourself, deserves first dibs. ;-)


  1. What a great story! I am the family "keeper of the archives" and I know one day I will be going through the same thing at my mother's house. It is so great that you got to stroll down memory lane with your family. Uh, this is why I can't part with anything...I'm getting sentimental about YOUR family stuff!

  2. Thank you Moddities, It is hard to part w/heirlooms, that why so much of it gets passed down to us.

    d :-)