A Seth Thomas wall clock has been handed down in my mother’s family for generations.
My father had kept this clock as a mantle ornament, and after waiting more than six months since his death for the clock shop to put it in working order, I have happily and delightedly brought the antique home.
The documentation we have for this clock dates it to the 1830s, based on visual characteristics of the case and mechanism, and some paperwork from the Seth Thomas company.
I carefully dusted this clock when I was a child, and as a teenager I was finally allowed it to wind it and keep it running. Now holding pride of place in my dining room, she will be mounted later this summer on the wall as an even more prominent focal point in my home.
As I leave Lee’s Summit today, some closure is evident.
My sisters and I sorted through family items last evening, after 2+ days of sorting/packing/tossing/donating/loading into our own cars.
I am returning home to Saint Louis with scores of letters I wrote my parents, as well as letters and cards to me from my grandparents (all collected and saved when I was a child). Birgit the Volvo is loaded the manual Royal typewriter on which my father typed letters in the 1960s, and on which I typed my high school term papers; some ties and cufflinks; two bedside tables purchased by my parents in Argentina; three small lamps; and all sort of other memorabilia.
Some more furniture awaits another trip.
I also have the first quilt my mother ever completed herself, which will be swell on the bed in my guest room.
Over the last three days we have touched and remembered items from the china cabinet, from the walls of the homes in Hannibal and Lee’s Summit, from our parents’ dressers and clothes closets, and from the kitchen and library. Beth is satisfying her ‘sorting’ heart to no end. And we’ve all shaken our heads more times that we can count, and simply muttered “why?”.
I kept saying “I remember dusting that as a kid”!
Pop kept things in boxes, literally and figuratively. He and Mom both were packrats and nesters, each in their own right. When Mom died, Pop packed up her life and kept it in boxes, never again to be opened until now. (On Thursday, I discovered his love letters to her from their college days!) Between the boxes packed and left in Lee’s Summit in 1986, and what he brought home from Buenos Aires in 1999, we had a trove of family memories to sort.
Over the next year, I’ll be trotting out all sort of things to frame my days on earth so far. I’m going home with their missionary ID cards; contracts from Lee’s Summit Public Schools; photos galore; and SO many letters that help explain me.
Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery is lovely in mid-May, with peonies blooming everywhere.
And my father’s stone (2017) is now joined on a plinth with my mother’s (1998):