Monday, December 28, 2015

Putting Away Christmas

I was late getting Christmas up this year, even though I started early November. We had a lot of old Christmas decor stored in our attic over the garage that we were determined to downsize this year. Not going back up matter what.
More lights, less stuff this year. I didn't even put up the Christmas tree. Instead we decorated the top of the cabinets, especially in the kitchen. 
The 12 foot ceilings come in handy for displaying tall objects. I like to keep big baskets up there for storing seldom used items and that's probably where part of the Christmas stuff will go when it finally gets taken down.

Long ago my grandparents left Gresham Nebraska, during the depression, for a better life in Northern California. A relative let them store some oak furniture in his barn since they planned to return for it after they got settled. 

Over 40 years later, around 1976, the Nebraska barn was being torn down and a relative notified my father that it was now or Dad drove to Nebraska and picked up some of the old family pieces.
I like to recreate that barn scene up above this side of the kitchen with the old wood framed mirror, pumpkins and chickens mixed together. That's how I imagine that furniture must have looked in that old barn after all those years!
My father passed his furniture pieces from the barn to me. He had chosen his grandmother's dresser and mirror from when she was a child. He also brought the family's old dining room table and chairs for his sister Ruth and Aunt Fran got another piece she requested.

This picture is from Thanksgiving morning 1978, when dad visited me in Illinois after having a lung removed. I'd have combed everyone's hair better if I had known I would be publishing it on the internet this many years later. I moved back to California a few months later and he gave me the dresser and mirror a little after that.

My father and his two sisters were the last members of their large family. My father died first in 1994, his sister Fran a few years later, and Aunt Ruth lived until 2013. 

I'm not sure if Ruth's daughters still have the dining room set, but I cherish my great-grandmother's little dresser and mirror. Even after 45 plus years sitting in a barn, and then another 35-plus years with me, the beveled mirror is still perfectly clear. I plan to feature the set early next year in another post about my grandparents, Harry and Sabra.

Thanks for listening to me ramble tonight. I guess the holidays lead us to remember the people who raised us and shared our childhood holidays with us so long ago. I appreciate all of you who take time out of your busy day to stop by, leave comments, and I love when you share your memories too.

Thanks SO MUCH for dropping by!


  1. I understand the rambling thoughts that come with the holidays. :) Your kitchen is always so pretty!

  2. I love those stories, about stuff. I am attached to a small buffet that was my parents when they were married in 1939. It was covered in many layers of paint until I stripped it in 2010. There are many stories in that piece. :)

  3. Rivercrest Cottage,
    This, dear friend, is the reason I blog!!!
    To learn of your life, your stories, and to share mine!!! I loved hearing of your father's furniture being stored in the barn!!!
    During our "Tours of Duty" we had furniture stored with several relatives for 21 years!!!
    I adore the lights and the Christmas decor above your Kitchen cabinets!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Happy new Year!!!

  4. It's so good when pieces can be passed down through the family. I have a few pieces from my Mother-in-law, but very little from my Mother.

  5. Your kitchen looks so beautiful and thank you so much for sharing these memories! Love the photo of you and the kiddos!!

  6. I agree, memory pieces make the best decor.

    I have 4 more boxes- taped up and ready to stack in the garage and then its on to the " winter decor" around here. Not even sure what it'll be but I'll leave the boxwood greenery and twinkly lights on the mantel till spring. I got lucky and somehow managed not to make too much of a mess in the house so except for a little sweeping, I'll wait for the Maid Brigade to arrive on the 7th:) those gals are good and fast.. 2 1/2 hours they have the place sparkling like a model home..
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    onward to 2016 we go....

  7. Every piece from simple living has a story---and lives connected with it. Blogging can permanently preserve those stories/lives. Great post, meaningful and thoughtful, Thanks, Sandi

  8. I love hearing about memories, it's so important to "REMEMBER'. Love that you still have you little dresser, looking forward to seeing it in your post.

  9. I love pieces with history. I am fortunate that when my grandparents left Kansas in 1920, they brought their furniture with them and I have quite a few pieces in my house today.

  10. I am just now seeing this post. We still have Christmas company. Your decorations are beautiful. I loved hearing about the old furniture, and I love the picture. Is that an apron you are wearing? That is such a sweet pictures. The years go by too fast!

  11. I love this post!
    I look forward to reading about your grandparents too.
    I like how you have the lights above the cabinets and hiding decorations in baskets sounds like a good idea although it wouldn't work in my house. A cat would be in them in a second! LOL!
    Happy New Year!

  12. How cute. I love the overalls. My kids lived in those things. What a great memory. I look forward to your post about the dresser.

  13. Your sweet ramblings down memory lane were very poignant...the holidays are filled with family...past and present. Thanks for visiting my blog, Happy New Year. Your newest follower ~ Mickie

  14. Memories are extra special at Christmastime!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!