We’re cleaning house at my mother’s. Since Dad died, she likes to keep busy and, oh, the treasures we’re finding.
A plastic spout for pouring syrup -- no jar for it to go on, but the spout itself. She washed it up and put it in the cupboard.
An old wooden bucket that doesn’t say Shaker, but might be. We left that in the attic for safe keeping.
Lots of fabric. Lots of old clothes, mostly minus the buttons -- the buttons are saved separately. And books. Old old books.
The one I’m fascinated with at the moment is called "A Year of Ideals for Every Day Living" by Delia Lyman Porter published in 1909. It’s clearly a loved and much used book originally owned by Carrie L. Padelford, Dec. 25, 1909, according to the inscription. A photograph sewn to the first page shows two serious older women in long coats and sensible shoes. The photo is inscribed “With love to a dear old friend, Gertrude F. Dean, Mary S. Dean.” I’m guessing it’s Gertrude and Mary in the photo.
Tucked into the pages, pasted and stapled here and there are poems, comics, obituary notices, handwritten lists of names, a prescription, a letter, and a story torn from a magazine called “The Magic Mouse.”
It’s a treasure.
The text is organized by date. Every day has an uplifting saying or two or three. It’s old-age new-age. And boy do those chestnuts still apply. I opened to today’s date and there it is:
“Blessed are They Who do not Find Fault”
A spirit of faultfinding; an unsatisfied temper; a constant irritability; a brow cloudy and dissatisfied -- will more than neutralize all the good you can do, and render life anything but a blessing.
-- Albert Barnes
Sounds so much better than, “Don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s all small stuff.” And just as true.