Moving on in life can mean passing on life’s tchotchkes and their stories. When my mother transcended to the heavens, my father allowed us to select from her treasures. I was attracted to one item because of the inscription on the box. It simply read “the family connection”. Inside was a gemstone ring that did not appear to be an antique heirloom or of substantial value. I chose it merely because of the box label. Sadly, my mother never shared the backstory to what must be an important part of our family history.
My husband retired a couple of weeks ago and we are preparing for the proverbial next chapter of our lives. We plan to move to smaller quarters and need to condense. Admittedly, the first step will be determining whether my life’s tchotchkes are clutter or treasures.
What are Tchotchkes?
For those who are unfamiliar with the term tchotchke, it is a Yiddish word used to describe knickknacks or trinkets. It might be something as precious as a collectible item. Likewise, it could be a treasure from the local dollar store. Many of mine are displayed in my dining room breakfront. I would suspect I am the only one who knows the significance of every item. There is a story behind many of the pieces. To me, they are invaluable.
Capturing the Stories
Many will visit an attorney to ensure their estate is divided according to their wishes. Some will take the time to list items of financial value, such as jewelry and furs. Tchotchkes are not necessarily expensive items. Life’s tchotchkes and their stories go together. Here are some of mine:
• Incomplete set of china: Every year, my parents gave my former husband and me a place setting for our anniversary. The marriage failed before completion. Ironically, the china pattern was also discontinued by the manufacturer.
• Dragonfly Candleholders: Admittedly, I have an incredibly off-key voice. When my children were small, their lullaby was Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game”. The lyrics reference a dragonfly and became our family “mascot”. When I remarried, my new sister in law gave us a set of Lenox dragonfly candleholders. Synergy, at its best.
• Sister Bonds: Before she died, my late sister gave me a beautiful stained glass clock. It no longer tells time, but reminds me of her. My youngest sister presented me with a gorgeous porcelain angel. It reminds me of the celestial beings we share together.
• Mother and Daughter Figurine: When my oldest daughter presented me with a bridal figure, I felt tears in my eyes. What a solid reflection of her wedding day.
• English Tea Set: Gifts from other lands are indeed a treasure. My baby’s gift of a miniature tea set from her European trip left me quite touched.
Do you have a Story?