Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Maybe NOT SO Cherished Belongings

Researching my family history has been a love of mine since I was a young girl. I always want to know more about my ancestors, not just when they were born or died, so I'm constantly looking in books and on the internet to find information or things about my family. I found this little treasure a few years ago on Ebay that was written by my gr-gr-aunt Josephine Hancock Logan.

Though most of the poems are very dark and depressing in this book, I found one that has stuck with me and reminds me to do a little housekeeping of my "stuff" once in a while....which is what my hubby and I have been busy doing all month. We've been emptying a storage unit we filled to the brim when we moved and now that we've lived six months without it we realize that most of it must go.

We've had a few set backs and slowdowns (injured back and a nasty case of the flu) plus I HAD to sew of course, but it's emptied and now we're ready for a garage sales, donations boxes, and even some bits and pieces to the garbage can. Whew! So much work!

Anyway, I'm sharing the poem I keep tucked in the back of mind, though long and rather dated it is a wake-up call to what we think we must keep stored FOREVER.

by Josephine Hancock Logan, 1932

Taken from boxes that held belongings long-cherished
I fondled today some sweetly smelling webs,
Exquisite fashionings by deft fingers
That handling fairy threads
Wove pictures in mesh.
There were nestling fur coats--
Cuddly muffs--
Embroideried elegance in chiffon and spangled net;
Great hats plumed as knights were panoplied;
Dainty painted fans and feathered ones;
Hair ornaments, beaded bands,
Imposing combs, shaped for tresses not bobbed.
Tulle of all colors
For framing faces
That needed no framing for enhancing beauty.
All these treasures tissued and fragrant,
Meticulously kept for the young king to gaze upon spellbound--
These with some rare old furniture I thought to distribute--
Supposedly longing eagerly for their inheritance.

Alas! for my footless cherishing--
For, today, a newly-wed in my family
When offered a choice bedroom set--
That had held an honored place in our home--
Calmly, but firmly, said:
"So dear of you mother, but you and I have different ideas, you know, 
and though that set was marvelous for you and Dad you won't mind if we let you keep it."

It was a revelation--
At that instant I caught demarking line
'Twixt old and young,
The passing of an age with its furbishings
Recognizing the privilege of
The modern one desiring self-expression in its tastes and acquisitions--
And the significance I sensed that my boxes did not hold
Precious, enviable goods,
Just stuff that had outlived its appeal.
So I mounted a ladder--
Asking no aid--
And one by one
I pulled down the rest of the hoarded treasures--
My archaic trappings,
Tumbling them to the floor--
Then I called
The rummage number.

Thanks for stopping by to visit today and get a little dose of vintage poetic reading. 

Enjoy your day and maybe you can find some time to search through some 
of those "cherished belongings" you've been holding on to!


  1. Oh my God, what a great poem and so so real!I envy you for doing all this decluttering! I wish I had the time to do it too!And I wish we had garage sales and thrift stores and things like that here. But no!Here in Greece when you don't want something you simply have to throw it away as junk.What a pity!AriadnefromGreece!

  2. How fun to find something your family did.

  3. Great poem! I know that much of my stuff is plain ol' junk but if it gives me joy, I'll hang on to it for now. I do need to do major sorting in the attic and garage, both full of things that haven't been touched in years. I'll bet you feel really good to clear out the clutter.... I must do the same!

  4. Just a great poem full of truths. We are currently going through our things as well as my parents things. 2 or 3 of any one item is more than enough, don't you think?! LOl...out is goes!

  5. I enjoyed reading your great aunt's poem. She is SO right. I've saved "things" for my children only to hear them say how wonderful it is but "just keep it for me here, Mom." I don't want to keep saving this "stuff" they don't want so I love the idea of giving it all away so that's what I've been doing. These precious treasures are precious only to us, haha. Thanks for sharing the poem.

  6. So on the mark. Love it. We will be retiring early next year and relocating. We have started to find our treasures and have started to declutter. I have a niece who is willing to take any and everything, not for herself but to sell. The boxes that we find that haven't been opened since we moved in 27 years ago are the really scary ones.

  7. This so touched home to me. When we were home in December my youngest made a comment to me while we were talking one day. SI know she did not mean it hurtfully but it stung a little and made me realize the same that your aunt's poem is relating. My daughter told me that she did not want all of my stuff when I die. Point blank..a little brass I thought but point well taken.

    I am a sentimental fool but not everyone is... but even us sentimental fools run out of room for things eventually. lol

  8. Fun to hear that voice from the past echoing what we feel today...I have plans to attack my sewing room this weekend...verdict is a bit in the air on who will win.

  9. We dejunk twice a year and everything goes to "the sale" which is next door to a big local rummage sale. What is funny a lot of our "junk" goes to neighboring farms and families who buy it. Lovely find, my mother does genealogy too, and has traveled all over the US and the Maritime provinces in Canada following family trails.

  10. You posted that poem at just the perfect time for me -- I'm overflowing a house that's way too big for me in the first place, and I desperately need to depart with unknown treasures.

  11. Unfortunately one of my three children is more sentimental than me and won't let me throw anything away before asking her! Her poor husband.... blessings, marlene

  12. This was your great nice to find something that speaks volumes from the past

  13. Oh, that hurt a little. Wish I could have been with her when she did that sad task.

    I want to totally dejunk my life & my kids. I'm trying to remember, they have to dejunk when they're ready.

    How neat that you found the book.

  14. Oh how true I often say to my husband we need to get rid of some of these things case the kids won't want them. I loved the poem so great.
    What is it this winter with all the quilters and bad backs. I have had sciatic for two months and tried everything including acupuncture. Hope you are doing better.
    Blessings Sandra.

  15. How very timely to visit you and find this post and poem. I am definitely a Border Hoarder and cherish all that is old and sentimental. The young do not. There are very few things of mine that my girls want. This is my year to "use the good stuff". I hate the thought of "saving" it for the dumpster which is where it will end up I fear. Thank you for this wonderful reminder dear. Stay well and no more injuries I pray.

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  17. Your aunt looks like she was a very colorful, wise lady with cool hats ! Do you think you would have worn hats back then ?

  18. What a great photo and book to have! It seems dejunking is not a new concept at all! It's definitely something I need to do before we downsize but it does cut into my sewing time.


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