A few years ago, we had one of Sr. Smith's (aka Batman's) co-workers & his family over for dinner. Pablo (the friend) gave me a compliment that I just loved the wording of, "You have lots of cool old stuff in your house!" And I appreciated it because I do truly love old stuff - especially if it once belonged to someone I love, or if it connects us to a family member that we never knew but know we would have loved had we had the chance. Like my engagement ring, for instance. It belonged to Sr. Smith's maternal grandmother. I never knew her, but wearing her ring makes me feel like I belong in her family. And this wash stand in the picture above was Pig's. She gave it to me in high school, and it was painted green then. Sr. Smith refinished it for me during our engagement (it gave him something to do - haha!), and now it is in the entry of our home topped with a doilie passed down from my great aunt Nora, an assortment of nature items, a couple of vases, and a new guest book that we recently started keeping (thanks for that idea, Javamom!). But old things also remind me not to be too connected to my "stuff". They remind me how quickly life on earth passes, and how this world will eventually pass away...
Now on to some of my old things...
I have to comment on these nature items... the pressed flowers sitting on this plate are 14 years old. Last week I dug out my old leaf/flower press that I made in graduate school the summer I got married. I was taking a Science in the Elementary School class, and our class made presses & then went out on a nature walk to collect items to press. Jirafa is taking Botany this year, so I pulled out the press for him. When we opened it, I couldn't believe my eyes - it was full of flowers! I picked a few for our nature display, and let him have the rest for his Botany book cover. Very cool.
The final picture here is a little basket of wildlife nests we've found along the way. A wasp nest from Brambleside last summer, a dirt dobber nest from our neighbor, and the last 2 sparrow nests from my hanging plants on the back porch. The other day Paco & I did our outdoor "Autumn cleaning" which included retrieving the last nest. The birds had found some great soft lining this year! I carefully removed it from the plant, and Paco (ever the observant) said, "Look! There's something down there" pointing down in the leaves. Well, sure enough, 3 little eggs had been kicked out of the nest and were sitting whole down below where the nest had been. So we have included them in our display as well.
You take every living thing
And You breathe Your breath of life into it over and over again
You made the sunrise, day after day after day
But there's a morning coming, when old things will all pass away
And everyone will see You make all things new"
- from "All Things New" by Stephen Curtis Chapman
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17