Basement Treasures

Thursday, June 6, 2013

You know how it is when you hear a certain song of long ago and it brings back memories of a person, time or place?

That's how it was when I was searching for some things in my basement recently. I kept uncovering items that triggered my memory.

Such as a now tattered quilt given to me and my husband by my mother-in-law for a wedding gift. The quilt was lovingly handstitched. Each block of the quilt featured a butterfly in different colors. The quilt kept us warm on many cold wintry nights. Then, after years and years of use, it was stored away. It was worn, faded, but I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. So it lanquished in the basement in a cardboard box. The quilt brought back sweet memories of a wonderful caring women who loved her children more than life itself. There was nothing, no sacrifice too great, she wouldn't do for her children. Indeed, she did sacrifice for her children, especially for a disabled son who depended on her all his life.

The quilt brought back remembrances of the family gathered around her kitchen table, enjoying her homecooked Sunday dinners. She loved the engathering of her children and their families. She swooped them under her wing like a hen gathering her chicks. She sewed for them, crocheted and knitted. She even made Barbie doll clothes for my daughter's Barbie.

Also, while searching in my basement I happened upon some metal hamburger presses. They are used to cook individual hamburgers over a campfire or in a fireplace. Maybe you've seen them, although they aren't common..They have long handles and at the end of the handles there are two flat square pieces that close together to hold a single hamburger patty. The uncooked patty is placed in one of the square holders and the other closes to become the lid. The meat is then held over the fire to cook.

Anyway, those hamburger cookers reminded me of friends of long ago. They were the landlords who befriended my military family when we were living in Indiana far away from family and friends. We were often invited to their home to cook hamburgers in their fireplace. The landlady would usually have a chocolate cake for dessert. It was at their home I first saw and used the unusual hamburger cookers. My husband and I vowed to find our own sets. We finally did and those are the ones I found in my basement recently. We often used them when we went camping with friends.

The cookers have not been used in over 20 years, but they brought back fond memories of kind landlords in Indiana.

Stored in the basement was also an old dresser and a matching chest of drawers. They are part of the original bedroom suite that my husband and I purchased after we were married. I long ago gave the bookcase bed to a mission. However, this year I took the dresser and chest of drawers and refinished them, painting them a glossy white. They are now a part of my furnishings, a reminder of the days of my youth.

The chest of drawers actually went through a flood when the Wabash River in Indiana overflowed and filled up a creek behind our cottage in the country. Water seeped into the house and some of the furniture sat in two to three inches of water for a couple of days.. We were able to elevate most of the furnishings before the flood came, but there was slight damage to the chest of drawers.

Also in the basement I found an old lunch bucket. It's an unusual lunch bucket that my husband brought back from Thailand years ago. It consists of four matching round bowls that are stacked in a special holder with a carrying handle. Each metal bowl is about the size of a cup. The lunch bucket reminded me of the days when my husband was away in Thailand on military duty. We never did find a use for the lunch bucket so eventually it got stored along with other treasures

Maybe someday I'll find the misplaced George Wallace license plate. I guess it's buried along with his views.

It really is amazing the treasures one can find in a basement, and the memories they uncover; forgotten memories of another time.