Special Things

I think most people have special things in their homes that haven’t cost a lot. Perhaps they are gifts received from others or passed on from another generation. I have a couple in my home which are laden with sentimental value. This big blue travel trunk belonged to my Great Grandmother. The only name I knew of her was Agar. She was my Mom’s Gran and she owned this travel trunk which she passed onto her daughter, my Gran. My grandmother I knew as Mops. She passed the old box onto my Mom. It certainly has traveled. My Mom moved from the UK to Canada where she married my Dad (who had fallen in love with her when she lived next door to him, so he followed her). They married in Toronto and honeymooned at the Niagara Falls. That was in 1956.

My sister, Anne and older brother Arnold were both born in Canada. In about 1960 or early 1961, my Mom and Dad and their two small children moved (with the trunk) to what was then referred to as Southern Rhodesia. (The ‘Southern’ got dropped  the year of my birth). The big move didn’t stop my parents from growing their family. Julian was born in 1962 and I followed two years later. The trunk was always part of my life. I grew up seeing it, mainly in my parents bedroom covered with an embroidered throw.  In 1982 when I was planning on moving from Harare to Cape Town, I asked my Mom if I could take it with me. She was happy to let me have it. I loaded it with all my worldly goods (which you can imagine, at 18 were just a few) and it got delivered to Harare Train Station by one of the guys at my Mom’s work. I guess it has its own secret tale to tell about the journey from Harare to Cape Town. It took many weeks and I had been ensconced at a  nurse’s home in Cape Town for about a month when I heard of its arrival. I think it cost me about $25 (good Zim dollars in those days) to get it to Cape Town. From Cape Town to the nurse’s home it cost R24, a princely sum on my lowly nurse’s wage.

I moved often during my nursing. From Woodstock nurse’s home to Carinus College, to Red Cross Children’s Hospital to Mowbray Maternity Hospital to Groote Schuur Hospital, Somerset Hospital and back to Carinus. It was a three-year merry-go-round of moving and the old tin trunk got loaded and unloaded at each stop. When I married in 1986, the trunk moved to Glenjen Court in Tamboerkloof, then to a cottage on a farm just outside Paarl and finally it has spent the last 29 years in Sun Valley.  It’s had a good life and no doubt will outlive me, seeing as it has outlived Agar, Mops and my Mom. Who knows how old it is, but I can only guess that it’s more than 120 years old.  That’s the trunk.

A little younger is this old wooden box…made in 1909 by, I think, Mike’s Grandfather…

It has 1909 written on the inside. It came to us from Mike’s Dad who was good at woodwork and passed the skill onto Mike. I don’t know more of its story than that. Mike has made a number of excellent ‘heirlooms’. At Stacey’s is a massive kist Mike made as his matric woodwork project. He won the woodwork prize for it. He made it originally for his sister and she had it for many years. When she was scaling down she was looking to get rid of it. I pounced on getting it and Julian arranged for it to be picked up from where Monica was living in Pretoria. Then one memorable occasion, my Mom and older brother Arnie, shoved it into the back of their tiny car and with their knees around their ears  they drove with it from Johannesburg to Cape Town. It’s a youngster compared to these other two, being made only in about 1967!

The latest two pieces of furniture Mike has made are just a few years old. They are a coffee table for David and a very nice TV stand made to fit Julian’s TV at Echo. As with the others, they will last beyond a lifetime.

#722 of my 1000 thanks is for these special reminders of previous generations.

Today’s been a laid back day. We finally got up at midday (I kid you not!). It was because we are planning another holiday towards the end of n-e-x-t year and did some booking for it.

Mike went to hit golf balls. I did some housework.

This evening we had a lovely chilli con carne with the Berettas.


Matthew 6:25-26

Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

These are the days.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂


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