Hand Me Downs (Friday Fictioneers, September 2013)

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff Fields

A big happy birthday for Rochelle this week.  Hope you have a lovely day, and thanks as always for hosting our activities each week.

I may not get round to as many sites as usual this week due to internet restrictions.  But I’ll do my best.  🙂 

“All this will be yours when I’m gone, you know.”

She waved a wrinkled hand at the cluttered surfaces.

I sighed, reflecting on my minimalist-style apartment. All plain white walls and unadorned colonial style furniture – an innate reaction to a childhood festooned with bric-a-brac.

What could I say?

“They’re your memories, mother, not mine.”  A euphemism for  “They’re meaningless to me.

Not euphemistic enough… her lip began to wobble.

Years later, my delighted daughter hauled the packing-case from the basement.

“Really?  For me?  You know I’ve always wanted a home full of stuff like this.”

 I bit my lip. 

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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Hand Me Downs (Friday Fictioneers, September 2013)

  1. claireful says:

    Love this! It’s exactly what happens. That means my daughter will have a cluttered house (especially if her bedroom is anything to go by), just like her grandmother. Really nicely written too!
    Claire

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    This story has me laughing with delight. One woman’s treasure is another’s trash and so the story goes full circle. Well-crafted and multi-layered. Applause!

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  3. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    This was the perfect story to explain the generations and the gaps between them. Sweet and well told.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

  4. We hardly move on…Life happens to us all, repeatedly too. We better leave our choices plain. Who says fashion and choices get stale? This story would make us think again. I love it’s ending.

    Like

  5. helenmidgley says:

    lovely and a little sad 🙂

    Like

  6. misskzebra says:

    I used to love trawling through my grandmother’s house and finding all the old toys and various bits in my aunts’ and uncles’ old rooms.

    Like

  7. very nice. very ironic and touching.
    This is how the world goes round.

    Like

  8. Hi Sandra,
    Great generational story and so true. Rebellion against anything parental is such a truism. And it was very clever to have the story go full circle. Ron

    Like

  9. camgal says:

    I love the cycle of life portrayed in such a short story. 🙂

    Like

  10. kz says:

    Lovely story.. your stories always touch readers to the core 🙂

    Like

  11. zookyworld says:

    A lovely thought, with the daughter passing along memories to the granddaughter. I love that she didn’t throw the boxes out, but saved them just in case.

    Like

  12. Joyce says:

    Ha Ha. I can see this. Just the opposite for me. We (my husband and I) have a lot of antiques and collectibles that our oldest girl has no interest in and wonders how they will get rid of it all when we are gone. But, our youngest girl wants some of it, but will probably inherit all of it unless they find other pack-rats or collectors who want it all. 🙂

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      There was a lot of tension between me and my mother over this issue Joyce. She was an inveterate knick-knack collector and I was quite the opposite. My brother now is the custodian of the extensive Toby Jug collection… 😉

      Like

      • Joyce says:

        My mother-in-law was like that too. She would go to every garage sale there was with her daughter and pick up things, cheap, ugly or otherwise to add to her collection. When she passed away we had to sort through and get rid of a lot of ‘stuff’ that way. My grown girls want to avoid that at all costs (or better, no cost – by giving it all away, 🙂 ) with me, so I’ve promised to clean out things I don’t use, decorate with or otherwise. I promised them I would not give them any reason to call me a ‘pack rat’. 🙂

        Like

  13. Joe Owens says:

    It seems their is a kinship for this stuff that skips a generation. Hand me downs can sometimes be a blessing or sometimes a curse.

    Like

  14. My grandmother always said “One man’s treasure is another man’s trash” and your story illustrates that point wonderfully. Also, bonus points for use of the word “festooned”. That’s got to be a triple word score, darling.

    Like

  15. Linda Vernon says:

    Just wonderful on so many levels as is your usual writing style, Sandra.

    Like

  16. I love this… so true, with every second generation… but at least it was never dumped.

    Like

  17. jwdwrites says:

    This is so true! My wife always says how our daughter would have been perfect for her mother to have had. Lovely story Sandra. 🙂

    Like

  18. Yup! That’s me, the little girl with the packing case full of old furniture, knick knacks and books. I loved all that stuff and my house is a museum.

    Like

  19. neenslewy says:

    Fabulous! Loved the multi-generational take, heart warming that the daughter kept her mother’s trash in the basement all those years though!

    Like

  20. I would love to have so much *less* in this house – alas, my husband hoards and collects, and, for many reasons, I compromise!

    I like that the balance of ownership and attachment ebbs and flows through the three generations. 🙂 Lovely piece, Sandra. 🙂

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      My husband ‘collects’ too. We’ve a bookcase full of ancient books on chemical engineering. Why, I’ve no idea. And they’re so old they smell. 😦 Thanks for commenting Joanna.

      Like

  21. unspywriter says:

    Ah, great story! And exactly what happened in my family. My mother was going to toss out or give away my grandmother’s bric-a-brac, but I packed them up and kept them for nearly 40 years until I moved into a house with room for a curio cabinet. However, I suspect my daughter will have a great yard sale after I’m gone. 😉

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/memory-lane/

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I don’t suppose we can expect successive generations to feel the same way, but I think it’s interesting how hoarding seems to skip a generation. Thanks for commenting Maggie.

      Like

  22. yarnspinnerr says:

    Clutter is a controversial issue as is the changing choice of generations – beautifully dealt with both of them. 🙂

    Like

  23. rgayer55 says:

    My wife is a collector of antiques and keepsakes. Neither of our children share their mother’s appreciation for such items. I can really relate to this tale. Great story, Sandra.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It was a big bone of contention between me and my mother, Russell, so I hope you find a satisfactory resolution to this. On the positive side, she was very easy to buy presents for! 🙂

      Like

  24. It does seem to skip a generation.

    Like

  25. summerstommy2 says:

    Excellent Sandra. The circle of life so to speak.

    Like

  26. Tom Poet says:

    Little Debbie,
    Week after week you drip sweet words onto the paper. You are a rare talent.
    Tom

    Like

  27. Dee says:

    Loved this Sandra. I think you and I had similar ideas from the prompt this week. This is so true on so many levels, well done
    Dee

    Like

  28. erinleary says:

    We reject what our parents had and then it is craved by those who follow. Funny how that works. You know, it’s been a few weeks since you offed anyone. Are you feeling OK? 🙂

    Like

  29. Sandra, I almost went this exact direction. I liked how you showed three different generations. That’s probably how a lot of things are kept in the family, by biting your lip. Well done!

    Like

  30. This could be called “The Rebel Daughter.”

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  31. I guess hoarding skips a generation. 🙂

    Like

  32. vbholmes says:

    Lucky when a family member wants the “family treasures”–none of the guilt when they end up in the trash.

    Like

  33. What a nice story. Makes us realize that even though my kids not appreciate my grandmother’s stuff, their kids might. Great job and something to consider.

    Like

  34. troy P. says:

    Loved it! Sometimes it takes several generations of trees before the apple can fall near it, eh?

    Like

  35. Sarah Ann says:

    Arthritis is supposed to skip the generations too. Strange how we desire what our grandparents had while rejecting all we grew up with.

    Like

  36. pattisj says:

    Lovely story. It forgot to skip a generation in my family.

    Like

  37. Pingback: Admiralty Law | ironwoodwind

  38. Danny James says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    DJ

    Like

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