Precious Junk

Lost Mule Lodge

…a journey that began with a cabin in the woods

There are two sets of things we as parents keep for our children.  First, the items that actually belong to them, the items we have been storing.

Then there are the things that we hope they will find some sentimental value to be handed down to their children.  Like the handmade quilt from great grandma that was our wedding gift.

With all the downsizing going on and so many are trying to become minimalist, this seems to be a common problem.

That momentous ensemble they wore home from the hospital – or that high school letter jacket adorned with all the medals and patches.  Don’t forget that stunning Christening gown you made with your own hands.

When is the time right to hand these things over to your kids?

When are they ready…  after college? – apparently not – they are living like nomads, moving here and there.

How about after they are married? – no, the apartment is too small, no storage space.  So you decide to keep it a while longer.

Do they know that white eyelet lace Christening gown was handmade by me for our daughters’ Christening?  It was my first attempt at sewing anything in my life – it has a lining!  It took weeks to get this done.  Not to mention it was worn one time for a couple of hours.

I understand that keeping that brown paper lunch bag our daughter made into a puppet with red yarn for hair may have seen better days, and should have never been kept in the first place.  And I am good with throwing away all the old report cards and science projects.

But what about the cabbage patch doll…  was that contract binding?  Is there a statute of limitations on her?

Perhaps one solution would be to pack it all up – and on that next visit, secretly load it in their trunk – include a note to explain the history and why the item was important enough for you to have kept it for all these years.  Then they can make the decision on what to keep.

When we are at estate sales and see something like a family bible, or a box of recipe cards with handwritten notes, I think to myself, someone is going to be sorry they didn’t keep these things.

I don’t want to be responsible for getting rid of something they might want.

But, I am not convinced they are ready to make that decision either.

Until they let us know they are ready we will continue to store the precious junk.  It is safe with us.

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All photos, thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.

Copyright © Lost Mule Lodge 2017 All Rights Reserved


  1. Molly

    That gown was beautiful. Reading this, I’m thinking of those rattlesnake & cobra costumes I recently made with my own hands…my first real attempt at sewing anything and how much I loved doing it out of love for my boys. Which of course made me realize that is exactly the same emotion that you were feeling seeing that gown – with lining – for me. Thank you for loving me that much, Mom!
    …keep it. All of it.

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