When you settle a Maine estate and have to go through the house hold items of a loved one passed away, the small things are the most valuable.
The items you remember as a kid that in a garage sale would be pretty valueless. Passed over or not fetching much of a price.
I remember my Mom using this bottle pictured above. To sprinkle water on clothes being ironed to help remove wrinkles. Before steam irons, before permapress clothing. I can see her like it was today when all triggered by this particular bottle. Because it was the one she used. Not one like it, not one from the same era. This very one.
To anyone else, it is just an old Pepsi bottle with a stopper on it.
One vivid time I remember it in use back in November of 1963.
I grew up on a Maine farm. The home has a long driveway and after being dropped off by the yellow bus late one November afternoon I walked in to the house hearing the television news announcer loud and clear. The President had been shot, assassinated he informed us. The news anchor visibly shaken, removing his glasses and I knew this was serious. As the words sunk in on what he was telling us. My Mom ironing, looking up and watching a black and white telecast with Walter Cronkhite providing the tragic news from Dallas Texas.
Grisly details about President John Kennedy’s death. What happened in the back seat of the convertible 1963 Lincoln Continental and subsequent events. I would be eight years the next month. Sensed from a kid’s perspective my Mom was upset. Concerned like the rest of the nation, the world as I reflect back now to how the news must have hit, affected other adults back in 1963.
So now my parents are gone. The household things divided up among my three older brothers and myself. And life goes on. I have moved up a notch in the family hierarchy.
And the older I get, the more it is the little items I cherish the most.
Because of the person that used them.
Mom’s love of flowers continues. I look forward to spring at the farm when so many flower beds bloom because she started them years ago. Appearing right on time, like clockwork.
Also have a Santa decoration too who is holding a Christmas light. Smiling broadly that always appeared like magic in the farm house kitchen. Like the Pepsi bottle ironing sprinkler, that too has the same priceless value to me.
To anyone else, they see a cracked, well worn plastic red and white dime a dozen decoration. With lots of miles on it from years of holiday visits to the Houlton Maine farm home. That Santa was there during fun, family Christmas holiday celebrations as a kid with my brothers, Mom and Dad. He is still here, and part of distant memories. Bring alive, providing some of the holiday magic as I remember viewing hime through a kid’s eyes.
Maine, families are close, working side by side on farms, other local businesses and active in their small vibrant communities.
Maine, a place where the people, families matter most.
We are all connected and make the state up here in the right hand corner so special. To add to the pure and simple four season’s natural beauty.