A Favorite Thing #24


Hello, dear friends! It’s week number twenty four of A Favorite Thing. My goodness – that would be 6 months, would it not? How time flies when you’re having fun!

We’ve had a few days of 40+ degree temps. Most, not all, of last Friday’s huge snowfall has melted. But never fear, Mother Nature has decided to give us some more snow tonight (1-3 inches) and temps in the twenties for the weekend. I think she doesn’t want us to get too complacent. My husband, currently basking in the warmth of Southern California, will be in for a rude awakening when he disembarks from his plane on Monday night.

Let’s look at some highlights from last week:


Tina from An Unconventional Life shared her recipe for Marmalade. Oh my – it sure looks tasty! Now I’m craving some. Thanks, Tina!


Sharon of Elizabeth & Co., shared her tutorial for making this gorgeous Ruffled Sheet Music Wreath. And I mean gorgeous! I just may have to try this, Sharon. Thank you.


And County Line Road – a true collector – shared this beautiful vintage Cornell watch that she found at a flea market. A new band, a little work and it’s working beautifully. Isn’t it beautiful? Just my style!

I’ve been busy painting and redoing our bedroom and one of the photos of my dresser brought to mind my favorite thing for this week. And, as always, there’s a story behind it.


This is one of my most precious possessions. It was my great grandparents’ tea chest. It’s handmade and quite beautiful. From the time I was a young girl, I used to stare at it when I visited my grandmother. It had a home on her corner what-not shelf. It wasn’t until years later, when I inherited it, that I fully realized what was in it.


This is what it looks like when opened. Those little knobs are sea shells. Obviously at one time it held tea, but now it holds a different type of treasure. There’s a mother of pearl zither pick. A miniature ax carved from wood. There are pennies. And shells. A lock.


And there a cards and notes and lists. A copy of my great grandfather’s will. A note from my mother to my grandmother apologizing for doing something wrong. A tintype of my great grandfather with the words “Do You Remember Me?” on it’s cardboard frame. My grandmother’s certificate qualifying her for entrance to her high school. My great-aunt Rhoda’s grades.

For me, the saddest things by far are these cards:


There were 5 children in my grandmother’s family. As I’ve mentioned, they lived on a farm in Orillia, Ontario. The children were Bill, Maggie, Carrie (my grandmother), Ruth and Rhoda. Rhoda was the youngest and she was the apple of my grandmother’s eye. I have many of her letters to my grandmother, sent while my grandmother was attending nursing school in Barrie, Ontario. You can really get a sense of her lively, enchanting personality by reading them. Maggie, who was older, was quiet and retiring, most likely because she had a hunchback, and in those days not enough was understood about that kind of thing. The terrible flu epidemic that started in 1918 hit the family very hard. The children took sick. My grandmother came home from nursing school to help. She almost died. These cards show the terrible cost of that epidemic. Rhoda died at the age of 15 on February 14, 1920. Exactly 10 days later, Maggie died at the age of 29.

My grandmother never got over it. Meredith has Rhoda’s doll. I have Rhoda’s copy of Alice in Wonderland, her letters to my grandmother and this, also in the tea chest:


A lock of her hair.

I’ve written about this chest before, but every time I speak or write of it, I am consumed by sadness. Now you see why I treasure this tea chest. Grandma never spoke about what was in it. I am honored to be the keeper of these memories and will pass it on to future generations.

Now, my friends, it’s your turn.

You can link up anytime from this evening through Sunday. Make sure you enter the URL of your post. If you’re unsure how to do that, just click on your post title after you’ve published it and copy the information in your browser address window. Come back here, paste the URL into your link entry and there you go! If you have any problems, drop me an email and I’ll help you out. Please link back to this blog on your post. That way, those that read your post and are interested in reading more can do so.

One of my concerns about link parties is that the very reason for them has somewhat gone by the wayside. They’ve become so big and there are so many of them that many bloggers don’t take the time to visit any of the other participants. Link parties are a way to meet new bloggers and share with each other and the only way to do that is to visit each other. So, please, take some time to visit everyone over the next few days. No rush. Stop by, introduce yourself, and leave a comment. It’s the neighborly thing to do. It’s also nice if you leave a comment here, as well.


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  1. says

    Dearest Claudia,
    My heart is warmed yet saddened by your story behind the wooden tea chest. Such loss and yet such love for those that passed. It is wonderful that you and your sister cherish these dear keepsakes. I was given two button boxes last Fall that were filled with family mementos…a poem from my grandma to her only son who was serving in the south Pacific in WWII (years later he was killed in action while serving as a police officer at age 36), locks of hid baby hair, baby locks of hair from my Mom and her sisters from the 1920s, a wrenching and noble letter my Mother wrote to the woman my Father was keeping on the side asking her to step away and honor my parents vows… (Oh, that was a tough one)….
    I am quite humbled that you would share such priceless moments with all of us….your blogging friends. I will hold each one tenderly, my friend.
    Carolynn xoxo

  2. says

    Oh, Claudia, such a sad story. Big hugs for you. It’s lovely that you are willing to be the keeper of these memories along with your sister. Not many people appreciate these kinds of things anymore, it seems.

    My post seems a little trivial in comparison, but I am in love with my new little ironing surface that I made so I wanted to share it. :-) Perfect for small spaces. I hope you have a really wonderful weekend!!


  3. says

    Such a treasure for you Claudia, even though some of the memories are bittersweet. Thank you for hosting and wishing you a great weekend!

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  4. says

    Having been away for several weeks, I am trying to get back in the swing of blogging and finding it difficult to select a favourite thing. The grandchildren win every time though… Back on my blog, there are many items from plants to icicles, another workshop in my living room with my son’ and friends, a terrible car accident with sighs of relief (though I still shiver over what might have been), noodle games and more. http://gardenbugworld.wordpress.com/
    I look forward to progress on your lovely quilt!

  5. just cats says

    Wow. Claudia, what a bittersweet treasure you have there. The lock of hair really touched me. It must be very sad for you to think of such loss for your grand-parents. We have no idea what people endured years ago.

  6. says

    Hugs Claudia. I love reading your posts. My favorite thing seems trivial after seeing and reading about yours. I couldn’t imagine losing two children at almost the same time or anytime for that matter. Your chest is beautiful. Thank you for hosting and have a great weekend.

  7. says

    What a special story Claudia. I love how you share your treasures with us. The highlighted projects are great too. I hope you keep this weekly feature because I look forward to it! Enjoy your reunion with your hubby.

  8. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    Oh my goodness, what a touching story and what a wonderful family treasure! … Thanks so much for hosting and for the sweet feature. You totally made my day!

  9. Betsy says

    I agree with all of the comments. What a treasure you have in that tea chest. My daughter will be the keeper of our family memories. She’s as bad as I am about keeping everything remotely sentimental.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. says

    Many people died those days. My great-grandfather left behind a pregnant wife and three children. It’s also very sad losing a child, not to mention two at a time. Your chest is a treasure.

  11. says

    Oh Claudia,
    that’s such a beautiful story.
    Your tea chest is the most wonderful treasure.
    How special to have inherited this important family heirloom.
    Shane ♥

  12. says

    Your grandparent’s tea chest fell into the right hands. It’s such a treasure packed with so many memories, both happy and sad. It was a pleasure to read about all of it’s contents … Blessings!

  13. Doris says

    Hi Claudia, I love your wood chest and the stories in it. Sometimes my family wonders why I keep so many items but this younger generation just doesn’t understand the value of keepsakes. They are a very much throw away and buy new generation. I enjoy your writing, Thank-you! Doris

  14. says

    My first visit and thank you for hosting! I too live in a cottage in the country and enjoy the simple things in life. I really appreciate you creating a party that encourages new relationships!

  15. says

    What a treasure, that chest and its contents. Your dear precious Aunt Rhoda! All those memories packed into your Grandmother’s keepsake box. Thanks for sharing it with us. And thanks for hostessing the party.


  16. says

    Hi Claudia,
    What a surprise to see my watch on your Blog, I’m honored. Thanks. The tea caddy is a treasure and what a touching story that accompanies it. Thanks for sharing. It is wonderful. I still see waaay too many things in your posts that I also have in my home. Scary how much our tastes are so similar. Enjoy the weekend and I am sending good thoughts your way for your father.

  17. says

    Claudia this is a sweet, sentimental and sad story! But memories are like that. How wonderful that you are the keeper of this treasure. Thank you for sharing it with us. Wishing you a wonderful day.
    hugs, Linda

  18. Susy says

    Hey Ms. Claudia ~ I think this box is one of MY favorite things you have. I didnt realize that it came to you with all those treasures already in it. What a sweet legacy.

    I just checked, and it’s going to get up into the 80s today, although SD will probably be a little cooler. Don may come home talking about moving back to SoCal! (**

  19. says

    Claudia, that tea chest is a true treasure. Filled with so much family history and bittersweet memories. Wishing you a wonderful weekend as you prepare for Don’s return on Monday. Hugs and blessings, Tammy

  20. Janie F. says

    Your tea chest memories are so precious, thank’s for sharing. When my step daddy passed away he and my mother had been divorced for many years but they still had a deep affection for one another. I knew he still had the wedding ring she gave him but forgot to ask about it. After he passed I found it hidden in the top of his closet. I knew he would want me to have it and it is one of my dearest treasures. I wish you a happy reunion with your husband. It must be very hard to be apart for so long. I so enjoy checking out everyone’s favorite thing each week.

  21. says

    Oh Claudia! What a beautiful chest that is and filled with absolute treasure. How wonderful to those mementos tucked inside. I found myself murmuring ohhhhhh out loud, reading about it and taking it in. I’ve found some small wonderful (and heart wrenching) bits like these in my parents things and they take my breath away. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Happy weekend to you and happy homecoming to you and Don!

  22. says

    Has it really been 6 months?! Those memorial cards are really pretty– too bad they have a sad story attached. Lots of sadness in families. Guess we have to concentrate on the happy times!

  23. says

    After my grandparents died I was left loads of papers, photos, books etc. From these I discovered a couple of cards as you did. The babies were never spoken of by my grandparents (their siblings) but the fact that they had kept the cards amongst their treasured possessions spoke volumes. Take care. Chel

  24. Annette Tracy says

    Oh dear, that was so beauitful, albeit sad. I can’t imagine losing two daughters, how terrible for her. I’m so glad you have it now. I don’t remember my grandmothers, they didn’t live close, so I do not have memories like you do. I bet you are so excited that Don is finally coming home, I’m happy for you two.

  25. says

    How lucky you are to have a tea chest full of treasures. It makes me think I should not throw so much away. Maybe someone would enjoy finding a memento or two some day down the road.

  26. says

    I loved seeing your treasured tea box. You know how I adore family things, and even though what is in it may be sad at times, it is a great family heirloom. So glad you hold it close to your heart.

  27. says

    Good Morning Claudia, Thank you for sharing such a bitter sweet story with us today. It must have been so difficult for you.
    The tea chest is certainly a treasure to keep, and how lovely that it is filled with items, your family held and touched through their lives and that you are caring for them today.
    Thank you for letting us peek into your precious tea chest.
    Best Wishes

  28. says

    Claudia, Thank you for sharing your treasured tea chest and the many memories contained within. How terrible it must have been during the time of the flu epidemic for many families. I know your grandmother would be proud of the memory keeper you have become and in the loving way you share these memories. I wish I was sharing my own vintage Valentine’s Day cards, but did find many to share with everyone even though they are not my own.
    Many blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

  29. says

    Such a treasure chest of memories you have!
    Life is made up of bits of goodness and sadness-its what gives our lives a melody, a song to sing each day :)

  30. says

    HI Claudia,

    Thanks so much for hosting! Again, spent the weekend at Mom’s with no internet access. But, better late than never! Off to see your blog anniversary post!!

    Poppy xo

  31. says

    That chest is so lovely, Claudia. What a treasure! And filled with such incredible family memories, some so heart-breaking. Thank you for sharing that, and for hosting everyone’s favorite things. It’s always so interesting to read about what people love.


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