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Friday, October 02, 2009

The Basket Collection

My mother started accumulating Depression glass after my brother died at the age of twenty-five. She assuaged her grief by going to garage sales and buying the lovely colored glass for a dime—or less. It reminded her of youth, I suppose, and it was pretty.

She bought books about Depression glass to memorize the patterns and assess the value of the pieces. She progressed in her collection skills and added Roseville china, and even antique furniture—often refinishing the pieces herself.

When she went into the antique business, people often came to her store and sold her more antiques. When she closed the shop, her basement became a storage facility.

Last year, an auctioneer sold the valuable pieces in my mother’s collection. But there were odds and ends left over—tucked away in boxes or hidden beneath a table.

This past week, I found out that my mother had amassed a considerable quantity of baskets. When my father said he would gather the baskets together, I had no idea there would be so many of them, but I promised to transport them to the Goodwill store.

When I arrived at the house on Wednesday, baskets of every kind and size filed the kitchen and the dining room. I could hardly believe it. Dad and I proceeded to stuff the baskets into my Jeep. There were baskets of every conceivable size and shape: bushel baskets, covered baskets, Easter baskets, picnic baskets, and a massive wicker laundry basket.

Dad apologized though there was no need to do so. I headed to the Goodwill store on Route 18 in East Brunswick feeling conspicuous on the road. Everyone could see the baskets piled high inside my Jeep.

The people at the Goodwill store merely smiled and helped me unload the baskets—bless them.

I kept one blue basket. I don’t know why. I don’t need a basket. I have too many things as it is. Nothing in my house will actually go with a blue basket. Maybe I should spray paint it.

But for now, I’ll just look at it, put flowers in it, and think about Mom.


lynnprisco said...

What a wonderful story about your Mom! I understand what your feelings are as I just closed my Dad's home. I was amazed at what he saved. There were many treasures! Even if you paint that beautiful basket, the blue memory will always honor your Mom. Best wishes from Lynn Prisco, Amy's art teacher at South.

Leann said...

I have no doubt that Goodwill has seen stranger amasses of items than baskets. I can imagine it was very difficult for you to give them up and I would have been surprised if you hadn't kept at least one. :-)

Jennifer Mathis said...

wow that is sweet