I have a dilemma on my hands, & I need suggestions & opinions anyone who reads this blog at least occasionally knows that my Grandmother died in December. I’ve been doing ok for the most part about her death, considering I was closer to her than to anyone else on the planet, (not including my kids of course, but that’s a different kind of closeness) I still have my days when I miss her terribly & I still berate myself for not calling her more. It is kind of easy to forget that she’s not still at the other end of the phone, since I live so far away from where she was living.
I’m going on vacation to MA 2 weeks from Monday & when it’s time to come home I’ll be renting a 10 foot truck & bringing home the furniture & other things she gave to the kids & I, this includes a love-seat, 3 comfortable chairs, a desk which was actually my mothers but which my mother no longer wants, at least 2 book cases, end tables, coffee tables & 2 chests of drawers & a double bed for miss 17. (which is the one I had when I was a teenager- in furniture what goes around comes around, at least in my family!) There are boxes of books, knickknacks, Christmas decorations & other random things. A lot of the stuff I’m taking is stuff which my uncle sent out a list of & people emailed him back as to what they wanted. I said I’d like Christmas decorations for instance, because many of mine were crushed during the 5-6 moves my ex & I made from north to south & back again over the years & I have few glass balls & less other things, also my grandmother had themed Christmas trees in different rooms of the house when we shared a house & I’d love to do that again so I took the trees & the decorations for them. No one else wanted them anyway & he was either going to junk them or give them away so though I feel like I’m taking too much stuff if no one else wants it it’s ok right? Well I comfort myself with that at least.
The problem is that my Grandmother had a Dept.56 collection. She didn’t just have the New England Village, or the Amish Farm, or the Ocean scenes, she had all of them Plus more, much more. At first she had a card table set up with some of them on it. then it went to a couple of shelves with the card table below them filled, it became a custom fitted board between two sets of shelves with the shelves filled, 3 shelves up on both sides that is, the board filled & the card table off to the side also filled. It took the better part of a week to set it up at Christmas time & we usually left it up through March at least, just because it was so cute & because it was such a pain to put up & take down. When my Grandmother moved to her apartment she was worried she wouldn’t have room but my Uncle saw to it that the village was put up each year, I never got to see it put up in her apartment but she always described it to me & told me how lovely it looked all set up on the shelves. It gave her a lot of pleasure & in the years I helped (& my ex helped- he really enjoyed this for some reason) it gave me quite a bit of pleasure. (& of course the kids liked it too- Mr 7’s only seen pictures but I have lots of pictures!)
So no one wants the snow village. It’s too much stuff, my youngest uncle is 55 or so & they all say they’re at the point in their lives where they’re divesting themselves of stuff not acquiring more. None of my cousins apparently has space or interest in it. (I have 1 cousin who used to help my grandmother with the village after we moved to VA in 97 who I thought might want it but apparently not. I caved after the third email & said I’d keep a maple sugaring set which I had bought for her. When I emailed my uncle to see if he thought a 10 foot truck would be large enough to take everything back to VA he mentioned in his response that he hadn’t heard from anyone about the snow village, no one wants even a part of it. (I had thought if we each took a part, since there are different parts, it’s like a whole little world! That we could all keep a little bit of her joy alive that way- but no one is interested apparently)
I now feel like I want to take the whole village, I could store it in my garage, eaves or shed but there’s no way I could display the whole thing right now (probably the only way I could ever do so was to have large tables or a table, in my garage for it.) I am entertaining ideas of putting up a different part of the village each year, as I was thinking of my cousins & myself each owning a different part. It is a lot of stuff though, my garage is not full but it is not empty, if I was to do this I’d have to throw up some more shelves to store the boxes on because I’d be afraid to leave them piled on the floor (Mr 7 has a TV in the garage which is insulated but not finished yet & He climbs on & gets into, everything)
They’re supposed to be collectible but like many things which are ‘supposed’ to be collectible they’re not worth all that much so far. I googled it & there are a lot of them on Ebay & everywhere else, it’s obvious there are people who are maniacs about this & others who are making a fortune off of them. I doubt I could sell my grandmother’s collection (though I have a feeling if no one volunteers to take it soon that is what the uncle who is currently storing it will do with it) But after I’m gone if it was something my kids didn’t want, they could at least benefit from it to some extent because I certainly hope in 30 or 40 years (I should live that long at least) they would be more valuable than they are now.
I’m almost at the point where I’m ready to email my Uncle & say ok, let me have the village, (I actually wrote an email to him on this subject last night but my email is not working very well & I could not send it out last night, today I can’t even get in to re-read what I saved to draft & try again to send it)
I just don’t know though, I’m conflicted about taking yet more stuff of my Grandmothers because I feel like I’m taking too much. I’m also worried about safely storing the village from year to year, I have space but it’s not as secure as I’d like it to be. What do you think?
Picture notes, The first year with the snow village, 1988, As the years went by she added so much more, you can see the card table & shelf behind the tree in 1990 in the second picture. Miss 17 helping in 1992 & you can see part of the monstrosity it grew into behind me in this pic from 1994, the other side of the windows had identical shelves, equally as full as the left side.