Down The Rabbit Hole

Week 8: #52Ancestors – Heirloom

By Eilene Lyon

I don’t come from families that generally pass down heirlooms. I suppose that might be for the best – I don’t like a lot of stuff (aka clutter) in my life. I do have a family quilt that I used as a bedspread for many years. Unfortunately, I know very little about it. It was most likely made by my great-aunt, Ada (Smith) Trout, who I never knew. That’s it. Not much to go on.

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Great-aunt Ada’s quilt. If any of you know anything about the pattern or fabrics, let me know!  I used to love finding all the matching scraps. How many can you pick out?

Some of you might consider me a horrible person for giving away the lap robe my Grandma Smith entrusted to me. It was remarkably hideous and I really had no use for it. Certainly no one else in the family wanted it, either. (I wouldn’t even subject you to a photo if I had one.)

One thing I do love is books. My mother had some that I dearly wanted, but she gave them away before I had a chance to claim them. One was a small, stamped green-leather-bound issue of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, published in the late 19th century. Another was a hefty volume called the Arbuthnot Anthology – a collection of fairy tales, poetry, folklore, mythology, and other literature. Its pages were as delicate as the most precious Bible; I dearly wish I’d taken it with me when I went away to college.

But, we must not mourn too much for lost things.

One book I did end up with is my mother’s copy of “Alice In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. It has no publication date in it anywhere, but the fact that the title is truncated is a give-away that it is probably mid-20th century. (The original title is “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”) The illustrations, though, are wonderful.

The story captivated me as a child and certainly drove my desire to read and write. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life as a consequence. That’s probably the best “heirloom” a person can get: a love of reading. Thanks, Mom!

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