The title of this blog post at first glance might be considered an oxymoron, but I urge you to ponder the idea that something might earn the status heirloom if it meets certain criteria.
My daddy has been a woodworker from as long as I can remember. No matter where we lived he managed to find a place for a workshop and always seemed to have a project in the works. When I was a young girl he built a Swiss chalet dollhouse for me and I remember sitting and watching, the smell of fresh sawdust swirling around. To this day that warm woodsy smell brings back happy memories of my childhood and my daddy.
In recent years when I visit my parents, I often hear the power saws and occasional banging travelling up through the floor of the family room from his meticulously kept basement workshop. One Christmas I asked for and received a jigsaw and he supervised my building of a dog bowl holder, complete with bone shaped handles I cut out on the side pieces. He also taught me how to use a compound miter saw and when I got one of my own, I tackled window trim and crown molding for my home. I have been blessed with a skilled teacher.
However when my mother and I were presented with similarly wrapped packages this past Christmas, I had no idea I was unwrapping a handcrafted keeping box complete with a removable tray and a divided storage section underneath. Both the tray and the drawer at the bottom of the box are felt lined. Mama’s was slightly bigger, but she has way more jewelry than I do. I admired the wood, the dovetailed joints and the paneled lid. I was in awe of the time and thought that went into the building. Neither my mother or I had requested a keeping box, he thought about us and what we might appreciate.
So what would the criteria be to make something an instant heirloom? I would suggest the top of that list would be handcrafted. Other factors are if the piece in question is made with care and consideration for the recipient. Is it something that can be handed down with the story of who made it? Is it something to treasure?
This keeping box meets all that criteria in my opinion. It is now on the short list of what must be taken in a hurricane evacuation. I chose to put the jewelry pieces I use most in it so that I would use it on a daily basis. That way I appreciate my daddy each day and am reminded of the love he has for me.