Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trunk Love

“Going, going, gone!” Seventy-five dollars. The camel back trunk was mine!

“So how are you going to get that back to Oregon?” June asked.

“Well, there is that,” I thought.

Trunks. Oh, how I love trunks.

“Mom, you don’t need another trunk,” my son explained as I contemplated another.

In a small place trunks became storage areas. The trunk in the living room holds 60+ years of photographs. Upstairs in the spare room the camel back, which did find its way west, holds old memories, items from the past. The trunk in my bedroom holds linens. A trunk that was given to me now resides at my son’s home. The old steamer trunk was given away last year due to space. I love trunks.

I contribute this ‘trunk’ obsession to my maternal grandmother. I don’t remember much of Mom Johnson. I was young when she died, and she was not a warm, cuddly person. However, I do have a memory of sleeping over in their spare bedroom. In that room was an old trunk. My grandma wanted to show me what was inside. She took out cast iron back in the shape of a dog.

“This was your Uncle Bob’s when he was a little boy,” she explained then continued through the trunk showing me books and other items that had belonged to her children, her family.

Perhaps this one single event showing me a woman that I otherwise don’t remember tied me to this love of old trunks and the treasures they hold. These old trunks traveled many miles and carried clothing, dowries, trinkets and more for these settlers who peopled our land.

In the resale shop I found an old, handmade tool box. It now stands in the corner of my living room holding books. Last year I found a little red tool box at an estate sale. It now holds my mother’s old diaries and sheet music.

My sister and I walked around the flea market at Shipshewana, the place I found my old camelback trunk. “June, look at the tool box!” A cute tool box was calling my name once more.

“Pam…………”

Oh, well.

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