Memories of an Antique

IMG_1663by Neva Bodin

Memory is the capability of retaining or recalling mental impressions, facts and feelings. This past week was a walk down memory lane for me, although my house causes that walk too. Please notice the double entendre of my title!

To explain the past week, we visited my family home to determine if we should have an estate sale. We will, and the auctioneer examined every nook and cranny that he could. And of course, as I followed him around, many emotions kept pace with me. Each room holds many memories as well as the items there. I am the last survivor of my immediate family.

Our current house is full of antique furniture and other articles accumulated over 100 years plus by family members. A friend visited my house and said, “It’s like visiting a museum!”

I took many snapshots tonight and will share some of them. Although there are more antiques than those I will show, I think you’ll still get an idea of my past life! Walk with me down memory lane.

I  am sure I’ve shared enough for this time. Toys were built to last years ago, and were very much like the adult’s items.

All eight of my children (dolls/teddy bears, etc) rode in this doll carriage at one time or another.
My family had many conversations on this party line phone. It had an idiosyncrasy other phones didn’t. We could hear the neighbors without picking up the receiver. Great “rubber necking!” When my cousins wanted to call, they whistled into their phone and we heard the whistle and picked up. Other neighbors didn’t know we were on the phone unless they picked up too. Our ring was “two longs.” The small sewing machine, all heavy metal that really sews, was my sister’s.  She was 15 years older than me. The red one was from my dollhouse and is plastic.
I loved to crank this phonograph and listen to the old records. A couple favorites: I Just go Nuts at Christmas; I’ve got Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. My cousin and I danced to this when it was relegated to the attic, causing my mother to come see what all the stomping above the ceiling was. I found the metal evening purse hanging on the front in my sister’s things.
My dad would sometimes play his violin in the evenings before TV came to dominate. Some years ago I rosemaled (a type of Norwegian painting) the case and now I’m practicing playing. I played a screechy tune for our cockatiel today and he gave me a wolf whistle. Shows how much he knows about music. The afghan it’s sitting on was made by my mother.
My mom used this cookstove till I was four or five. She’d been married 22 or 23 years by then and it had been moved to the “new house” just built when I was two. Before that my parents lived in a two room house–kitchen and bedroom–with three kids. My grandma’s tall cupboard sits beside it. They sit in our family room now. The dishpan, water dipper and coal pail were well used items by all of us.


My little pretend family and I had our lunches at this table.



15 thoughts on “Memories of an Antique

  1. Neva, I enjoyed reading about your memories of the good old days. I’d never heard of a phone that allowed you to hear others talking without picking up the receiver and found that fascinating, especially your cousins whistling into the phone, definitely a crude methon of caller ID.


    1. It was great, until one of our neighbors who was quite loud and used language salted with expletives got on the phone! Sometimes that was the background noise to a meal in the kitchen. Otherwise, 911 didn’t exist, but 3 short rings meant help needed at a neighbors and everyone picked up and ran.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful memories for me Neva. It’s great that you have so many things from a bye gone era. I myself only have a couple of things from my mom and only one from my grandmother (never met her, she passed when my mom was 4). I do however have memories of growing up in the 40’s and 50’s that are dear to my heart.
    Thank you for sharing yours. ☺☺


    1. Thanks for reading. Glad it gave you some good memories too. My family threw very little away, and lived in the same spot all their lives and marriage of 54 years. Makes for a rich legacy of things…and how to choose what to do with them now.


  3. We have the phone from my husbands farm. The grandkids enjoy seeing him crank it and talk. We used to own a crank phonograph but sold it. This is a fun post. Thanks


    1. Thanks. As someone recently said, those phones were the early Facebook! Anyone could get on and listen or contribute at any time. And when the line wasn’t working, my dad got his pliers, and some wire and went to find the trouble spot, then usually fixed it. The crank phonograph was kind of scratchy at times, but so appreciated. Thanks for the comment.


  4. What beautiful memories. I remember playing my great grandmothers phonograph, much like the one in you photo. I also remember her sewing machine. I will say, the cook-stove is fabulous.

    Thank you for sharing your memories, they are special. Doris


    1. Thanks Doris. I didn’t mention those little sewing machines sit on top of my mother’s treadle machine which I sewed my 4-H products on. It is in a cabinet and the lid lifts up to bring the machine up, like the little red plastic one I had for the doll house. Glad it brought good memories for you too.


  5. Neva, what treasures! Thank you for sharing!! Did you bring the cookstove back to Casper? My mother used one of those (a wood-fired variety) while living in the mountains of Montana. She sure could make the bread and cinnamon rolls in that thing! I hope to see what you brought home and learn more about what you’ll be selling when we get together. Coffee soon, my friend!


    1. All these things are in my house in Casper. I brought them from the farm some years ago. Arlo says he is not moving that stove ever again! It was heavy. It was an art to bake in those things and your mother must have had the talent. I remember my mom baking bread in it too. Some things from here I will contribute to the auction, but not that! Let’s do coffee next week, or maybe do a write.


  6. I would not be good at an estate sale, I’d want to keep everything. I can’t even sort out the things at my house to downsize some more. These are some beautiful items, and you should do very well at your sale. I may go to some estate sales this weekend. Thanks for taking us down memory lane with you. Cher’ley


    1. Thanks Cher’ley. I hope you have fun at the sales. I hope to visit some too before we have ours to give me more ideas. It will be a heart-wrenching month for me in June when we have the sale. I am keeping way more than I should I imagine.


  7. Gosh, I loved those photos of old-time things. When my mom died back in 2003, a cousin of hers (like a brother to her) sent my sister Jody and me photos of her back in the 1930s and 1940s. He called the photo albums he sent us “Previous Memories,” after the hymn. They definitely are precious memories. I often dream o being back in my maternal grandparents’ home in Rittman, Ohio, the home my mom grew up in. Those kind of dreams are the best one can have. Grandma MId died in 1995. Once about 2004 or 2005, I drove to Rittman with a friend, and took on Fourth Street, the location of mom’s childhood home. We just looked at the outside. I have to admit… I would have loved to have seen how the young couple changed the interior.


  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. I have actually seen a few of these and own one of those phones.


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