Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A to Z April Challenge: I is for Iron Grate


When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.


is for iron fireplace grate.

It belonged to my great-grandmother Mary Sudie Eppard Rucker. I am trying to imagine the day in 1958 when my grandmother and her sister and brothers stood around picking over their freshly-deceased mother’s dishes, her jewelry, her furniture and whatever else. My grandmother inherited many fine items, but did she really want Sudie Rucker’s fireplace grate?

Sudie Rucker's fireplace grate https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Fireplace grate belonging to Sudie Rucker

I guess so.

Whether my grandparents used it in their fireplace I do not remember, but my sister insists it was IN our fireplace when we lived in Cradock and that it followed us to “the new house” in 1971.

A little over 50 years after my grandmother volunteered to take the fireplace grate, my sister and I stood staring at it, debating who would get it. Throwing it away was not an option - it had age, it had family history even if we didn’t know what that history was. I’m pretty sure I grunted and said, “What am I going to do with it?” But my sister had a vision for its use.

Sudie Rucker's fireplace grate https://jollettetc.blogspot.com

Wendy
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

18 comments:

  1. You sister had the right idea--this unique planter is both beautiful and a valued part of family history!

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    1. I like when an heirloom earns its keep.

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  2. As a planter it looks very nice. It is certainly a unique piece. ha!

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    1. It is that! I wonder if anyone can tell what it really is.

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  3. That's a beautiful piece, I've never seen one like that. I love it as a planter. If one day one of your descendants has an old house with a fireplace they'll know who's garden to raid for a nice grate.

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    1. That’s right - and they will be welcome to it. It is still in good shape.

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  4. We had one of those when I was a boy - but smaller. It stayed in the house when we left.

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    1. I imagine most buyers expect a fire grate to pass with the house. I wonder if the buyers of my great grandmother’s house wondered where it went.

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  5. It's beautiful! Of course the florist had a vision!

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    1. Hey - you’re right. So why didn’t she take it for herself?

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  6. When in doubt, plant flowers in it. We left our grate when we moved because we had no fireplace. It had no history and was not half as nice as the one your sister planted in.

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    1. Fireplace or no fireplace, it is a strange thing to hang onto. I wonder if there was more to the story of this one.

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  7. LOL on 'picking over freshly deceased grandmothers jewelry, dishes, etc. I was getting ready for her ashes to be next when I saw the grate. Glad to see it resting in peace as a planter.

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    1. Yeah a little crematory ash would have been the cherry on the sundae!

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  8. I love this. If only some in my family had this kind of vision, what family history might have been saved.

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    1. I sometimes wonder what got thrown away that might have been fun to see if not keep.

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