I’ve never been one to be attached to things. My parents were not collectors of any kind, nor did they ever purchase much but the necessities of life. I can’t look at a thing that’s old and tell if it’s valuable or not. In my own home, I have the things that most people do. There’s nothing fancy or expensive or collectible.
When I’m talking to clients about doing their will, I always ask if they have anything valuable in their home, including anything that they know is valuable but other people might not know is valuable. I’m especially interested in knowing this if my client has asked me to be their executor. One of my fears is that I would walk into a house and think an item is a goodwill donation when in reality it is a hidden gem. (Don’t worry, I get an expert involved when I have any question about the value of a person’s belongings.)
Clients have told me they have collections of matchbook cars, antique books, musical instruments, and Native American arrowheads. Sometimes a client mentions a collectible I’ve never heard of – like Fenton art glass. When I asked what it was, the client was surprised. I googled Fenton glass, and now sometimes I can recognize it when I see it.
One exception to my lack of interest in “things” is anything that makes me nostalgic for my childhood. My mother’s parents were simple people, accumulating very little. My family spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house when I was a child. I became familiar with every inch of their house, including the knickknacks. On a rainy day at my grandparents’ house, I might have used a knickknack as a toy, played with it, examined it, and put it back where I found it.
The other day, one of my grandmother’s knickknacks came to mind after I saw a vase with little nubby dots on it that I presumed to be a piece of Fenton glass. The green glass boot! What an odd thing to be at my grandparent’s house. Something that seemed very fancy for my grandparents who came from West Virginia and grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing. I wonder where that green glass boot came from – probably a gift.
I grabbed my phone when I remembered the boot, went to the eBay app, searched “green glass boot” and there it was. My grandmother’s fancy green boot knickknack that I had seen so many times. And it WAS Fenton glass. I felt an urge to own it. I bought it. When it came, I pulled it out of the mailbox, opened the box, and ran my fingers over those bumps on the glass the way I had done so many times as a child. I took the picture shown above and sent it to my sisters to see if they remembered it.
I had a wonderful grandmother. Her name was Wanda. Loving and sweet. Every time I have looked at my new “thing,” I have remembered her and all of those memories of being at her house.