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Finds from Opa’s House


I thought I would share a few more pieces I was able to take home from my Opa’s house as well as some pieces that are favorites of mine, but are going to other family members.

The dining set isn’t really my style.  It’s beautiful, but it’s a bit too formal for my taste.  That being said, I’ve always been smitten with the needlepoint seats.  Each one is different and I’m sure they were completed painstakingly by hand.  I had to snap a picture of one…just to remember…

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I also wanted to snap a picture of this old friend…

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My Opa loved animals and was often called Dr. Doolittle.  I remember him keeping a bag of peanuts in the house to feed the squirrels who lived in the trees in his front yard.  He used to tote a small pony around in a station wagon for my mom and she remembers a parade of cats, dogs, snakes…just about anything my Opa found, rescued, happened upon, etc.  While he loved animals, he also loved hunting and he’s had this deer head with a sweet face hung in his den as long as I can remember.  At one point, he had a huge wasps nest hung off the antlers.  I remember sleeping on the sofa bed, trying to avoid eye contact with the deer head with the wasps nest; covering my head with the blankets to try to break the stare.  I actually had nightmares about a rabid deer chasing me with a cloud of wasps behind.  I finally asked him to take down the nightmare-inducing nest and he did.

Ah, memories.

Some pieces that I did get to take home (or will take home) is this pair of hand painted oval plates…

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…this quirky toothpick holder…  (I know it’s ugly, but I thought there was something so cool about it, too.)

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…some coasters from Germany (my Oma collected hundreds of these, I’m sure, including a bunch she stuffed in her purse every time we left a restaurant)…

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…a bunch of silver, including a Champagne chiller…

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…and the thing I wanted most…

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…this beautiful antique wool rug.  I didn’t care if I got anything else, but I really wanted this rug and my mom claimed it for me.

I also brought home some mismatched Sterling silver napkin rings…

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…a petite pair of tongs…

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…a knife rest…

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…some family photos (oh, who’s that cute little girl with the platinum hair)…

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And those who were losing sleep over the chandelier, you’ve convinced us to take it home.  So, I’m going to be the proud owner of a huge, heavy chandelier with old wiring and thousands of crystals.

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I know I’ll be thanking you all one day.  :)

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  1. Am i the only one in love with your two oval dishes? They look like Meissen to me, but even if they’re not, they are totally gorgeous!

  2. Misty says:

    YAY!!! I will sleep better tonight knowing the chandelier is still in the family. 😉 I have thought about it often and hoped you would share with us what came of it. It looks like you brought home some beautiful treasures. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  3. I have a few pieces of my grandmothers, and Great Grandmother.. and I love the memories they evoke every time I look at them. For me it was the little things, The tea towel that was always hanging by her sink.
    my one Grandmother always wore Estee Lauder youth Dew. It’s a little strong to actually wear so I have a bottle in my powder room that I spray once in a while to remember her. Nothing like Grandmothers ( Omas)!

  4. I love all the things that you were able to claim and take with you as keepsakes. That chandelier is incredible as well as that rug. But the toothpick holder, in my opinion, definitely has a unique and a sort of craggly charm to it…

  5. Yay for the rug and the chandelier:) the only thing I have that my grandma actually gave me is a small folding drinking cup that is silver with gold plating my aunt bought at the 1937 Worlds Fair. The other thing I have of hers I got from my sister, which is a folding school desk (my grandma was a school teacher) and a milk can from her house which burned to the ground a couple of years ago. My grandparents had a dairy farm, and it was one of the cans they used. I ordered and recently received a calfs head like yours, and it’s in my kitchen. It all makes me think of going to the farm growing up, hanging out with my favorite cousin, riding ponies, fishing, etc….

  6. Peggy Thal says:

    Beautiful items from your family with great memories. Have many similar items from my Oma and Opa’s house. Love chandeliers and you have a beauty. I still have some stored and deciding where they will all go because I love them so. Dining room needlepoint is so gorgeously made. Someone spent many hours working away . I have a similar tooth pick holder. Mine is cuter and I adore it . Always found it amusing as a child. Enjoy your memories!

  7. I am not a big fan of chandeliers – but that thing is AMAZING! Is it old? Like really old? Do you know its history? We have a hanging light (it doesn’t fall into the same category as yours) that came from my in-law’s house but it’s way older than their old house. . .

  8. JaneEllen says:

    You are so very fortunate to have some wonderful memories along with precious pieces from your Grandparents. They are indeed very special pieces to be able to keep. Will look forward to seeing how your made good use of them all. Enjoy

  9. Marion says:

    That was a really fun post. I totally get the attraction to the rug. I am sure the dining room set went to a good home, but I couldn’t help but wonder if you gave the chairs a do over in ironstone paint and then antiquing wax, would the style work for you then. They are probably so pristine, that painting them would be offensive to some family members. Glad about the chandelier.

  10. Jennifer says:

    That makes my heart happy that you decided to take the chandelier home with you. I was afraid that you would regret it later. So glad other readers convinced you to!

  11. So many wonderful family treasures…and the chandelier is glad you decided to make it your own!

  12. Barabara says:

    The chandelier is beautiful! You will never regret taking it!

  13. I know I am late into this game. Wanted to say in how much I have enjoyed reading about your oma and opa house. It’s so, so different from my grandparents house.

    They were downright poor. Image having 10 kids living in a farm house with only two bedrooms and no indoor plumbing at all. I loved going there as a child. Peeling wallpapers in the kitchen, watching my grandpa drinking pumping water into a cooking pan then drink out of it. (I do have pictures to prove it, LOL) Took baths outside in a old metal tub…taking care of our business in a pail inside the house then shove it under the bed, I know, I know.

    Helped my grandmother wash clothes outside, her teaching me how to cook sweets and feeding pigs to my delight.

    Sadly, the house got on fire. They moved into a school house which sit on their land. The school house was built in 1862. I loved that school house… same thing, no indoor plumbing, had pothouse stove to keep us warm, running around on that land barefooted. walking in the cold water creek and eating wild blackberries.

    My uncles build them a house… finally, indoor plumbing, real kitchen, still no AC or heater, finally have a phone in the house (they had to use their neighbor’s phone to call) My grandmother only lived in that house for a couple of years before she passed away.

    What would I give anything to go back to that old, old farm house, baths outside, just to be a child again without any worries.

    I realized that I have wrote a book but wanted to share this. I love to hear other people’s grandparents lifestyle and what kind of houses they lived in.

    Again, thanks for sharing. I can only image that you miss them a great deal.

  14. AnnieVee says:

    Oh Marian, that story made me smile many times and well up for sure. What a wonderful gift your grandparents gave you… their love. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Thank goodness… the “chandy” is going home where it belongs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) … I have soooo enjoyed your recounting of the many precious memories from your grandparents home!!! Beautiful!!!

  16. Denise says:

    Wow, those are some beautiful things you have to help you remember your grandparents and the times you shared. My paternal grandparents were no longer around by the time I appeared, and my maternal grandfather died when I was 5. The only memory I have of him is me sitting on the back porch steps, and he was coming down and he poked me gently with his cane and said ‘hey guhl'(that’s how he pronounced it) and grinned. My maternal grandmother lived until I was 16, so have more memories of her. She was a reserved person, perhaps because of the hardships life presented. I have a pin of hers which means a lot to me. It is only costume, but it was hers. I have an antique platform rocker from the paternals, and a gold watch that my son took a hammer to when he was 3. : ( He wanted to know how it worked. Gah! I have two sons, guess which one gets the rocker and which gets the broken watch? OK, he gets a quilt too~~heehee.

    My maternal grandfather was of Dutch, English and Native American descent. My cousin Roy had Native American blood on both sides of his family, and wore the traditional costumes and would dance at the powwows. He looked the part. I got the blue eyes, blond hair (when little)and the skin that never tans, but burns. Dang it!

  17. Such beautiful pieces and I love the stories behind some of them. That rug, the chandelier, even that toothpick holder…what wonderful taste they had!

  18. Such lovely things to remind you of your Opa….But I am actually so happy that you kept the chandelier..YAY!!! Stunning!…… And the rug too……*swipes brow* in relief that it came home with you.
    I think as a child that deer with a hornets nest would’ve given me nightmares too, but as an adult how cool is that?! Vanna

  19. Marian! That rug! Gah!

  20. DJ Timmons says:

    I’ve just discovered your site, and what a sweet surprise tonight, to learn that you are of German descent and called your grandparents Oma and Opa. I am blessed with a 23 month old grandson, and while deciding “what I wanted to be called ” I decided on Oma, a perfect choice with my German heritage. It is music to my ears to hear my sweet grandson call me Oma :-)

  21. Family treasures are the best because they hold so many precious memories. I think the toothpick holder looks a lot like the work of an Italian carver, Anri. I have several Anri pieces. I love how unique each is.Thanks for sharing your story.

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