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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Jingling Bell ~ Cherished Inheritance

I've recently become very taken with all things over at Folk Magazine so I am super excited to join Folk Magazine's 2013 Community Journal Challenge.  As usual I'm a little late jumping on the bandwagon but... better late than never right?
This week's challenge: Cherished Inheritance.
Hubby and I have filled our little cabin on the hill with inherited items ~ some might say we've overfilled it!
So the Challenge here: Choosing Just One to Cherish!  Hubby has a Moon and Stars nick knack collection from his Grandmother that holds a special place in his heart.  He has all the saws, axes, and peaveys that his grandfather and his father handed down from their days of logging the Adirondacks ~ before the invention of motors and chainsaws.  He guards those tools like most people guard their money!  But those tools are connection to his roots that he treasures.  Some wives might get a bit irritated but I have just as many "treasures" as he does.

Like my rocking chair!  I rocked all of my children in that little rocking chair, just as my mother had rocked me, and her mother rocked her.  Generations of Love have been handed down in that chair and I guard it for the day that my grandchildren will be rocked to sleep in the comfort of that old rocking chair.  When I first thought of cherished inheritance it was my rocking chair I thought of... but overnight I remembered a tiny little bell that I had only very recently inherited and my eyes filled with tears yet again.
My Love Story with this bell begins when I was just a child.  My grandparent's house sat up on the top of the biggest hill I had ever seen.  When we would visit the uphill drive seemed like an adventure for our old car and the old farmhouse seemed like a castle to me.  As a child I was sure it had a hundred windows!  My grandparents raised 7 children in that large farmhouse including the youngest ~ my mother.  I would scramble out of the car and look at the barns and garages waiting to be explored with Grandpa and the garden in back looked like a magical fairyland to my curious eyes.  But as tempting as those adventures seemed I would always head for the house first...To hear the bell.

The bell hung over their entrance way door.  A parent's device to keep track of 7 kids coming and going.  Over the years each child had mastered the knack of opening the door in just the right way to stop the bell from announcing their past curfew arrival but I loved opening the door as quickly as possible to get the loudest jingle from that little bell. 
That bell sounded like happiness to me because I knew that just a few steps away I would be wrapped in the arms of my short and oh so sweet Grandmother.  Grandpa would tousle my hair and get me a few M&M's from his candy dish.  The kitchen was always warm and smelled like home cooking and inside the living room was a cupboard filled with games.  It was a magical place ~ and the magic started with the happy jingling of that little bell.
My grandparents passed, the farmhouse was torn down to make way for a Wal-Mart.  And the little bell was lost to me.  This past spring my Aunt Rosie became ill and passed very unexpectedly a few weeks later.  We were shocked and saddened by her death.  My mother set to the task of sorting through Aunt Rosie's cherished inheritances and finding homes for all of her treasures.  One day as I helped my mother sort through the keepsakes I lifted an old bell and heard that happy little jingle.  The sound filled my heart with such happy memories during a time of such heartache.  I held the bell to my heart as tears flooded my cheeks.  My mother was taken back by my reaction to the bell she quietly said, "I wasn't sure you would even remember that bell."  That bell was a symbol for me of our family's love for each other, of home, of peace.  While it represents my past it also represents my dreams for the future.  I hope someday that happy little bell will jingle over the door to a little North Country Rustics store.  I hope that it announces the arrival of Rustic Friends and Treasured Family, and the comings and goings of my 3 children.
Where Cherished Memories of the Past
And Dreams for the Future meet
You will hear my Happy Jingling Bell.