Friday, July 22, 2016

GREAT treasure hunt this morning in one of my favorite places to hunt ... my parents' attic.

Some of you know that a recent thunderstorm here in RVA bought down 11 big old trees in my parents' yard. One landed smack on the roof, causing significant damage.  Roofers sealed the opening with tarps, and starting next week, half of the roof will be replaced.

This morning, in advance of the roofers, I went to the attic to cover the treasure in the back half of the  attic with tarps, shower curtains, sheets, and whatever else I could find, in order to keep the black tar particles off of things when the roofers are working. Not an easy job on a hot morning, but I am truly always happy in that attic.

I had been working for about an hour and had moved lots of treasure to the front of the attic for safety, including green stemmed depression glass and some of my father's antique fishing tackle. I was wearing out and thinking of a cold glass of lemonade when I spied  a box that I had never seen before. It was in the far back corner of the attic with 40 years of junk in front of it, which makes me think that this may be the FIRST box that my father moved into the attic  in 1971 when my parents bought this house.

The box appeared clean and dry which meant that whatever was inside was probably pristine. Ok, I told my tired hot self. Got to climb over the old stroller, box of curtains and hobby horse and get to that box. I was not disappointed.

It turned out to be a heavy box from Miller and Rhoads, the iconic Richmond VA department store of the 40's through the 80's. This box was heavy and hard. I knew that it predated our move to this house. It wasn't easy to move, as it was about 3 1/2 ft. long and about 2 feet deep. I finally got it moved to where I could remove the lid and    I found TREASURE inside.

It contained some amazing old dresses of my mother's, dresses that she wore in her 20's.  One turned out to be the lavender cotton number that she wore on her first date with my father in 1949. It also contained several tiny dresses that belonged to me, including a Cinderella sailor dress from about 1957. I also found a baby dress of   my mom's, a couple of tiny blouses that were mine, and an old railroad cap that belonged to my grandfather.

Perhaps the piece de resistance was a tiny cotton bib apron. My mother wore it to cook as a little girl and a generation later, so did I.

The old Miller and Rhoads box had served as a secure chamber for these treasures, and I felt as if I had found a time capsule, linking me to several periods of my past.

Sorry there are no pictures yet, but I will post pics as I get the items freshened and displayed.

I will sell a few pieces but mostly I will probably keep these treasures and enjoy them another day.

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