Yesterday, I had fun adding some cute paper to the back of this built-in shelf in my living room. As I was putting things back in place, I realized how many people contributed to the items here and how much of my life’s story can be told.
As genealogists, so often we are focused on other people’s stories and forget about our own, so here is bit of my story and just some of the people in it.
1. Great-grandpa John Erickson and his children.
2. The gargoyle was a gift from my college history professor. I was his TA for 2 years and he and his wife were part of a trip I took to England, Scotland and Paris. What made the trip extra special was sharing it with my cousin Liz.
3. From my friend Brenda. We exchange Christmas ornaments, but "Hope" stays up all year.
4. A mug made by my sister, Britt, given to me during the years I owned and operated a coffee shop.
5. A gift from one of my former coffee shop employees who went to work at a school in Peru.
6. Actual foot-binding shoes from a college classmate who was a missionary in China.
7. Great grandparents Cecil Lloyd Walters and Emma (Ransom) on their wedding day.
8. A bird cage and baby’s breath that Mom and I used as part of the decorations for a bridal shower for our friend Ellie. We were so honored to have helped! The burlap roses are also from the shower.
9. A favorite photo from a family get-a-way to Duluth a number of years ago. We set out on an unknown road and found a fun bridge and hiking paths.
10. A camera from a day antique shopping with Brenda.
11. Pen nibs and a container. I’ve always been fascinated with old pens and nibs. When Grandma Erickson moved out of the farmhouse, the family was invited to take some keepsakes and this was something I chose.
12. Grandparents Chuck and Marion Walters.
13. A star made by my cousin Kristina.
14. Great-great grandparents, Victor and Nellie Vidlund.
15. “Sisters by Heart” from my sister, Tami.
16. A small jar found by my parents between the old walls in a house we lived in (and they renovated) in Wells, MN.
17. A nesting doll Dad brought back from one of his mission trips to Belarus.
18. I used to buy a tea set on every family vacation. This one Tami surprised me with after a fun visit to a museum near where she lived in Virginia.
19. Great-grandpa Fred Wendorf’s World War 1 id tag.
20. Grandma Lorayne Erickson
21. A watch that belonged to my Great-great Grandma Amy Phares, given to me by my aunt Jackie
22. Great-great Grandparents John and Eva Lundeen
23. A bowl from my cousin Kimberly, given to me after a mission trip to Africa.
Plus, scattered throughout are several antique shop and garage sale finds made with Mom.