Before Christmas my Great-Grandpa Ray moved to a new home in an assisted living facility, and recently he made the decision with my family to sell his home and its contents. This is really sad for me; my childhood home was moved to make way for the Kansas Speedway, so my Great-Grandpa’s was the only place left from my childhood.

Friday my family was able to have a preview of the estate sale so we could purchase things before the actual estate sale starts on Monday. I love a good estate sale, but it’s weird to be on this side of it (it’s even weirder that I’m on the e-mail list for the company who does the estate sale – I got the e-mail advertising it today). These are things that I grew up with, and they have real memories attached to them.

I thought I would take pictures of the house as I walked through, but nothing felt the same with everything laid out and priced. I decided to keep the memories in my mind and in the backgrounds of old photos instead. I couldn’t help but think of all the things that happened in the house as I walked through. This is the place my family held holiday dinners. The place I went when I had days off school as a kid (Grandma Margie let me glue faux french manicures on my finger nails even though my Mom wouldn’t let me). This is the place my Great-Granpa taught me how to garden (not very successfully – I have a super black thumb), and the place my Great-Grandmother taught me how to watch for birds. I listened to my first records in this house. I played the piano and organ here. My Aunt Beth and I made up games on the pool table when we didn’t yet understand the rules. I smelled my grandmother’s perfume. I listened to the grandfather clock chime the hour. I swept the sawdust in my grandfather’s woodshop. I played the badly tuned guitar for hours. My bridal shower was here. This is the place my family gathered. It’s amazing how many memories are tied to a place. I know it is just a place, but I had to fight back tears when I realized that it would be my last time there.

I tried my hardest to focus on the estate sale portion of it. I chose both things that held a lot of memories for me and things that I normally look for when I’m collecting goodies.

The coolest thing I purchased was probably the get away dress and coat that belonged to my Grandma Margie. According to my Great Aunts, couples used to change into “get away clothes” in the bathroom at the church before leaving the wedding. They think this outfit served that purpose for my Great Grandma (but maybe not – they married in the summer). It is so amazing to think that I have a wearable piece of my family’s history.

I’ll have to look a little closer, but it looks like the dress was handmade. The beautiful coat has a tag; I’m exited to research the company.

I’m mostly a jeans and t-shirt girl (or, to be more honest, a pajama bottoms and t-shirt girl), so I’m not sure what fancy occasion will call for this outfit. Maybe a very special date? We’ll see.

As for everything else, I mostly gravitated towards the vintage toys. I loved playing with them when I was little and I love the idea that my kids will have memories with the toys now too.

I’m really excited about the Marx lithographed tin dollhouse. We’ve sold a few of these for the shop (we even have one in the shop now), but have been waiting for the perfect one for Eliza’s room. I was probably unconsciously looking for this one because it’s the image in my head of what these dollhouses should look like. It will be a happy new home for her Littlest Pet Shop figures, I’m sure.

This Space Probe game will go perfect in Jonas’s space themed room and is super fun. It’s too hard to explain how to play, I’ll have to post a video of Jake doing it. He whomps my scores big time.

Every kid needs a vintage Fisher Price phone. Jonas is already obsessed with it.

We’ll be playing croquet in the backyard as soon as it gets a wee bit warmer.

So we can increase our nerd cred: “The Book of Knowledge” flashcards. Can’t wait to read through all of these.

Other toys: wooden blocks, Legos, and tons of little cars.

This little bird nest candy dish will be perfect for the mantle in our office.

Jake is super excited that I found him a work lamp. He’s been jealous of my yellow one.

I’m obsessed with the Atomic Starburst pitcher. I’m going to make Arnold Palmers in it (ice tea + lemonade). It’s my Great-Grandpa’s favorite drink.

The “Velkommen” cross-stitched welcome hanging was in the entryway. I’ve always loved the tiny tinkle of the little bell and thought it was super cool to see a word in another language when I was little. I’m not sure why it’s in Norwegian. Ancestry, perhaps? Not that I know of. I’ll have to ask.

I was so excited to find out that my Grandpa had set aside this lamp for me before the sale. It used to hang above the couch in their sitting room and I loved it when I was little. I thought it was pretty much the most beautiful thing on the planet. I would also pretend to be a robber and would put the crystals in a pillowcase. Hah! Eliza seems to have the same view of it that I did at her age, so it may be going in her room. She’s so lucky :)

We also bought a few bigger things that will be here at the beginning of the week. We’ll share those and photos of how these wonderful things get integrated into our home as well.

I am so sad to see this important place from my childhood go, but am very thankful to have so many wonderful memories. I hope that those memories will surface every time I see these things in our home.