An article’s been circulating lately about how kids these days don’t want their parents stuff, i.e. family heirlooms. Lane says they want Ikea or Pottery Barn or what they saw on Pinterest. She says they call it “Shabby Chic.” Since now days us old folks are living longer and young folks want instant gratification, maybe they think they’ll have to wait too long to get our stuff.

I remember my Mama telling me how long it took her and Daddy to accumulate all their beautiful “stuff.” She was proud that they had done this together through time. Our home was beautiful in the way that Mama might say of a friend’s, “Her home is beautifully appointed.” Note that she would say home, not house. I think herein might lie the difference. Mama always liked to say, “It takes a lot of living to make a house a home.” Instant gratification can be so fleeting.

Lane’s maternal ancestors hail from Virginia and she has many beautiful appointments handed down from a number of generations. One appointment is worthy of note. The only president of the United States who never married is James Buchanan (I’ll give you three guesses as to why and the first two don’t count), so he invited his niece, Harriet Lane, to come and be the surrogate First Lady. She was very lovely, dignified, gracious and highly thought of. Does that bring anyone to mind? Yep, Lane is named for this distinguished relative. Consequently, we sleep in the bed that Harriet slept upon in the White House.

I don’t know who all these kids are that they talk about in those articles, but our kids want our stuff. So, Lane and I are blessed to have more stuff than we have room for, especially since we moved to a smaller home. Consequently, we have been giving many things to our children as they will graciously accept anything offered.

Lane and I have been trying to consolidate and downsize, so we had two storage units and were determined to make it one. Once again, our kids were summoned to Apalach and we were able to pawn off enough stuff to achieve our goal. Now, I have moved many times in my life (both voluntarily and involuntarily) so there were many cherished things I thought had just gone by the wayside when, lo and behold, I found a box of some of my most cherished things like my flight log book with all of my flights of five years in the Marines, a picture of my graduating class from Officers Candidate School and so on.

But my favorites are two of the earliest writings of Capt. Gill and my son, Little Gill. Mine probably composed around age 9 and his maybe a little later. Here they are, hope y’all enjoy them.

Your Friend,

Capt. Gill