I spent a long Fourth of July weekend waaaay off the grid, on the family farm in Western Pennsylvania. If you have a couple of kids running through the yard, it looks like this:

On the Farm

If you think that looks good, I only wish you could smell the place. I’m the fourth generation to spend time there (it’s no longer a primary residence, but rather, a weekend home for family and friends) but I’m sure the smell-memories are the same now as they were 80 years ago.

My house is just outside New York City, where Stuff is Expensive, so I was keeping my eyes peeled for antique shops or quirky yard  sales. I was asking my aunt and uncle where to find Christmas, craft stuff, and notions, and wouldn’t you know–they pull a big box of family Christmas ornaments out of the barn!

Here’s the before shot:

A box of Xmas goodness

So as beautiful as the ornaments were, and as excited as I was to get all up in there, I waited until I found some gloves to protect my hands, and had a couple hours of good daylight to go through them outside.

I stopped at a truly olde-timey hardware store to get gloves, and an Amish guy walked out as I walked in…suspenders, hat, beard. Straight from Amish Central Casting.

Back at the farm, I carefully removed all the ornaments from the original boxes, salvaged what boxes I could, then organized the ornaments by type. Some of them were from my great-grandmother’s tree, right at the farm; the others were from my gram’s tree in Warren, PA.

Once everything was sorted, I invited the family to come out, have a look, and pick out some ornaments:

Xmas goodness

One piece that caught my eye right away was this pink-santa card, below. It’s a totally fun 70’s piece, and I especially loved it because I happen to decorate with a good amount of pink at Christmas. Not in a shabby-chic way, but more of a “hey, I’m growing weary of red” kind-of-way.

Xmas goodness, detail

So I open the card, and it says:

“To Grandma and Grandpa. Love Heddy & Am.”

Xmas goodness, detail

This is in my mother’s handwriting.  “Heddy” is me; “Am” is my sister.

Made me feel like these ornaments were glad to see me.

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