wings and things

Thank you, Jill

on April 13, 2015

In all of the decluttering and re-organising of this household/farm I have made some wonderful friends like Dina (Chaos to Clear), Mike (antique valuer from Australind Timeless Wares and Collectibles), and now Jill and Ray (from Dardanup Heritage Park and Museum). I’ve already provided links to Dina’s service and will do so for the other businesses once I obtain their permission.

I have sold some things to Mike and, this morning, a ute-load of ‘goodies’ from the sheds to Jill and Ray. Jill, whose late husband, Gary, began the heritage enterprise some years ago, now runs the museum with employees like Ray, and a team of volunteers. She is a delightful woman whose enthusiasm for some of the objects was contagious today. Jill likes items that can tell a story and this, to me, is invaluable and I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the stories her museum tells.

Ray, a big, strong, no-nonsense sort of man, single-handedly lifted everything from milk cans to a marble-topped vanity, to an old ice chest, into the back of his ute. Ming and I helped of course but we were distracted by the fascinating information Jill and Ray shared about each of the smaller bits and pieces. And I was able to provide some history of this farm to them too because I knew a bit about Anthony’s family’s predecessor from what Anthony has told me over the years; I also knew various dates.

Anyway, after the ute was full, we had a coffee break and I showed Jill some of the inside-the-house stuff – the hat box full of hats; the roll-top desk; an antique mirror; an old singer sewing machine, the old print we found in one of the sheds etc etc. and bits and pieces of very nice, but chipped, china. Just as we’d done with the shed contents, we agreed on prices for some things and I donated others.

Here are some pics of what will now be at the museum. I am going to be allowed to write something about Anthony’s history which will be displayed in the dairy section of the museum with the milk cans. I raced into town this afternoon to tell Anthony that, if he sold some milk cans to the Dardanup Heritage Park, he would go down in history because I would write something about him.

Anthony: How much money?
Me: Heaps!
Anthony: We need to check with xyz.
Me: Rubbish, Ants – they are your milk cans!
Anthony: Okay….


Okay so I am making some money from this massive cull, but I am also making friends with some really knowledgable people who know the difference between silver-plate and sterling silver (surprisingly difficult to tell sometimes); antique and just plain old; rare and common. I don’t even think Anthony would have known what was in the sheds; after all, he came here at 23 and proceeded to milk cows nonstop for decades.

The most hilarious thing that has happened so far is to do with the old copper washing machine that the heritage people were interested in. I got some advice from someone who said it could be worth $1,000 so I emailed Jill a couple of weeks ago with that quote and she didn’t reply so I got all paranoid-worried and apologised if the price seemed inflated. I subsequently got advice from Mike that it would only be worth $200 max. How embarrassing! But today, we all realised that the stupid copper was cemented to the floor of the wash house so would be impossible to retrieve anyway. Lots of laughs!

Me: Do you want me to get the Dardanup Heritage Park people to come and have a chat with you about the past?
Ants: With Ming too?
Me: Yes.
Ants: Good idea, Jules.

I am not sure how the same heart can splinter but still sing at the same time. This describes my paradoxical experience of the last several weeks since my decision in January to tackle the enormous job of decluttering, selling, finding, giving, keeping, organising over a century’s worth of stuff.

It isn’t over yet; there are still the old photos and documents to get through but it is a beautiful thing to have clear spaces that hold their history inside the dust of imagination.

Thank you for today, Jill – thank you for the hug.

18 responses to “Thank you, Jill

  1. Terry says:

    I think it’s fabulous. You clean, declutter, make money, and on top of it all, you make new friends. Life can’t get any better than that! Congratulations!

  2. Great stuff! I thought of you today as I began going through my clothes. I was thinking ‘good on you Jules’ which was motivating me with the sorting. It did feel great at the end of the day when I had all this space too 🙂

  3. Julie thank you for including the pictures with this post. I love family history, stories (one and the same I suppose ). I’m excited about you writing the pieces for the museum. And that Anthony is excited too, it’s a win/win!!!

  4. susanpoozan says:

    It is a wonderful experience that your de-cluttering has uncovered such useful items for local history, you must be really pleased.

  5. Interesting items and I’m sure some considered ‘treasures’…. Diane

  6. Rhonda says:

    A year ago, you were dealing with the near paralyzing fear for your beautiful son’s future. Could you ever have imagined that a year hence, you’d be dealing with your beautiful husband’s past?
    What a wonder life is and what an amazing creature you are. You deserve every ounce of love and respect those that know you feel for you Jules…oh, and that includes me. 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    Some fabulous pieces and great photos.

  8. I particularly like that you can write a little bit of the history Jules, very cool! ❤
    Diana xo

  9. Judy says:

    Sounds like Jill is a treasure! All of that junk has certainly let to remarkable experiences – wow. It’s amazing how something you once dreaded has been transformed. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but so much is behind you now!

  10. Trisha says:

    It must be exciting to declutter, make money and preserve some of the farm’s history. Great job! It sounds like you found the perfect people to help you accomplish all this.

  11. How wonderful you have been able to find someone who wanted these marvelous things and they didn’t end up at the tip.

  12. tootlepedal says:

    Your sheds must have been really full.

  13. I think that by giving as much to the museum as possible you are extending the life story of each piece which keeps Anthony’s family alive which is a gift. I am so happy for you Jules 🙂

  14. I can feel your joy through your words. I wish I could’ve been there to help. I love old, dusty, cluttered places full of surprises, and interesting history. It’s been fun hanging along for the ride.

  15. Lynda says:

    WOW! This is such a great accomplishment, Julie. I find it very hard to give up all the old things that clutter my life. (Though I am forcing myself to do it!) I wouldhave loved to buy your old Singer! If the wooden case is any indication, it looks to be in fabulous shape! But alas, too may thousands of miles away makes that impractical and an impossibility! LOL!

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