My parents eventually brought up the subject a few Christmas's ago while vacationing with my brother and his family in Florida about the estate they plan to leave behind. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal but with much of it in farm land that has dramatically risen in price these last three decades, there may be tax implications I will have to eventually deal with. I still hope I don't have to deal with them for a couple decades to come but it definitely got me thinking.
That discussion planted a seed into my head about what my grandparents will leave behind. I remember staying at their house over the years and sleeping in a bedroom set of this exquisitely beautiful antique furniture that belonged to my 3rd great grandparents. It was thick burl walnut and marble. (The rest got "lost" by a shipper hauling my great grandparents furniture to Florida.) When my grandparents were looking to move to Florida 25 years ago, they had to downsize and my uncle ended up with the bedroom furniture since he had the room. Long story short, he ended up in a nasty divorce and part of the nastiness resulted from his now ex-wife selling that antique furniture for a few hundred dollars at a garage sale while my uncle was out of town.
Now 25 years later, I had hoped they still had some of it left but as we moved what remains of their furniture into their new apartment a month ago, it was apparent that it was indeed all gone. The furniture that remains is either very decrepit pieces from the 80's or some more "modern" stuff purchased in the 90's. It was a little disheartening because I've wanted to have something of theirs to pass onto my family eventually.
I did take the opportunity to convert all their home movies and slides into digital format and still hope to do the same with their pictures when we finally get them unpacked. But seeing them on a computer screen still isn't quite the same as touching something that they loved and cherished. I finally got my chance the other day when my Grandpa asked my Dad or Uncle if they wanted his rifle. My Uncle declined and my Dad, who has several rifles passed down through his family, really didn't want it either. So I took it. It is an old Steven's Savage 87A .22 rifle that has seen its better days, or at least the stock has. It was made sometime in the 1940's so I'm not surprised at the condition of the stock but all the steel components are in perfect condition and well taken care.
I really have no need for the rifle and after taking it apart and putting it back together, I stuck it in a closet and gave all the old ammunition that came with it over to my father to use or dispose. Maybe one day when my daughters are older, or perhaps their children, I will bring it out again and we can shoot off a few rounds while I tell them stories of my grandpa using it to hunt squirrels when he was a young man.
|Stevens Savage 87A with stock in better condition than my grandfather's rifle|