Downsizing:The Silber’s Tin

The downsizing continues! This post features items that I’ve given to specific people.

After my mom died in March, I mailed a dear family friend one of Mom’s paintings. I put this old Baltimore bakery tin in the box too since Kay lives in my hometown. I bet she can find someone there who loves the old Silber’s Bakery as much as I did.

I’m no longer teaching picture book classes, so my characters are going to an elementary school in Tidewater Virginia. My friend Ann will pass them on to teaching colleagues at her school. Can you name each character? (Strega Nona, Yertle the Turtle, a Wild Thing, Ramona, and Max grace the top row.  Sylvester and Lilly sit on the bottom row.)


I’ve put some of my items, such as the characters above and the Santa below, on Facebook. The Santa is heavy, so I specified local. In fifteen minutes, my friend Allison said she’d love to add him to her Santa collection.


I wondered if pushing my stuff on Facebook was tacky, but Facebook friends reported they had great fun checking out the items I was offering up.

My girls haven’t wanted a lot of my things. I’ve gotten used to the idea, but this came with some pain at first. Kath finally said to me, “Someone else will enjoy them.” My aha moment. But she loves crocks! Here are two of mine, now in her fireplace.


And Matt, my son-in-law the gardener, has strawberries growing out of my great-grandmother’s strawberry pot.

My friend Cheryl took an old stone garden cat and these yellow ware bowls.  I had two garden cats (the same ones) and although I love the bowls, I haven’t used them in years.


My brother brought this xylophone back from Africa. Our choir director said he’d be glad to take it and either use it at church or pass it on to a percussionist friend.

Xylophone from Africa

This was a tough one. My mom and dad’s kitchen china. It brings back those days long ago, but I want my own kitchen dishes. A friend who is into vintage things was looking for a new set. It’s hers!


Pam Briggs, who works at Leland Little Auction Company here in Hillsborough (another downsizing story), has helped me mightily with the deeper emotional issues regarding keeping family treasures. “You only need a few items to be reminded of a loved one,” Pam says. “You don’t need a room packed with their old things.”

On to one of the toughest yet! My dad brought this figure back from Japan after the War. Mom adored him. I don’t. I love the image of my father returning to his beautiful fiancee, with treasures in hand, but this guy kind of creeps me out. I put him on Facebook and a friend from childhood, who knew my parents well, said she’d be pleased to have him.

Giving your treasures to specific people is lots more time consuming than simply donating them, but it’s been another happy piece in my downsizing puzzle. I know where they are. I know they are honored and appreciated. Believe me, I’ve done lots and lots of donating, but for treasures that pull at the heart, this has been my golden ticket.

I’m hoping Cliff will agree to let his mom’s pancake griddle go. I’m itching to put it on Facebook. Who wouldn’t want a griddle named Happy Day Griddle-Grill!


Here are links to my other downsizing posts:

Downsizing: The Recycling Shed


Downsizing: Take a Photo?


Downsizing: Up to the Attic!


Downsizing: Spare the Pig?


Downsizing: Glass Upon Glass


Downsizing: Keeping the Quirk



Downsizing: The White Elephant


Downsizing: The Bicycle Nightgown


19 thoughts on “Downsizing:The Silber’s Tin”

  1. Congratulations on your successful downsizing! We all have to do it but we need cooperation from our family and loved ones.


  2. “I’m just wondering – what are you are you downsizing plans?

    We’re doing it, too. Hope to get our daughter out here to see our home one last time before we move on.

    It’s going to be very different. Much smaller, probably much “hotter” temperature-wise as we may have to move onward and out of our SF Bay Area.

    This home selling is stressful. Does anyone have insights on this?


      1. Thanks, Barbara. I would love to write another post for you! My mind is swimming as to what to write about. So many, many things.

        But, given the problems of baby boomers in this economy, and related issues of downsizing, maybe that might be a good new post!

        My other research on anxiety and menopause is ongoing, along with other research endeavors and topics. But, yes, I’d love to write another post for you!


  3. Re. the picture book stuffed characters–They are some of my all-time favorites. I’ve read “Wild Things” SO many times! And Sylvester–poor rock!–has always made me smile! (I could go on and on. . .) Glad they have found a good home.


  4. I think this is a great way to downsize. You know whoever asks for the items really loves them, and you may even get to visit them once in a while!


  5. Hin Barbara, Ddn’t know you had a new entry on your blog about “downsizing” — If i had, I would have known your circumstances and wouldn’t have needed my unneccesary questions and “hoping” from answers from others.

    Well, Dow is down last week (for any babyboomers that care – not me and my husband) and “news flash” baby boomers have been cited as relying heavily on food stamps,etc. with no real savings for retirement (with the recession hurting them a lot)

    Anyways, I am so glad that you have already purchased your new home!! Not so for us. We have to sell to buy.


    1. Oh, and, by the way, glad the Japanese figurine that you so much didn’t like, made its way to someone who does appreciate it. Yes, funny thing about “things” of importance to some of us, but not to others of us. Thanks, Barbara, for finding good homes to your downsized possessions.


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