Figurines – Reminder of Days Gone By (Written by Katherine Purdy)


Inspiration can come from the most interesting places or from the dark recesses of the closet.
This set of figurines was given to my husband and I as a wedding gift. I loved them immediately – something about the look in the eyes and sweet faces.

What I didn’t like was that “grandpa” was smoking a pipe and so after a few weeks, we sent them to vacation in the closet.  Almost 22 years later, I was tracing our family tree and doing research for The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. When I learned that “Papa” lived with grandparents who lost 3 sons in one month during the War Between the States, I remembered my vacationing figurines.

I found them on a top shelf with a little dust but no worse for the wear. (They were standing beside a jar of old sea shells. Ah, that explains it. Grandpa Lewis and Grandma Lucy had been vacationing at Myrtle Beach!) I carefully took them out of the closet and gave them a place of honor on a shelf where I could see their smiling faces and suddenly, my great, great grandparents became alive in my story.

What is your inspiration? Have writer’s block? Look at old pictures, Grandma’s old china is a great place to start. Do you remember helping her in the kitchen? Sitting at the table at Thanksgiving? Did they ever tell you about their experiences at Christmas? What about Mom and Dad’s family Bible?

A story can brew with the most unusual trigger. With me, Granny’s fried pork chops and pineapple upsidedown cake transport me back to her kitchen. Using that old red handled, crank style egg beater! The smell of pinto beans, fried potatoes and coal slaw is the trigger that reminds me of Granddaddy. He cooked on wash day so that Granny wouldn’t have to. The house smelled good all day!

See? You probably have memories fighting for your attention right now. Even if it is a pair of forgotten figurines.

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