July 17, 2014

Hand Me Downs

If you are a younger sibling then the words "hand me down" doesn't exactly put a smile on your face. But if you are a mother, it certainly does. What's not to like about free things that others have used? To me it's even more fun than going to the store and buying something new.

My mother in law is a sweet lady, always thinking of others, and always picking up gently used things that she thinks will be perfect for me. This last time they came to visit she brought me some old clothes pins for my clothes line. They were some that her recently passed away Aunt had used. Let me establish a few things here. I was excited when my husband built me a clothes line for my birthday, in fact that's all I wanted. Good clothes line clips are hard to find these days, they just don't make them like they used to. So when my mother in law showed up with these wonderful, beautiful, old and weathered clothes pins, I was giddy inside! 

These are the cool kind that squeak when you squeeze them. That means they've been outside in the weather for a long time. I love this. The springs are still tight, and the weathered wood grips nicely. My mother in law is also very crafty and creative. She sewed me this cute clothes pin bag out of material she brought back from Japan.

One reason I like hand me downs is the story that's behind them. Most of the time we don't know what the story is. That's what's so great about it, it leaves room for the imagination, and you can make your hand me down the most amazing thing ever given to you.

While I was hanging clothes with these pins the first time, and every time after, I couldn't help but think of the woman who used them. I'd never met her. Never seen pictures of her, never even knew her name. I wondered what she looked like when she was a young wife and mother. I'm sure she was beautiful. Did she use her time to hang the clothes out as a time to escape the noise of children, like I do? How many children did she have? Was she often tired and weary from long days doing the wash? Or was it relaxing to her? Did she listen to the birds and the sprinkler in her garden go around? Did she go outside barefoot and feel the grass in her toes, or did she wear shoes because of sandburs or weeds? What did it cost her in those days to buy these pins? Was it done at a sacrifice, or maybe someone gave them to her too. I think this is what the Spirit of Elijah is. The turning of the hearts of the children to their fathers... or their great aunts. (Malachi 4:5-6) It's the remembering of those who came before and paved the way for so many of us. We must remember our ancestors so we may be saved with them. (John 5:24-25, 1 Peter 3:19, 4:6 , 1 Corinthians 15:29, then verse 22.)

Hand me downs are a time machine that can take you back to the life of those before. You can go anywhere you dream. Next time you are blessed to receive a hand me down, take it for everything it is worth.

 photo summersigyellow2_zpsf38de9a2.jpg


  1. I love hand-me-downs too! I always feel blessed that someone would think of me. I was just thinking yesterday that my daughter has the cutest summer wardrobe this year, and I didn't buy any of it, it is entirely composed of clothes that were given to us by someone from church. I love that your mother in law thought to bring you the clothespins, because I think a lot of people would have looked at weathered old clothespins and thrown them straight in the trash.

    1. SO true about the clothespins Katy! I love them because they ARE old and still useful. I think your kids always look cute, and I love it when people give me kids clothes too. My kids are getting older and now I know why there are not many hand me downs any more... they wear out their clothes almost before they grow out of them.


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