Objects with History

  • Get Involved
  • 05-03-19

On Saturday, May 18, from 8am-2pm, the Immanuel Foundation will host an Estate Sale at the Gateway Community Center (1203 US 2 W in Kalispell).  You’re invited to join us, and feel free to bring your friends!  We have a wide variety of items ranging from furniture to small appliances to jewelry, and all proceeds will help us extend our Lodge Day Service program to low-income families in the area.

All of the items we’ll be selling have been donated by residents of our valley.  In fact, many of them come from past, present, or future residents of Immanuel Lutheran Communities. Sometimes, when residents pass away, their family members aren’t quite sure what to do with all the things they leave behind.  When they donate them to the estate sale, we coordinate transportation and storage, so family members don’t have to worry about that when they’re also dealing with loss and with the sheer amount of work there is to do when someone passes.  Also, as residents move into the Villas, they often don’t have room to keep everything meaningful to them.  A lot of time their kids or other loved ones don’t want their stuff (or the residents don’t have close family who would naturally want it).  So, residents give their items to us because they know we’ll use the proceeds well.

We’ve gotten a few items that have particularly special stories behind them, and I thought I’d share some of those stories with you today.  After all, when you buy an object at an estate sale or secondhand store, you buy an object with history.  Most of the time, we never know the history, but some donors have shared the stories of their objects with us, and I’d like to share a few of those stories with you.

One resident gave us a painting of a parrot that she and her husband bought on a cruise ship.  The artist painted it over the course of the cruise and then, toward the end, there was a silent auction and the resident and her husband won.  The painting is a special memento of the trip and of their life together, but she doesn’t have a place for it in her new home at the Villas.  So, she gave it to us.  “I want you to have it because this is my home,” she told us.

Another couple gave us two significant objects.  One is an ice cream bowl that belonged to her grandparents.  It’s a special object that’s been handed down through generations, but they didn’t have room for it in their new home and they would prefer it be used than that it sit wrapped up in storage.  The second object of theirs is a spittoon from the courthouse in Great Falls.  We’re not quite sure how they came to have it, but they don’t have a place for it anymore and they want its proceeds to go to a good cause.

A third resident, who’s donated quite a few items, gave us a couple of pictures he painted himself as well as some other personally significant items.  He’s a retired art teacher and a working artist as well as an art collector.  He’s traveled a lot, so he’s amassed quite the collection of art, objects and experiences.  We have some fabric from France that he bought on his travels as well as assorted books and objects that reflect where he’s been and what he’s done.  Again, he just doesn’t have room to keep all of these things in his apartment, so by donating them to the sale he helps benefit his community at the same time he finds homes for his stuff.

When you come to the estate sale, you’ll have the chance to see all of these items and more.  I hope you’ll stop by!

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