Favorite Things

Julie Canfield and her mother’s thrifty treasure collection


After weeks of thinking about my favorite thing, I realized I couldn’t come up with just one item. Instead, I decided my favorite things are actually all the numerous items that my mom had given me through the years or items that were my mom’s. Her “treasures.”

My older siblings are 8 and 11-years older than me, so I basically had my parents to myself growing up. I was essentially raised as an only child. My mom always referred to me as her “coffee drinking buddy.” She’d tote me along to her visits with friends and coffee dates. Because of that, I grew to love coffee at a ridiculously young age. We also frequently visited yard sales, flea markets and antique shops together. She was a collector of vintage items and I loved seeking out these items with her. Throughout the years, she collected numerous items: tins, vintage linens, Delft Blue Dutch Pottery and even pottery that coincidentally had the same name as hers, Claire Wilson — just to name a few.

This was a tradition we carried on throughout my adult years. She would make biweekly trips into Lansing and we would always go for lunch and shopping together. Without fail, we’d end up at some type of flea market or antique store to finish our day treasure hunting. Even on days when I wasn’t in the mood or didn’t feel like shopping, or stopping at that garage sale that she saw, she always told me I would look back and laugh at the memories we shared doing this.

In August of last year, my mom passed away from a long battle with metastatic breast cancer. Now, I understand why my mom called all her finds treasures. Throughout our house are items that remind me of her. Small items, like the pictured strawberry, I remember from my childhood. Other items she crafted or were gifted to me after she passed away. I have too many in my possession to pick just one, but it’s so nice to have constant reminders of her pop up throughout my day. I don’t look at them as things, but as memories we shared together.

(Words by Julie Canfield. Edited by Rich Tupica. If you have a suggestion for Favorite Things, email skyler@lansingcitypulse.com.)


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