I generally like to preview an upcoming auction the day before. It gives me a head start on what might be good and what to avoid. It would be nice to be able to do that with life also, get a preview of the upcoming day, that is.

As I moved about, there are many items of interest. Now allow me to explain.

I have plenty of antiques and old furniture because I like to collect. It’s kind of a history lesson for me, the items representing a time with simpler values and purpose than today’s fast-paced life.

On a table were several early radios, the kind with tubes inside. I can only imagine the family sitting around the table after dinner listening to the news reports about the battles in Europe during WW II.

Next to the radios are several small boxes containing military medals, pins and buttons. Had the original owners of the radios once had a family member in the war?

There was a nice, early baker’s table that caught my attention, probably mid to late 1800s.

The finish on the top was well scarred from use, and soaked with sugar and flour I am sure.

Cooking used to be a big part of early family life. Under the tutelage of mother or grandmother, girls would learn to cook and the boys would learn to operate the farm or run the family business from their fathers. Yes, it was a time when values and life’s lessons were passed down from one generation to another. Today, I am not so sure.

Nearby were two cardboard boxes. One contained old letters and the other, picture post cards. I found a chair, sat down and began to look through the letters and cards. Some of the earliest letters dated back to the Civil War.

Although difficult to read, one letter appeared to say that the sender was telling family members that he hoped to be home soon. Had he been a member of the 20th Maine? Did he actually survive to return to his family? The letters truly were a window to the past.

The box of picture post cards was filled with cards from the 1920s and 1930s. All had briefly scribbled messages about vacation days spent along the coast of Maine. Many of the pictures were of buildings and hotels that no longer exist. There were scenes from beaches along southern Maine with bathers clad in those crazy looking bathing suits.

Wrapped in tissue paper were two very old dolls.

Antique dolls have always been very popular collectibles. Long before the plastic of Barbie, dolls were sometimes made of bisque, wax, or porcelain.

More often, early dolls were homemade, made of cloth and stuffed with straw or fabric with hand-painted faces.

These were made of cloth. Their dirty faces and clothing indicated that they had been well used and loved. What became of the little girls who had played with them?

And 100 years from now, what will those at the auction be saying about us?

– Special to the Telegram