What goes around

When I graduated from high school, one of the things that I was given was a Lane cedar mini-keepsake box. I know this because, unlike other things I might have been given that day, I still have my Lane cedar mini-keepsake box. One of the reasons that I was so excited to receive it was because my mother had one. It had been on her bureau for as long as I could remember, and she kept who-knew-what in it. I didn’t know, because she kept it locked.


Anyway, I keep important keepsakes in mine, like childhood memorabilia (my pet rock!), photos, a scrap of paper with my grandmother’s writing on it. That’s mine on the left. My daughter’s is on the right.

Fast forward to 2017, and my own daughter has graduated from high school. Lane stopped this practice of bestowing the boxes in the 1980’s, I believe, but I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if I got her one? I have seen a few here and there over the years, but they were in abysmal shape. Two days ago, I spotted one at a Flea Market on my way to Boothbay. When they saw my interest, the very nice couple behind the table started to tell me about the history of it. Hey, these were people who loved the story as much as the object! My kind of people!

Alas, the key was missing. In the past, this was a deal breaker for me. This time though, I decided to trust my gut and buy it anyway.

We presented it to my daughter today. My husband told her he would get a key for hers, making it truly a gift from both of her parents that I hope she will tell her own daughter about someday, as she presents her with one of her own.


2 thoughts on “What goes around

  1. I received a little Lane chest, too, at my HS graduation in 1979. I’m afraid it is long gone, eclipsed (ha ha) by our own family tradition of passing along a coffee mug that began when my then-young Aunt gave my mother (then, my father’s girlfriend) a mug to take to college (UConn, ca. 1955). My mother gave it back to my Aunt when she went to URI in the 1960s. My Aunt then gave it to me to take to Colgate (1979-83), and I gave it to her two daughters (my cousins), in the early 2000s as they earned their BA’s at Ithaca College and another upstate NY school. Then the younger of the cousins gave the mug to my niece (Ohio State ’16), She is now holding onto it, waiting for the next female family member to carry the family mug! That is the most educated coffee mug on the planet: 6 Bachelor’s degrees, at least 2 MA degrees, and a PhD!

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