I started an internship at a local museum a few weeks ago. It might be an effect of the Doctor Who kick I'm on lately, but I've started to think of museums as a kind of time travel, especially if they're historical museums. Especially this museum; while most museums have either replicas of things the person had, or period pieces the person could have or might have had, everything short of the wallpaper, most of the drapes, and some of the carpets was owned by the family that lived in this house-turned-museum. They really used the furniture, they really read the books, they really walked the floors. Everything was theirs, and here it is.
Sometimes my older relatives will remark that they've had such-and-such an item for forty years, or that they haven't seen what's-her-name in over twenty years; a family friend likes to remark that something is old enough to vote.
I think it's partly on account of my age, but for me it's very difficult---but absolutely fascinating---to try and possibly fathom the age of things. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the year 1990, and this was only two years before I was born. But it's interesting to think about how old stuff is, and how it managed to get from the "there" of its time---be it 1980 or 2080 BCE---to the "here" of what we call 2011.
It's also odd to connect these things that belonged to a fairly famous family to the family itself. You read about figures in history books and they become these sort of busts on pedestals, but they read books, wrote letters, played games with their kids, they did all these things that "regular" people do, and the people of "then" did similar things to what we the people of "now" do. And for some reason that just blows my mind, and I love it.