When I was five years old, my mom, an emergency room nurse...hurt her neck whilst moving a patient..and had to have surgery. With the settlement, my folks headed over to Cooper Furniture, in Bellevue... to do a little shopping. This Pennsylvania House china cabinet, which my parents purchased along with the coordinating table and chairs...is one of my favorite pieces. My paternal grandparents in Minnesota thought it was pretty fine too...and bought the same cabinet and table, but purchased the lyre back chairs with Queen Anne legs, where as my parents chose the Chippendale Chairs with the Marlborough legs. During the house restoration, the table and chairs are tucked away in storage. And the china cabinet...the china cabinet currently stands watch over my living room...waiting for the day that the back porch will be finely fit for dining.
The triptych of the Swedish children playing originally hung in the buffet line of one the restaurants my dad and grandpa helped found in 1964. The wicker sewing basket was a gift for my mother from my father. Inside the basket, my dad had placed several prettily wrapped packages..inlcuding a sweet nightie (which eventually landed in my dress-up trunk). I believe that the wooden Swedish dough bowl..on top of the wicker basket..came from the cabin my grandparents owned on Maple Lake, in Northern Minnesota. The ceramic bowls (I'm mad for bowls), and roosters were found whilst treasure hunting in the Seattle area. The green bowl is the largest of a nesting set..the other two are burgundy, and mustard. Inside the soft yellow bowl sits a crushed velvet Nordstrom Hat box which I believe I found at GW whilst in Portland, Oregon for the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference in 2005. The carved wooden case under the nesting bowl set was another gift to my mother from my daddy. It opens like a stair step and each of the 5 sections was filled with sweet little wrapped presents for my mama...including tiny carved gift boxes holding trinkets. My dad enjoyed hunting for each treasure, coming up with the perfect presentation, and the element of surprise. I enjoy being just like my daddy in that respect.
Some of the sweet things in the cabinet include...a set of gold rimmed plates my mom bought for my birthday after I had purchased the matching teapot on a visit to the charming town of Sumner, Washington, a little Bunnies by the Bay teacup and saucer which my friend Jenny purchased from my favorite store...when she knew that it was closing..and knew that I loved Bunnies by the Bay, and a French Provencial figurine couple...gathering grapes..which was a gift from a friend whose storage I sorted after September 11, 2001. I purchased the pink rimmed charger plate on the top shelf for 39 cents..at a local thrift store...before it turned into an antique mall. If was filthy...but a little soap and water made it shine. It frames a German clock which belonged to my grandparents. Can you see the little buildings on either side of the clock? I found those at the Agora..in Athens, Greece...whilst waiting to meet a friend for dinner. A Royal Albert "Trillium" teacup and saucer set was given to me by my eldest brother years ago. He is an artist by nature and a scrapper/farmer by trade. Someday, I'll show you some of the "treasures" he's found for me whilst on the job. His picture is in the wee porcelain frame on the lower shelf. The frame was a gift from him when we were young. The creel tea pot on the right is from Eddie Bauer...the pretty teacup next to it was found at a garage sale for 25 cents. It is bone china...I inadvertently dropped it on the garage floor soon after making the purchase..and it is still perfect and lovely and whole.
In the center section..on the lower shelf..is a set of teacups and saucers I purchased at Hallmark years ago. The words, "Friendship is a blend of caring, sharing, and warmth" ring each saucer...with one sweet word reserved for each cup.
That makes me happy.
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Someday, I will tell you more about this china cabinet...about the friendships that have blossomed before it...about the families that grew by its side.