The twin beds. My maternal grandmother (whom I resemble, don'cha think?) bought these in fifties for her daughters (my mother and aunt). The beds moved from IA to TX sometime in the 80s, and my sister and I slept in them through most of our childhoods. Now my children get them. The headboards will once again hold everything from board books to chapter books, stuffed animals to china figurines. A little girl and a little boy will hold their treasures close behind those sliding doors and be able to reach books late at night or early in the morning.
The Mom bookcase/desk. The mirror is missing, yes, and it still shows the water stains from the great hurricane that hit Port Arthur in 1915 (back before they had names) that caused my newly married great grandmother and her husband to evacuate to a downtown hotel. I suppose she was called Vera in those days, but in my lifetime (and long before) everyone, young or old, related or not, called her Mom (and that's her in the picture feeding sweet baby me a muffin). When her grandchildren visited they played "judge" with a gavel from the desk. My parents inherited it when my great-grandmother moved into an apartment. Now in my house it will hold games, and (perhaps in my dreams) be a homework spot in future days of more independence. Maybe I'll get a new mirror for it.
The Sarah Ellen hutch. That's my name: Sarah Ellen. But there's another Sarah Ellen on the left. She and her husband (who, incidentally, was married to a different Sarah Ellen before this one) moved to North Texas from Western Tennessee with this hutch (and other belongings) when a doctor told them he thought my great-great-grandfather's health (poor since his time in Rock Island POW camp) would be better in a dryer climate. Their oldest daughter (my great-grandmother) inherited it, and my mother recalls playing game with cousins on the floor before it, both frightened and drawn to the carved lion head between the cabinet doors. A cousin kept it for many years and refinished it beautifully before giving it to my mother a few years ago. And now I own it, as seems appropriate.
All my life I have been told, "You come from a long line of strong women, Sarah." Several years ago, I asked for and was given a pendant with the first and middle names of the strong women from whom I am descended (not enough room to go as far back as Sarah Ellen, sadly): Maria, Mary Rebecca, Lillie Dale, Vera Inez, Dorothy Vera, Ruth Ellene, and Mary Ellen. I wear it around my neck always.
And now I can remember them through the furniture they saved and treasured and hauled across the country. They are around me.
P.S. Dyanne, is this granny chic?
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine
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