repurposed

My mother was what today we call a stay-at-home mom. Most moms were back then. A fastidious housekeeper, she took pride in giving her family a nice place to live. I mean her no disrespect when I say she would turn over in her grave if she knew what I’m about to do: post a picture that shows what our dining room looked like much of the time, despite her regular nagging my dad to do something about it!

That’s my brother sitting up on the furniture, talking on the phone. And our dog, Chum. Check out the TV back in the corner and wonder with me how we managed to watch it sitting around the table. I posted this picture so you could see the china cabinet on the left. You’ll notice it’s part of a matched set.

You can see it again in this Christmas 1962 shot my mother captioned “family dinner.”

My sister on the left and yours truly on the right, wearing the stylin’ plaid pants. I was a high school senior. This picture might qualify as an “awkward family photo,” looking all comfortably unposed and all. But, again, I post this picture so you can see that china cabinet.

When my parents sold this house in Wheaton, Illinois, and moved to one without a dining room, they decided to cut the top off of that china cabinet and turn it into a credenza. That repurposed piece of furniture graced several homes after that, finishing its duties (for them) in Jacksonville, Florida. When my siblings and I split up the family stuff, it went home with me to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Of course I had to haul it out here to Oregon when I married Mauri 15 years ago. It moved to Seattle for a time but came back to rest in our garage. Sad, sad ending to such a long and vibrant life.

Imagine my delight when friends Arnie and Barb said yes to my offer when they opened their own B&B—The Feller House—in nearby Aurora, Oregon. Barb recently posted a link on Facebook that led me to a whole batch of wonderful shots of their cool place. This was among that set.

That china-cabinet-turned-credenza never had it so good.

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9 Responses to repurposed

  1. Marcile says:

    wonderful story! That piece will continue to gather great ‘provenance”, as the Roadshow people say.

  2. Eudora says:

    This is such a cool story. Every thing has life in it.

  3. Craig MacDonald says:

    I noticed the light in the second picture, the one hanging down from the ceiling. I’m betting that was one of those pendant lights that had an egg-shaped canister halfway down holding extra cord. You could raise or lower the light using that spring-loaded cord.
    The last time I saw one of those was in the entryway of a wonderful house at 2020 Porter in Grand Rapids. I thought of it immediately when I saw your picture.

  4. Rachel says:

    That cluttered dining room table makes me feel so much better.

  5. hb says:

    love the stories you tell around things. you are a good story teller. and none of you are doing anything near bizarre enough to warrant awkward family photos. :O)

  6. Amy says:

    Funny. I hadn’t heard the story before. That’s great! It fits perfectly in the hall. And yes…it’s living the good life now…and hearing all kinds of travelers’ stories.

  7. Lisa S. says:

    I noticed your dog, Chum, is NOT positioned on the throw rugs – Isn’t that funny how they don’t do what you figure they would enjoy?? HAHA – thanks for a neat story!

  8. Pingback: Mauri and Sherry » miscellany

  9. Pingback: family treasure | a little bit of this and a little bit of that

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