Ok, people, you all were so crazy nice yesterday. Who knew you'd think looking at pictures of stuff laying around my house would be interesting?
I, on the other hand, am nourished every day because I'm surround by stuff... stuff that was once someone else's before it was mine. I am the queen of hand-me-downs. I love being surrounded every day by things that hold the history of someone I love. I may be alone in my house every day with my pup, but I have little pieces of the spirit of others around me all the time.
And it just so happens to be in my good fortune that all their stuff matches. :)
So here is my second installment... Connections:
That yellow corduroy chair that Riley has now claimed as his favorite is in my bedroom, but was in my parents' home all the while I was growing up. It held up well through all six of us kids, don't you think? What I remember most about this chair is when my great-uncle Don would come to visit and smoke cigars while taking up residence on that throne. And then memories of my mother trying like the dickens to get the smell out of the house once he left. It is seriously the most comfortable chair on the planet... so much so that friends drag it from the bedroom to my red room when watching movies just to be comfy.
The dresser you've seen before in my post about Grandma Flo. I am fortunate enough to have my grandparents' wedding suite of bedroom furniture. How amazing is it to know that this was the first thing they ever bought together as a married couple? I can only imagine the dreams they had for their future family and am sure they never imagined that it would keep their granddaughter thinking of them every time she walks by it.
Keeping with that same history are the chairs around my dining room table. The table is just a cheap Kmart find, but the chairs belong to a table that my mom still uses off her kitchen. My great-grandfather and his friends sat in these chairs while they played rousing games of poker. I can imagine the drinks, the stories, the money lost and won. I can imagine the family that sat in these chairs at Thanksgivings and Christmases where my history was made. They are a treasure.
And so is that chair in front of my piano. The piano that I have no idea how to play as I don't read a lick of music... but it was free and I plan on learning someday. It's a player piano that was built around 1900... you can see the pedals under the chair that make it work. Maybe if I get it fixed I'll just learn to pedal instead of read music. :) But the important part of this photo is the chair... it was given to me by my namesake and a friend of the family, Sarah Lallier. In truth she had nothing to do with my name, but when my parents brought me to see her she declared, "Oh, you gave me a namesake!" and no one wanted to burst her bubble. She didn't have a lot, but she left me a piece of her home in that chair so I carry her with me now.
These two lovelies are about my sister, Janette. That couch was one of her first big purchases for her apartment and later her home. When we moved her into her first home she wanted it in her basement... my brothers eyeballed it and said there was no way it would go down the stairs and put the kibosh on the idea. Then my dad saw Janette's disappointed face and made the couch fit down the stairs. Sometimes it takes so little to make us happy. :) She's now in a new house with no use for the couch and it sits happily in my living room, and I smile at the memory.
That painting is my favorite find ever when I was visiting Janette and we went shopping at this little second hand store in her town. I saw this on the wall and loved it ... and it was only $15!!! That was such a fun day and I was so excited. It will always have a place in my home.
These are hand-me-downs that have been God-sends for me. The bed is an adjustable bed that once belonged to my mom's best friend and my confirmation sponsor, Mary Burns. She has multiple sclerosis and used that bed for many years... as I started getting worse she remembered it was sitting in her garage getting no use and had mom and dad bring it to me. I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't have it... I find now if I try to sleep without it adjusted and elevated I have more migraines and pain. I always seem to have what I need when I need it.
And that holds true for my anti-gravity chair. I had one that was a folding chair for my patio that turned out to be the most comfortable place for me to sit, so my sister Laura found me this one that looks a lot nicer in the house than a folding patio chair. It is used daily and feels like an embrace from a loved one every time I sit in it. I really am never alone.
Now this one is fate at it's best. I needed a couch for my red room where I spend all of my time and my Aunt Mary had this couch that she had replaced and wanted to get rid of, so my parents brought it to me one Christmas. Here's where the irony comes in: see that little valance above the couch on my window? I had that hanging there for about a year before the couch came. I'm telling you, people: fate.
And the plaid chair... well that one's a hand-me-down, but more than it was given it may have been a little bit more coerced. As in, mom didn't say, "Hey Sara, there's this chair in the basement I have no use for." as much as I said, "Hey Mom, wouldn't that chair in your basement look great in my house?" And you've got to admit... it really does. :)
And last, but not least, I have my pictures. The first one of the artist painting spots on a cow was my first Gary Kelly print (my favorite artist) given to me by Len and Gail Froyen. He's the deacon at my church and they gave it to me with the inscription on the back that reads, "To Sara: from two people who see God painting a picture of grace on the canvas of your heart." Yes, the man has a way with words. The second picture is a Gary Kelly print they gave me when I got my very first apartment after college. It was lovely to have people who were so proud of me.
The lower left picture is also a Gary Kelly, but I bought that one myself. It was commissioned for the 100th anniversary of St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center, where I went to church and was very involved. It portrays a modern day St. Stephen being stoned and is really stunning. And of course, I have photos all over my home, including my fridge, of people I love and think of every day.
And if all of these beautiful gifts aren't enough to keep me company and connected to everyone I love, I have been known to resort to this: