Friday, May 28, 2010

My Grandmother's Desk...May 29th, 2005


There's a piece of furniture that's followed me around for most of my life. It's my Grandma's desk. She died when I was 3 years old and I have no conscious memory of her but I wouldn't and couldn't part with this desk for all the money in the world. I'm not sure how old it is...but it IS old tho I don't think it would bring in thousands of dollars like some old pieces of furniture do on Antiques Roadshow. This one pictured here is very similar to Grandma's desk...dark wood and about the same size and height. It came into my possession when I was around 9 years old. I'd gone with my Dad to clean out my Grandpa's house after my grandfather had passed away and as I was wandering thru the house I spotted this desk in an upstairs room and asked my Dad if I could have it, as well as my Grandma's old sewing basket and her cast iron bed. Dad said sure and at the end of the day we hauled it all home.

I spent more hours than I can count at this desk. I always had the desk in front of a window no matter where we lived. I did a lot of daydreaming as I sat there. I had an old turn-of-the-LAST-century Underwood type writer on top of the desk that I'd rescued from the attic of our old house before we'd moved to Vancouver and I would come home from school or spend endless summer days typing away on the old Underwood. I wrote endless stories and poems. In fact, a couple years ago my friend Liz found one of my old stories I'd written in Junior High and given to her... it was packed away somewhere at her house and she sent it to me.....arggghhh...it was so dated and silly compared to kids having sex at 11 and 12 nowadays. Life was so much simpler in 1967 for us younger teens.

When I married, my possessions fit in the back of a pick up truck...my clothes, my chest of drawers, my desk chair, my stereo, my album collection of around 200, and my Grandma's desk. I went from living at my parent's home to living in my husband's little apartment...couldn't take much with me. Didn't really want to. Fresh start and all that, you know. Lack of space, too. Next month we'll be married 31 years...31 YEARS!!!! .....and that old desk has gone everywhere we've gone. Now it sits here in my dining room with my computer on it, facing towards my dining room windows. I still do lots of typing here. I still do lots of daydreaming, too. I still have a stereo but now it's a collection of CDs I have. We got rid of the record albums when we no longer had a turn table stereo to play them on. There are lots of scratches and scars on it and a little burn spot in the lower right hand corner where a stick of incense I was burning fell over and scorched it when I was about 17 years old. I used to rest my feet on the bar underneath and my shoes have worn away the finish there. Will I ever refinish this desk? Will I give it lacquer and shine? No...it's beautiful to me as it is. It's my Grandma's desk....but it's MY history.

7 comments:

Ciara said...

Oh, how lovely! Yes, I too have various pieces of furniture that belonged to my grandmother and I feel very strongly attached not just to them, but to what they represent to me. My history is something that I feel strongly about!

It's interesting that there is a personal history theme to both posts, Kris!

Thanks so much for sharing!

ladyfi said...

A wonderful story about a desk that is not only a desk, but a wonderful reminder of your history and your grandmother's memory.

Betty said...

What a beautiful memory. I´m glad you have this to remember your grandmother by.

Jeanie said...

I like how something like your desk can mean so much more than it's appearance suggests.

Elizabeth said...

This was lovely. I wish that I still had my childhood desk -- and to own such a treasure of one's grandmother is a gift!

I, too, was tagged by Ciara and am happy now to have found your blog through her!

starsimplified said...

What a nice memory! That desk is so special that I hope you hold onto it forever. It's more than a desk now, it's part of your personal history.

starsimplified said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.