Our dining room
To the left of the window is an Asian chest
which we bought about 13 years ago
Supposedly it is an antique
I think once upon a time buyers would go to China
and buy anything old looking and ship it back
(or buy anything that the Chinese said was old and ship it back)
And it was sold as "antique"
It held my china
And I have lots
It kept it behind closed doors
A look that I liked at one time
Some of my silver napkin rings ringed the top
Sometimes, however, you want change
And I decided that I would like people to see my pretty china
So I started a quest to find a china cabinet
There were "rules"
in my quest
a - it had to be old
b - it had to "make a statement"
(for the Asian cabinet did)
c - it had to be reasonably priced
(No $3,000 cabinets for me!)
I trolled Craig's List
Clear up to Nebraska
(although how I would have gotten it home, I'm not sure)
And found a couple
In that $2,000 to $3,000 price range!
And a lot of "cheap", "new" versions of
a curved glass oak china cabinet
I did find one locally
But didn't make a statement except it was really tall
And it was $1,000
(which was a little more than I thought it was worth!)
And then on Facebook . . .
I see this picture
OMG, I say to myself
That looks really neat!
And then they posted the second picture
"Perfect" I thought
The pictures were advertising a farm auction (which also included household goods)
on Black Friday
The forecast for Black Friday -- rain!
The pictures of the furniture were inside
So I thought the sale (at least of the furniture) would be inside!
The forecast was right!
It started raining Thanksgiving night
And it was raining Friday morning
"Wrap up well and layer"
Husband Jim said to me as I headed out
(But the furniture is going to be inside the house, I thought, as I also grabbed my
needlepoint which should occupy me while I waited for the item to come up for bid)
I did grab a coat, and wore a long sleeve turtleneck and a cardigan
But I also wore my everyday crocs
Parking was hazardous
for it a sea of mud
And I almost got stuck in the mud leading into the designated parking
But I got myself free
And found parking on wet but solid ground further up.
The auction, I learned, was all in a shed down the way
And so I sloshed through puddles and mud to the shed where all the household merchandise was
And there . . .
Leaning against the wall was that cabinet
More magnificent than the picture showed
For it had claw feet!
$1,000 thought I
The other one in Fort Scott was $1,000
This was a much better piece
And so I set that as my limit
Of course, the furniture was not first
The "little" household goods were.
The rain pouring outside
The ground in the shed getting muddy in spots
I found a chair and proceeded to needlepoint
But it was cold
My hands were cold
My body was cold
And my feet were freezing
For beside regular crocs, I wore no socks!
I put aside the needlepoint,
tucked my hands inside my sleeves
But there was no warmth for my toes
Which were freezing!
The crowd was small
Few women for it was a farm auction
(read tractors and bailers and tools)
But I did watch many come and look at my cabinet
Finally, they started on the furniture
And it went cheap
There were few antiques
And what was there was not in prime condition
Finally, they got to the china cabinet
"$500" said the auctioneer
"who'll give me $500"
no one did
"$300, who'll give me $300"
no one did
So I jumped in with a hundred dollar bid
And I had someone bidding against me
Then someone else bidding against me
It rose quickly at $25 intervals
But then at $200, I had the bid
And no one else bid any more!
It was mine!
I had made previous arrangements to have it brought home
if I was successful
So I called and set the time for pick up and delivery
And then I slogged through the mud and mire and rain
Got a big cup of cocoa
Sat in the car with the heater on high
And thawed from the inside out!
And finally it was delivered
Looking more perfect than I thought
A nicer piece than I thought I would ever get
I had unloaded the Asian chest while I waited for delivery
The dining room was piled high in china
As tempted as I was to begin "playing" with my new toy
The old glass had been out in the cold all day
And I didn't want it to crack
So I let it get adjusted to the warmth of the house
This morning, after breakfast,
I got to play . . .
And everything fit into the cabinet
(with the exception of the silver trays which I knew would not)
And before lunch it looked like this!
The Aynsley Pembroke plates are on the lower shelf on the left
Grandmother's Noritake plates are on the right
And platters are in between
Grandmother's Noritake is on the shelf above
(as well as some lovely little odd white with gold trimmed cups and saucers that I adore)
Miscellaneous bowls and plates are on the next shelf
The Aynsley Pembroke is on the fourth shelf up
While the top shelf holds the partial set of
white with gold trim Old Paris that I got for a song
here in Fort Scott
My silver napkin rings ring the top of the china cabinet
While crystal pitchers and the silver coffee urn are also on the top
Husband Jim decided that the cabinet was my Anniversary Present
I adore it!
I only wish he could have attended the auction with me
(but he's home recovering from surgery
and so I had to "go it alone")
The new look in the dining room with the china cabinet on the left
(The middle table was changed out eons ago and the mirror dispensed with --
It's an civil war era dining room piece and holds the tea service and punch bowl nicely)
The dining room as you see from the front door --
It's decorated for late November
with colorful mums in the epergne
And the turkey salt and pepper on the sideboard
The Story of "Why Forty-five Years"
We celebrated our 46th Anniversary on Thanksgiving
When we were first married we had little money
And so our furniture purchases were "used" furniture
Mostly golden oak which was just "used" at that time
rather than the antique it did become.
And I so wanted then a curved glass china cabinet
Really, really bad
And "plain" ones
(not as fancy as the one I got)
which was a lot of money in 1969/70
We really couldn't afford it
And I never got one
Not even a plain one
So forty-five years later,
I finally got my curved glass china cabinet
And I am elated!
It is a statement piece
It does hold all my china
(but I'm not sure how much more it would hold --
which Jim thinks is a good thing)
And the price was definitely right!
I smile as I walk through the dining room and see the cabinet
And I shall never forget that "Black Friday" when I bought the cabinet
in the rain and the cold and how miserable I was
waiting for it to come up for bid!
It will always remind me of cold and rain!
And when I walk past it, I get shivers
Or remembering the cold and the rain?
Husband Jim likes the piece
(He had only seen the picture)
And was only too happy to gift me with the china cabinet for our anniversary.
It was one of the best anniversary presents ever!
And as my son-in-law's Aunt Jo said
"I think china cabinets are one of my most favorite things.
they are usually full of memories and family stories of great times past."