Friday, June 19, 2009

Old Things

I enjoy things from the past. Stories, music, collectibles. There are some things that I've obtained recently and others that have a special place in my heart.

Years ago my hubby and I used to travel up to a little fishing village called Cedar Key. My dear hubby had been going there since he was about 16 years old. His Dad knew a family there and would go every year to hunt in the deep woods. The first time my hubby went on one of their trips he met the patriarch, who at that time was confined to his sick bed. The old clapboard house was a typical Florida wood house with four rooms, windows on all sides to let the cool breeze pass through. By the time I came around, Mr. Dorsett was long gone, and his widow and disabled son had moved into a trailer just a few yards from the old homestead.

We would go up to Cedar Key and grab a bite of the best seafood around. The restaurants were located right out by the water. We would enjoy cabbage palm salad and a huge shrimp dinner. Topped off with delicious home made key lime pie. Every time we drove up to Cedar Key we would stop in to visit with Mrs. Dorsett and her son, Alf. She would always welcome us in and Alf would tell all of his latest news. Mrs. Dorsett's family were original to the area, and we heard all about her two spinster sisters who still lived in the "big" house down by the water. They were both in their 90's. There were stories of the lynching back in the 20's. Of the pencil factory that gave Cedar Key its means of work for those who lived there. There was the old cemetery with lots of headstones dated from the 1800's. Some of the small plots were the babies that died during the "pox." We heard about the pine sap that was annually tapped out of the woods. We even found a few of the clay pots that had been used to sap the trees. It was all so fascinating.

Recently on a visit to The Red Geranium Cottage blog I noticed a piece a furniture that Sharon's dear hubby had made. I asked about it, and told Sharon that I had a similar piece. I promised Sharon that I would post a picture on my blog.

Mrs. Dorsett had asked my dear hubby to look for something in her "barn." While he was rummaging through there, he saw this old piece of furniture. Now mind you, it did not look like this. It had been painted with a milk paint and the screens were torn. But my hubby asked about it, and Mrs. Dorsett said that if we wanted that old thing we could have it. She told us that it had been a wedding present when she got married. But she wanted us to know that "it had been used" when it was given to her. She had married young (13-15??) to the older Mr. Dorsett. She was in her early 80's when I met her. So the safe was already about 65 years old when it came home with us 30 years ago. My dear hubby and a carpenter friend took the whole thing apart, stripped down the milk paint and sanded, sanded, sanded. The front is a beautiful oak, but the backboard is pine. We were told that many of the older pieces used cheaper cuts of wood on the backs.

It is a piece that I have enjoyed for many years. It holds a lot of my teacup collection, but it would also serve well for quilts.

There is a story behind every old thing that I own. It reminds me of people or places. It's sometimes like stepping back to a simpler time. Sitting on the front porch, rocking in the rocking chair, sipping a glass of cool lemonade, as you visit with your neighbor passing by.

"While friends are near us, we feel that all is well. Our everyday life blossoms suddenly into bright possibilities". Helen Keller

18 comments:

Crispy said...

What a wonderful post Jocelyn. I just love the cabinet, they did a beautiful job of restoring it.

Crispy

AverettLadyNana said...

Oh It's beautiful! I love old things! I have a pie safe that had belonged to my grandmother's aunt on my mom's side. Not sure who it belonged to before her. It had been on her porch. God Bless "Dare" as we all called her...Lettie was her given name...but she love to paint furniture. GREEN was the color of choice. Now everything got a fresh coat of paint about every year while she was physically able. Momma got it when Dare died. Daddy and I on some hot summer days under the maple tree's shade in our back yard must have used a fortune in paint remover trying to get that paint off. It has the punch tin panels instead of screens. Finally we gave up and he took it to a man who had huge vats of paint remover and he took it apart and dippped it to remove the paint. It's made from scraps of wood from walnut to pine. Only thing is that man put the tins in wrong side out and no way they can be switched correctly unless you take it all apart. I have it now since Momma is gone and have it filled with mainly glassware. I love it! Wonderful memories for food stored in it at Dare's to Daddy and I working on it together.

Mimi said...

What a nice post and picture. Your telling us the background made it so interesting.

Thanks for posting.

Hugs

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Oh I so agree with you! Things from the past...quilts, old china dishes, costume jewelry, vintage linens, just make me wonder about who owned them or stitched them. Love your old piece. Just beautiful. Blessings,Kathleen

sunshine said...

I liked the story about the cabinet. And imagine getting married at 13-15... when I think back to being 15 and imagined being married, oof. It would have been a disaster either for me or my husband or both of us.

Cheers,
Christine

blushing rose said...

That is correct, they did use cheaper woods for bottoms & backs quite often. The piece is wonderful & the restoration is excellent. I love the history with each piece, as do you ... it gives it more importance to me in passing it down to others. Wonderful ... have a beautiful weekend. TTFN ~Marydon

Loralynn said...

What a lovely story and memories to go with you lovely pie safe! I have a few pieces of furnature like that. It just makes them mean even more when they come from someone we cared about!

kwiltmakr said...

That is a really nice pie cupboard. What a lovely story and Mrs. Dorsett is a lovely woman. I grew up with old things around me. My parents always came up with some piece of furniture. My mom dabbles in the antique business now and she is 83 and when I was a teenager we worked for an autioneer and I got a couple of nice things. One is an old dye cabinet that I just love.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Beautiful pie safe and a lovely story. You have been blessed to know Mrs. Dorsett.

Micki said...

I love the post Jocelyn! I love old things too, and the stories behind them are wonderful! Joe and i love to visit old antique shops and enjoy getting something as lovely as that cabinet.
Micki

redgeraniumcottage said...

I LOVE your pie safe and that story is wonderful. It does look like the one my hubby made for me. You are so right. Thank you for posting it.
Hugs

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Jocelyn, your antique is beautiful. I love antiques and wonder about all my treasures. Between my two kids, they do not like antiques. Isn't it funny how generations change, maybe the grandbabies will. I'm so glad to the good news from the Doctor.
Keep Stitchen'
Bonnie

Selvage Quilter said...

Thanks for sharing that story. My mother doesn't like antiques so we don't have much in the way of old family furniture. But I do have a chair and a little sewing stand that my grandmother had. She liked to paint them white, so I know what you mean about taking off all that paint! I painted them a bluish-green. Someday someone will probably re-paint them white! The stories continue. :)
Karen

Becky said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. The old pieces of furniture, etc have more life when there is a story attached!

Fiona said...

Thanks so much for telling the story - It was almost as if I was there. The cabinet is beautiful as is all of the beautiful china you have stored on and in it. I love old things and am forever on the hunt for treasures that I hope my children treasure one day when I am gone. Fingers crossed they will want to keep it all.

Angie said...

What a lovely story of your visit to Florida, and the beautiful cabinet your husband restored. I so enjoyed reading your blog, I have you in my favorites now. You have a wonderful way of spinning a story. Enchanting!

RosaMarĂ­a said...

thanks for sharing! this is a lovely history. I like old things too and your furniture is beautiful!
by the way, is amazing read your coments on my blog!
a big hugh!

bettyp said...

Your hubby did a wonderful job on it !! Thanks for the story!