You would think that I would be rolling in heirlooms, with my love of family and history, but after years of living outside of Utah, and being so far away, I really don't have a lot of things from my grandparents and their ancestors. Also, my husband and I are fortunate to have all of our parents still living, so they are continuing to enjoy all the "stuff." There is one thing which came to mind for this post, and that is this cabinet:
My grandfather, Kendal M. Ogilvie (I've written about him a lot already - he was a great guy who lived through fascinating times! He also loved sharing his story.), built this in his high school shop class in the 1930s. I know - it's a far cry from the shellacked monstrosities most of us think of when we hear "shop class." I adore this piece for its latches and hinges, and the lovely stain he picked.
When I visited my grandparents as a child (and I'll admit, even as an adult), I used to slip away and explore the house. In addition to the quiet, cool basement room that was loaded with books to read, I also liked to go upstairs and visit my aunt's sunny corner room, with the funky Snowbird Ski Resort poster on the wall. I would walk up the stairs, go past a room on the right that was so full of stuff that I did not dare to enter, then past my grandparents' room on the left. With the "washroom" in front of me, I would turn right toward her room. Right there in the hallway, on my right and opposite the built-in linen closet, was this cabinet. It always had a photo of my great-great-grandmother, Letty Rees Allgood, on top, and I would often think about how there was something in her face that reminded me of my aunt. It was a spot full of history, and stories waiting to be told.
The cabinet is a little tippy - the base isn't quite deep enough to support its height, but we've found some work-arounds. To my knowledge, it never had glass put in the doors. So I had the glass installed after picking it up from my cousin's house. She lives about an hour away (the two of us Western girls, marooned in Michigan!). After my grandpa died and all the things were being sorted, she had a bedroom set shipped to her from Utah. I asked if the cabinet could hitch a ride, too. I was so glad it worked out! After we said good-bye, and I was driving back toward home, the sun broke through the gloomy mid-Michigan skies and hit my face and arm. Feeling those rays brought the warmest thoughts of the love my grandparents had for us - for all of our family. It brought joyful tears to my eyes.
I love having this cabinet in my living room, as a way to honor my grandparents. I have some glassware from my grandma that I store in it, as well as some tea cups that my mom passed on from her grandmother. I also keep the little clay creations that my kids have brought home from art class in elementary school. It has become my little family keepsake corner, and fills my heart with love every time I walk by.