Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Memory Chest

My friend and fellow writer, Tom Williams and I were talking about a gorgeous wood chest he made for his tools. I mentioned the hope chest my grandfather made for me and he suggested "Post a picture." As I thought about it, it seemed that wouldn't quite do the chest true justice. So I decided to write a short post about the real meaning of this chest.

When I was ten, our family decided to move from Arizona to Indiana. My mother had been collecting things for my hope chest. Since there was limited space in the truck (we were "moving" ourselves), she left my hope chest items with my grandparents.

It took almost all day to pack the truck, trailer, and car so it was evening when we finally started out. In New Mexico, near Lordsburg, out on a narrow two lane highway through the desert, she died in a car accident. I never knew about the things she'd collected for my hope chest.

We went on to Indiana and then Chicago, Illinois. I grew up and three weeks after I turned eighteen, I married the hunk. The night before our wedding, we were putting away the last of the things in our apartment when our landlady knocked on the door. A package was there for us.

Very excited, we tore open the box. Inside, wrapped in a wedding ring quilt my grandmother had made, was the chest in the picture. And inside the chest, were the cactus glasses in the top picture (among other things)! I still have the ten glasses my mom collected. Every year we use them for special dinners.

I'm ashamed to say I didn't know how to take care of the quilt and after some years, it disintegrated. And the chest, as you can see, has fallen on tough times. Twenty moves have not been kind to the chest my grandfather so lovingly put together for me.

I do find it interesting that every one of my children (even the single fellows) have put in their bid for the chest and glasses after the hunk and I are gone.

This month I'll turn sixty-two. And next month the hunk and I will celebrate forty-four years. It seems like only yesterday that we were eagerly exploring the secrets of the small chest called Hope.



  1. How beautiful. The memories will last for many generations to come.

  2. Wow. What an interesting life you've led, and lead!

  3. You're right Amber. But then, anything made with love is beautiful.

  4. Me, Julia? Somehow, I've always thought my life was very ordinary...

  5. That is a lovely story, Anny - thanks for sharing it :)