Sunday, March 25, 2012

China Cabinet

An antique china cabinet sits in my dining room.  It does not contain china.  It does contain memories.

The bottom shelf has a few glass items that have significance to me.  Two teacups with saucers were left to me from Great Aunt Edith.  A planter in the shape of a lady's head was from Great Aunt Wanda.  A couple pieces of some blue irridescent glass came from my paternal grandmother.  There are some glasses from memorable moments in my life, too.

The fourth shelf is packed with apples of various construction.  Some are glass; some are wooden; some are plastic.  For a period of my life, people gave me these apples because I was a teacher.  (If I had become a doctor, do you think they still would have given me apples??)  My "favorite" one was given to me by my parents.  It is made from the volcanic ash of Mt. St. Helens.  It blew its top the day I graduated from high school.

The third shelf contains an odd assortment of items.  The ones on the far left are Precious Moments figurines.  In the middle are antiques thimbles from various grandmothers and great aunts.  On the far right are three items that I have had since I was little.  The two tiny glass purses and the tiny glass vase have stamps on the bottom: Made in Occupied Japan.

The second shelf is cats, cats, and more cats.  If you have been following my posts, this does not surprise you.  There are mugs in the shape of cats.  There are salt and pepper shakers.  There are Avon bottles in the shapes of cats.  I have a pewter cat and a Garfield pin.  The most sentimental of all the cats, though, is one I made out of clay when I took Art for Teachers in college.

The top shelf has three main divisions of items.  In the center are thimbles, spoons, and other things from places we have vacationed.  On each side of these souveniers are where my sons' things are placed.  J-Man has less things because he kept many items that I might have placed in protective custody.  The Boy's things were bought home and safe-guarded instantly.  I have some souvenirs that he bought on trips, but I also have a couple things he made.  One of them is a dog.  It looks remarkably like the cat I made in college!

This cabinet was to be mine after my mom was gone.  When I moved out, though, she decided I needed it to store my "collectibles."  The items in it have changed as the years have passed, but they are each special to me.  I treasure this cabinet of treasures.


  1. I liked your lines "It does not contain china. It does contain memories." And it certainly does. You have great collections to hold all those memories. Thanks for sharing this slice

  2. I love the idea of "memory cabinet" Maybe I should consider a memory cabinet in my house as well.

  3. A cabinet of memories is priceless. You have so many mementos of people and places, precious.

  4. I love that you have a space in your home dedicated to memories. I wonder, though, who knows the stories behind each piece? Everyone? Only you? Will this blog post be found years from now to pass on the meaning behind those special pieces? Is there a journal in the cabinet that tells a story to go along with each piece? As my grandparents age, and as my mom collects more memorabilia for us, I often wonder, when the day comes, will it mean as much to us if we don't know the stories? Sadly, I worry that it will not, so I push to capture the stories and write them in safe places. More sadly, many of my older-generation family members think it's "silly" and my same-generation family members just "don't have the time" to help with this record-keeping. I want a cabinet like yours. I want the stories. I want the details, so the pieces remain invaluable. Thanks for sharing! I wish I could have coffee with you and hear all about the treasures on your shelves! (Minus the cats, I apologize - I have a horrid fear of cats!) :)

    1. Not sure either of my sons will care about the story behind all the pieces. May have to document it all for a granddaughter! I do need to get my mom to tell me the history of the cabinet itself. She has told me, but I never remember the names of relatives I never met. I will write it down! (The cats in the cabinet won't hurt you. Can't promise that about the live ones around here...they are very affectionate!

  5. What a fabulous treasure chest of memories. I love that you described each shelf for us. It makes me want to go downstairs and look into my china cabinet which also does not contain china!