Of course I wanted a house to hold our family, to shelter us, to keep us warm and safe. But I also wanted a place to fill with beautiful things. I have always been drawn to antiques, fascinated with the personal history that things carry. When I was a girl I would wander through the antique store in town, touching elegant leather gloves, trying out the crinkly satin fans, gliding my fingers over tables, sitting in prim little chairs. Inevitably, the store owner would shoo me out, and I’d leave with my head filled with the musty and rosy smells of cedar and lace, dreaming of big, elegant houses with heavy doors and dark furniture.
This beautiful buffet kept me pacing and hemming and hawing at an estate sale for more than an hour. I was looking for something for our kitchen dining area. This was too big, but I couldn’t stop looking at it. Eventually, I fixated on a couple other pieces (and hemmed and hawed about many others, still kicking myself for not picking up more), and decided I would be happy with what would fit in the van.
As soon as we got home, we saw where the buffet should sit in our living room. Fuck. I called the woman running the sale, even left a Facebook message on her store’s page. I wanted it. I really, really did.
It hadn’t been sold. We arranged for the purchase the following week. I couldn’t wait.
It is Thomasville, year unknown. Walnut veneer faces on the drawers and cupboards, and mahogany everywhere else. There are a few scratches and dings, but it’s mostly a well-loved and cared-for piece of furniture that loves our house.
The drawers pull out smoothly, and the drawers and cupboards hold a big loot (my vases and china, serving platters and bowls). The two smaller drawers on either side have dividers for silverware and are lined with purple velvet.
We learned quickly — nothing goes on top, lest Booker stand up to investigate with his sharp claws digging into the finish.
It sits here, it talks to me, it smiles when our house is filled with friends. It makes itself invisible when the kids are roughhousing, and it screams when the dog goes near. When it’s quiet, it whispers about its past tea parties and big family dinners, and it waits, waits to be filled with more family china, more stories.