The Secretary Has A Story
Hopefully if you're reading this post, you're picking up where I left off with my last one, A Photo Story featuring The Secretary.
If not, you're not missing any background story, except for knowing who "the secretary" is. While I was writing for the Finish the Sentence Friday prompt, I dug up a bit of history by asking my mom a question. By the time I got to "The Secretary" in my post - I had another story to tell.
This is one time I am glad that I didn't call mom. I really can't write this story. I have to copy and paste it and add bold and italics for emphasis.
So I asked the question...
"Who did the hutch belong to before you had it?"
Mom texted: "The hutch belonged to your husband." (like duh) He had it in his old apartment."
Me: No not that. The desk I sit at with my laptop. What’s it called?
Mom wasn't paying attention.
Mom: Oh. I'm pretty sure that came from Goodwood, which is now out of business. They sold some nice sturdy unfinished furniture.
Before I responded, I was thinking "Goodwood?" with a lip curl. Oh.
Me: Wow so that was unfinished when you bought it?
Mom: Not that particular one. Sometimes they had pieces already stained. You could pay them to stain it, or they would have a piece on sale they stained for someone who changed their minds. That one was already stained.
I was disappointed. This piece of furniture that I loved was intended for a stranger who had changed their mind? Humph. I deleted the paragraph I'd written about "the hutch".
Me: And you've had it as long as J4 right? (Apt. where we lived when I was in preschool)
Mom: No, we didn't have anything like that until Brickyard. (where we lived when I was in high school)
Now I was confused. I thought "the hutch" was an antique and I really didn't think my parents had bought it. It was too nice. I mean, I knew they couldn't have afforded to buy such a solid piece of furniture.
Me: Really? I could have sworn it had been around my whole life. Did it get wet in the upstairs leak? The reason it had to be refinished after you moved?
Mom: Ohhhhh! You're talking about "the secretary!" That belonged to my grandmother. Mom gave that to us when we moved to SC. They were also moving and didn't have a place for it. It didn't get damaged in the leak. Being an antique, it really needed to be spruced up before it could sit out here in the open in a new house.
I exhaled. Now we were on the same page! I was starting to think I had fabricated a memory. I was picturing that piece of furniture from my childhood. I was bewildered when mom said she got it from Goodwood. Not that there's anything wrong with Goodwood.
Me: Now I’ve got to rewrite the paragraph that I deleted about it being over 40 years old. I was like Goodwood? I thought it was an antique. So glad I didn’t imagine that.
Mom: It's easily over 100 years old 😉. Well more than that....as in I don't know how old!
Now THAT'S a story.
After I was born, daddy had moved to South Carolina from Pennsylvania to find a job before he sent for me and mom. It was six months before we were reunited. Hard times followed. Statistically they shouldn't have made.
Me: Wow! Now, how did you get it to SC? I know it’s two pieces. Did y’all come down in a moving van?
Mom: Granddad and a friend of his drove the truck down and flew back. That was when Granddad was still living in Philly. Everything we had as far as household goods was given to us. Sofa from his basement, kitchen chairs from Mom Ruby's basement, the secretary and other stuff from Mom like matching sets of pots and pans and a blender Aunt Cornelia wasn't using. Pop Pop Jim "donated" a brand new set of Corelle dishes from a place he used to work.
LOL at "donated."
Mom: So many people gave us things, the only thing I had to buy when we got to SC was food. Also Uncle Ronnie gave me a brand new avocado (popular 70's color) Waring stand mixer.... I had sheets, towels, flatware, bakeware, glasses, EVERYTHING! And I was a little 18 year old girl playing house with a real husband and baby! I was SO overwhelmed!
I sat in awe. This was a piece of my parents beginning that I hadn't heard before. I don't want to think about a time when the secretary resides under my roof because it will mean that they are no longer here.
Today my parents have been married for almost 45 years and the secretary is our family heirloom. It belonged to my great grandmother, that's all we know. So this was my story.