Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Dining Room

Once upon a time...

My beautiful Grandma Hazel James Carver had a dining table set.

I have lovely memories of this dining room.  In fact, I have very tender feelings towards their entire home.  I adored my grandparents home in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Every time I walked into the door I felt peace - even as a little girl.  I knew I was somewhere that transcended my burdensome worries and feelings of inadequacy.  Here was a small bit of heaven.  Here was where Miranda Lambert's lyrics about "the house that built me" became personal.

Crazy me sitting in the dinning room.  Circa 1980

Dad & Spencer - scanning genealogy records in the dining room.  2002

So many late nights arriving at that house with my Dad and brother - after driving for hours from Washington, or coming up from Utah.  My Dad would sometimes carry me in his arms because I was half asleep.  And without fail, my grandparents would meet us at the door.  Always happy.  Always thrilled to see us.  Always patient when my obnoxious self would go running through their house the next morning in delight, testing the resiliency of my Grandma Carver's nerves.

Even in graduate school.  I spent my Thanksgiving break of my first year catching up with my grandfather (and sleep) at this house.  I've never felt more relaxed.  And just being in that environment again - even for a few days - helped me return to attack the finals that awaited me.  Strength always seemed to come easy after a visit there.  

(Top Row) Max Carver, Mom, Hazel James Carver
(Bottom Row) Spencer, Me.  Plain City, 1981.

Grace (2nd wife), Max Carver, me & our Big Guy.  Circa 2004

I miss my Carver grandparents terribly.

But back to the dining room.

When the estate was divided, I got my grandmother's hutch.  My brother got the dining room table and buffet.  Sadly, the table and chairs are not in great shape.  They've seen their day - long before the set was passed down to us.  My very talented sister-in-law will have her hands full restoring the fabric and cushions.  Part of the chair frames are definitely unsalvageable.

For the past five years, we've been "holding" the table and chairs for my brother because of his lack of space.  But last month he finally redeemed his table and in one long Saturday afternoon, my grandmother's table left and our new one was brought in.

I love my new table, chairs and buffet!  The set came from a family in Cottonwood Heights - the aging parents are in a care facility and the two daughters were liquidating the estate.  When I texted the daughter a picture of the final layout in our house, she told me it made her cry.  She was so thrilled that it was going to a family who would cherish it.  

And surprisingly, I've been feeling my grandmother Hazel smiling over my shoulder whenever I use the new table - more so then when we had hers.  This one is my own.  My legacy.  And my lovely family is using it for tea parties, projects and dinners.

Can't wait to see where it takes us...  

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