Thursday, December 20, 2012

Packing it In

Happy trails to you,
until we meet again.
Some trails are happy
ones, others are blue.
It's the way you ride
the trail that counts.
Here's a happy one

~Dale Evans

I said good-bye to
 an old friend
last week.

Not a flesh and
bone friend, but an
 inanimate one
that had been part
of our household
for 25 years.

Standing nearly
seven feet tall and
made of pine, this
armoire stood sentry
for two and half decades,
first housing a
television, and later,
retrofitted with shelves
for a little boy's room.

A little boy who is
now six foot two and
needs a dresser for 
his teenage clothing
instead of a stashing
place for toys.

I arranged for movers
to hoist the armoire
down from my son's
room and into the

I arranged to donate
the armoire to The Hope
Chest for Breast Cancer, a
money to assist women
in poverty fighting 
breast cancer.

What I didn't anticipate
needing to arrange were
my emotions on 
pick-up day.

As the sun shone in 
through spotty garage
door windows onto the
armoire, I thought of 
all the memories 
inside of it.

Like the memory of choosing
the armoire at Homemaker's
in Chicago with my hubby as a
newlywed.  Romantic that
I am, I'd always dreamed
of owning an armoire!  

We were so proud when
it was delivered and our
television tucked inside.

For 15 years, it was the
heart beat of our 
family room.

I've laughed and cried in
front of this armoire.  TV
shows, movies, national
joys and national tragedies
all played out on the screen
housed within the armoire's
pine walls.

And Barney and Sesame
Street, Disney Singalong
Songs and Blue's Clues.

All there.

After a carpenter outfitted
the armoire with shelves, 
it housed stuffed animals,
baseball uniforms, little
boy inventions and a secret
hiding place for Christmas

Little hands used to stroke
its exterior and little hands
once reached into its interior.

We packed so much 
into the armoire's 25 years 
with us.

A lot like 2012.  It was a
year of highs and lows, and
just like the armoire, I've been
a bit nostalgic about what 
memories we've packed
inside of it.....

While wondering what 
memories we will pack 
into 2013.

And the armoire?

It's at The Hope Chest, 
ready for a new home. 

I hope the next owner will
pack in many
sweet, sweet 


PS:  Wishing you all a holiday
season full of moments
that make your heart sing.

I'll be back after New Year's.

Be well : )

all images P&H


Debby said...

That makes me sad. I hope you put a note saying this inside so the new owner will know it is a special piece. You are generous.....I don't think I could have given it up. Happy Holidays.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

You know I've realized we have parted with most of the things we started with, too...there ARE so many memories...but those will stay with you. I know the armoire will be a wonderful piece in its new home! I love your tender spirit, Suzanne! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family, my friend...XO

My Grama's Soul said...

Beautiful pics.....beautiful writing.



5th and State said...

i came by today via enchanted home, cannot be an accident. the first image struck me; that could be my dishes, my's the exact same color. reminding myself to decorate it as shown

next up, i worked at homemakers AND have the exact armoire which i am thinking about sending off as we rearrange some rooms, it no longer fits. my memories are not as deep but the thought transported me back and flooded me with memories, all good
wishing you a wonderful memory filled christmas!

michele said...

gorgeous post, suzanne! and i can relate to shopping at homemaker's as a newlywed too. what sweet memories this brought back.

i don't think we have a single piece left from that first homestead, but how fun to think of them living somewhere else!

merry christmas, sweet blogger.


Low Tide High Style said...

Dearest Suzanne, your posts never fail to touch my heart, make me misty, or bring a huge smile to my face...sometimes all 3 at once! I hope your treasured armoire brings its new owners the same joy and hope for the future that it has given you all these years. And I have so loved seeing London through your of my favorite places on the planet! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013!!!

xo Kat

Farmgirl Paints said...

Love how sentimental you are. I get it. I'm the same way. Merry Christmas friend... Enjoy your sweet family.

doodles n daydreams said...

Wishing you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends, Suzanne.
It's amazing where our memories come from. If I ever move I'll have to take the window sill in my sons' bedroom with me (haha) - little indentations in the wood where he practiced his drumming before he got a practice pad, fun.

blessings to you and yours.

NanaDiana said...

I hope it finds a wonderful home with someone that will love it as much as you did...and will have many cherished memories to associate with it, too. This whole post kind of put a lump in my throat. It has been an emotional week, hasn't it? Blessings and have a Wonderful Christmas-xo Diana

The enchanted home said...

Suzanne.....loved this and appreciate your sentimental attachment, I am very much the same and have a hard time saying goodbye to something that is a vessel of so many memories. I can relate to everything you said..and its bittersweet to say bye to something thats been a part of your family. I really hope and bet it will be going to another wonderful family that will cherish it and enjoy it as much as you have.
Wishing you a merry Christmas, always enjoy stopping by here:)

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello, What a wonderful collection of memories! I am sure that all of your happy memories that are etched into the wood of the armoire will mingle with the ones if its future owner.

I am feeling incredibly nostalgic this year, perhaps it is age I do not know, or the state of the world but I long for the "good old days".

I wish you a very happy Christmas! Enjoy a wonderful family filled week. A big hug to you and best wishes for a blessed new year.

xox Elizabeth

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Well said, Friend. We have an armoire in our family room that's pushing 19 years with us. I, too, remember picking it out as newlyweds in Philly. It has certainly seen better days (dog #2 chewed the **** out of the bottom corners)yet it's stood the test of time and remains a mainstay for my family today. You are doing a great thing with yours. Try to be happy about that and know that someone else, if blessed like you, will have many years of laughing, crying and rejoicing in front of it. Here's wishing you and your beautiful family (so how did he get so grown up??) a blessed and joyous holiday.

Leslie said...

Suzanne.. you remind me so much of my husband who is a very sentimental guy. We have a little cloth advent calendar that is STILL pulled out every Christmas. He insists it still remain front and center as kids have had that since they started walking.. SO.... it's front and center and doesn't really fit it:)

As a 53 year old, I'm trying to move "out" of motherhood and into my goddess;) years. Out with some of the old stuff .. and in with some new stuff. It's a balance of keeping some of what's really important and keeping things fresh to allow change.

Enjoy the season and have a blessed Christmas. Wishing you a wonderful 2013.


Hindsfeet said...

Oh Suzanne! What a perfect post for me tonight!

I'm moving tomorrow and this was so encouraging, especially the Dale Evans quote....

what a happy send off for me : )

thanks, friend...
Happy Holidays


Merry Christmas Suzanne!! I had to chuckle about your words concerning the armoire:). As a designer we tell people to get rid of furniture all the time.....never thinking about the history of the piece. I love that you looked at the memories it held for you and your family. Hope you have a great break spending time with your family.


25 years is a lot of memories. I love the intentional way you live your life.

Merry Christmas, Suzanne.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

You are just one of the best writers in Blogland. After having taken a class this month at The Loft, I was happily introduced to many more tricks and challenges to writing, especially focusing on theme. You beautifully unwrapped your theme in the course of telling your story, as it was, as it is, and it elegantly bears so many life lessons, dear friend.

I too have an armoire that I must either move downstairs, sell or donate. But in that pine box are memories of a young couple, linens folded up patiently waiting to be spread out for countless dinner parties, and yes, even a house for a TV that emanated news, movies, home film memories. This is what a writer does....unpacks the invisible treasures of a life.

Be well my dear, Anita

Jenny Short said...

I had one very similar out of oak. My son I know your feelings. Someting new will come into your life in 1213. Merry Christmas, Jenny

Biz said...

What a wonderful donation!
It's so rare that people keep pieces as long as you have, but it is apparent how much you loved it.
I know someone else will continue to love it and will fill it with memories all their own!

Wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas!

Big Hugs,

Mary Timmers said...

Okay, so you had me scared when I saw the title! She can't be quitting! Not when I've just gotten to know her! So thanks for only taking a couple weeks off.

The piece of furniture will live forever in your memories. And sweet memories they are too. Newlyweds-- those precious expensive purchases we make and then proceed to cherish. Letting go is a sign that time is passing and (you are getting older)

You sent it to a good home and you will be blessed for that.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your time off.


Sylvia said...

Dear Suzanne,
Your writing is like getting a big warm hug.
The feeling you describe is familiar to me, however, the older I get, the less emotionally attached I feel to objects...I know your treasured armoire will find a new home where it will be greatly cherished, because everything in life happens for a reason...
Many wishes to you and your family as you enjoy a wonderful celebration of the most gentle and spiritual holiday.
I am thankful for your kindness, I am grateful to know you.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Just came over here from Happy Homemaker UK, and so glad I did! What a wonderful post and lovely blog! I will be coming back.

Shelly W. said...

Ah, yes, the armoire. We had one for our t.v. too, but now ours is in the basement full of linens--tablecloths, pillows, blankets.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Suzanne. I'll look forward to seeing you in January!

lisaroyhandbags said...

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who gets sentimental over furniture! I honestly don't know if I could have let it go - I probably would have given it a paint job and a new function. But whoever gets it is sure to love it as much as you did. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for a joyful 2013. Thanks so much for your warm get well wishes my friend xo

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I hope you have the merriest Christmas full of new memories!

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

I've been absent for a while, deciding to not spend so much time blogging. Today I stopped in and remembered why I loved visiting with you so much. I've missed you! Wishing you the very best of a holiday season. By the way, your Overnight Butterscotch Rolls will grace our brunch table in the morning. They are now a tradition here at Buttermilk Cottage.

June said...

Yes Suzanne, how is it that we can actually have so many ties to the 'stuff' that make up our surroundings? I form many attachments to the things that I live with (even clothes I wear) and love and they almost become members of the family.
Your beautiful armoire is going to make someone very happy too.
Wishing you and your beautiful family a Merry Christmas sweet friend!!!
sending love...

Julie said...

:-) So many pieces in our lives, weaving in and out in the fabric. The memories are always there, yes. I recently returned home to Charlotte after 15 months, and for the first time realized the house on Woodberry was not MY home....anymore. At nighttime there were no lights burning all over the house and outside, making it the little white cottage on the hill.The tall sentinel flagpole out front was not flying Old Glory all lit up. sigh...I needed to see that, I think. Letting go...a part of leaving behind the old, and moving on to the new. Yet....the memories...they remain. :-) Hugs to you Suzanne. I pray you have a marvelous and blessed Christmas as you close out 2012. A fresh and NEW year awaits to be entered. Glad that I can walk along with you. xoxoxo ((hug))

Patty said...

so bittersweet, isn't it? the changes, the beginnings & ends, the memories... i hope 2013 is chock full of sweet memories for you and your family. merry christmas, suzanne!

Palomasea said...

Beautifully written, dear Suzanne...
I hope your Christmas is filled with joyful memory-making, and the New Year brings much beauty and happy are very special!
Big hugs,
- Irina

Beatnheart said...

so sweet and generous of you...I would have been so tempted to keep it....

beautiful version of Auld Lang Syne

Lili said...

I just know that the new owner will appreciate the good vibes that will be emanating from this treasured piece! Oh sweetie this must have been hard, bittersweet, I'm proud of you and in awe of you being able to let it go. xoxo

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Good for you dear Suzanne, this will enrich another life and perhaps help a woman who truly needs all the help and love she can gather in.

Sending love across the miles. I wish you a healthy and happy 2013.


Jeri Landers said...

Beautiful memories packed in a simple pine box, and the most beautiful rendition of Auld Lang Syne that ever I heard!

Deborah said...

Oh Suzanne what a beautiful armoire with all of its memories! You see beauty and cause it to unfold in all your thoughts and heartstrings.
How thoughtful that you gave to such a cause...bless you, over and over again.
Such a blessing to know you and share in your life.
Thank you!

All my heart,
Deborah xoxoxoxooxox

Deborah said...

And oh, what a handsome young man your son is!

Deborah xoxo

Cindy said...

I get emotionally attached to my furnishing too! I want the next owner to love them as much as I did. I am pretty sure your armoire will be just as loved. How generous of you to donate to such a great organization.
Happy New Year Suzanne! Thanks for letting me tag along with you this past year, I look forward to reading your posts in the new year!

pollydove said...

Suzanne, I am the same way! I was looking at a doll cabinet that is sitting in my room because none of my girls have space in their rooms for it anymore. It is filled dolls that belong to all of us ... some are my daughters' dolls, some are mine - all of which I LOVE! It really doesn't belong in my room, but I can't bear to part with it just yet. Where would those dolls/memories sit if I did?! (I'm sure your armoire will bring much joy to another family.)

Katie Clooney said...

Just found your blog thru Tina.... So sad for that darling cousin of yours... Did the you tube... Will pray for her... I know what it's like to have a sick child . Love your blog. Just put you in my favorites.