When people talk about the style of their furniture I think about my own accumulation and I call it early eclectic. There are things I dragged out here from California, including my refractory table and chairs in the dining room and my bedroom set, and things I bought along the way in Illinois, like a small set of nested tables. Then there are things I’ve inherited from my parents, like the Italian Provincial sofa and chair that are in my front room and the tall and mirror dressers that were part of their first bedroom set. These I asked for because that is Mika’s favorite furniture period and she had them in her room in the house in Parma. One thing I dragged to California and back is a simple, inexpensive black rocking chair that I bought when I was about twenty two. I rocked both of my children in it. I also hung onto the wooden high chair they both used and I never used again, though I always thought it would be good as a plant holder since there have been no grand children to date to use it. It was a reminder of their early childhood I could not leave behind.
There are the two book cases that were my Uncle Alfons’ and a small book shelf table which looks like my Uncle John made it in high school, with a delicate chair at its side and 2 simple wood chairs painted white which came from my Aunt Elizabeth’s apartment after she passed.
My dad had a set of unpainted kitchen cabinets with a board across the top which he used as a bench for his television repair business. When we were in Parma, and he long since gave up that business I asked him if we could have that bench for Mika’s art work in our garage. It’s been in my basement since we left Parma thirteen years ago. The oversized desk in my computer room I bought from my cousin Theresa when she married Ken and moved all the furniture they decided to keep to their home in Texas.
There are odds and ends which came to me from each grandmother and from my paternal grandfather. I cannot seriously start thinking about breaking up housekeeping or what I might part with to live again in an apartment.
People I know are always saying, just get rid of all that stuff, you don’t want to leave it all for your children to have to sort through when you are gone. Why not? My cousins and I did that for my parents’ home. I think my children will have to sift through these kitchen utensils and linens, books and stretchy bracelets to have some idea of who their mother was.