Mother’s house on Anchor Road has been sold. We sold it last fall, just a year ago. After more than seventy years, the Longeneckers do not own this house.
But that doesn’t mean there are no memories or longings for home. The Welsh have a word for such a feeling, hiraeth
(n.) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past
* * *
So, memories and photographs remain.
Mother’s dining room buffet sat at the center of our house, yes at the heart of the first floor. On top of this piece of furniture you could even hear the heart beating where the clock ticked and chimed every fifteen minutes.
Mother’s hands must have removed the white crocheted doilies and dusted the buffet top with lemon Pledge and an oily rag many times. I don’t remember her doing it, but I do remember that I did every Friday.
Inside the buffet were treasures: the good china and table linens, her silverware arranged in a blond, wooden box in the middle to bottom drawers. With the crystal in her china closet, Mother had all the accoutrements to entertain friends or relatives with an elegant Sunday dinner every month or two.
At the top right of the buffet was a drawer that we opened/shut several times every single day. The partitioned drawer made of mahogany wood and lined on the bottom with maroon velveteen was always arranged the same.
* The keys to the buffet & china closet sat inside a shot glass, scored at the lip, an odd object in a plain, Mennonite household.
* Scotch tape, matches and stamps
Mom had no scissors in a knife block. In fact, she had no knife block. The scissors in the dining room buffet was her all-purpose go-to, cutting fabric, gift wrap,or curling crinkly ribbon.
The scissors was rather fancy with engraved ornamentation with a provenance from England hinted at by the letters E-N-G and a faint letter L remaining. It is probably made of steel, but since it is so tarnished, perhaps silver.
Mother drew the scissors’ blade along the length of crinkly ribbon, gathering several strands to make bows of blue, yellow, pink, or lavender for birthdays or a baby gift.
During this season of the year, the fluffy bows made of bunched up strands would all be brilliant red or forest green.
On the top left drawer of the buffet, Mom kept stationery, little notes to say thank you, send well wishes or remind the receiver of her strong faith.
From her store of plenty, I pass on this Christmas wish to you, pictured here front and back
Peace on earth and good will toward men, women, and children everywhere.
Is there a special object or piece of furniture in your family you want to hold onto? One you plan to pass on to the next generation?
Coming next: A Souper Winter Meal