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Friday, August 15, 2014

Timeless Treasures

I  have always felt that old pieces of furniture have souls.
They have been a part of a family's household, have witnessed births, celebrations, milestones, and even deaths.
When I bring an old piece into my own home, it's as if I am the new caretaker, mine to love and enjoy for only a few short years.
A temporary position, until it passes along to the next homestead.

Last year I brought a century old Kentucky Pie Safe into our midst, a much-loved piece of furniture, that has served it's utilitarian purpose well.
I can imagine all of the homemade pies that have sat upon it's shelves....... still warm from the oven.
Maybe stacks of linens, or dinnerware, or served as a pantry, in some distant rural farmhouse.
 
 


Each time I pass it by, I can't help but smile.
 

 
 Old Furniture
 
I know not how it may be with others
Who sit amid relics of householdry
That date from the days of their mothers' mothers,
But well I know how it is with me
Continually.

I see the hands of the generations
That owned each shiny familiar thing
In play on its knobs and indentations,
And with its ancient fashioning
Still dallying:

Hands behind hands, growing paler and paler,
As in a mirror a candle-flame
Shows images of itself, each frailer
As it recedes, though the eye may frame
Its shape the same.

On the clock's dull dial a foggy finger,
Moving to set the minutes right
With tentative touches that lift and linger
In the wont of a moth on a summer night,
Creeps to my sight.

On this old viol, too, fingers are dancing -
As whilom--just over the strings by the nut,
The tip of a bow receding, advancing
In airy quivers, as if it would cut
The plaintive gut.

And I see a face by that box for tinder,
Glowing forth in fits from the dark,
And fading again, as the linten cinder
Kindles to red at the flinty spark,
Or goes out stark.

Well, well. It is best to be up and doing,
The world has no use for one to-day
Who eyes things thus--no aim pursuing!
He should not continue in this stay,
But sink away.

Thomas Hardy's : Old Furniture

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely old piece of furniture - I'm quite envious.
I love the words too, Thomas Hardy the best of the best British poets.
Thank you for reminding us of his words.

Tasha T

Susie said...

Jo, The Hardy poem just seems to fit your "new" pie safe. I adore those and what better things to put in them now...quilts.:):) I like to run my hands along the finishes and think of who may have owned it before. I have a wee table of my mom's ...I love it . Blessings for a wonderful weekend. We are having the best days. Today, Jo, was so perfect. xoxo,Susie

DeniseinVA said...

I would treasure such a piece of furniture Jo and your poem fits beautifully, as they always do. Happy weekend to you my friend.

L. D. said...

My pie safe is painted white with brass handles. It had such hard times that the rats had been eating on the shelves. It doesn't look bad but we store our cd player and all our movies. Your pie safe is a beauty and maybe someday I will strip the paint from mine.

Terry said...

The wood just glows.

Nellie said...

Lovely piece of furniture! I've some pieces from my grandmother as well as from my home when I was a child. Mother would keep clean linens - fresh from the clothesline - in the pie safe I now have. I remember the pleasant aroma of those linens.

Denise at Forest Manor said...

What a beautiful piece, Jo!! I've always loved old pie safes, and you're absolutely right -- it is fun to think about all the things they've been used for over the years. I love the way you have yours displayed and the pretty pieces on top. :)

The Thomas Hardy poem is lovely and poignant -- perfect for this post. I hope you have a great weekend!

Hugs,

Denise

TheChieftess said...

I love older furniture!!! We have a dining room set that has been passed down in the family...we even have a piece that was in my husband's ex-wife's family that she discarded (because it was old) It's a beautiful hope chest, needs some work, but I really like it! And I have to laugh that the hubby's ex wife tossed it! There's such a sense of history to these old pieces...and yes...I have some new pieces too...but give me a bunch of antiques any day!!!

DJan said...

I know why you smile when you look at it: it's filled with all kinds of wonderful memories and ancient smells. I never heard of a pie safe before. Makes sense, though. :-)

Janneke said...

Indeed a timeless treasure this pie safe, can imagine you're smiling every time you pass it. I love this poem of Thomas Hardy too.

Pat said...

It is a lovely piece of furniture. I've never had a pie safe but have always wanted one. Maybe I can get one now that I have my own place. :)

Jeri Landers said...

I love most all Primitives, but Pie Safes are one of my favorites and you have a real beauty here! The patina is perfection and the antique basket atop, the framed farm scene on the wall... all made for each other. I too feel I am a "keeper of the past" when I acquire an old piece.

Clipped Wings said...

I have quite a few old souls in my home also. So much passion was put into the making of things long ago.

Barbara Anne said...

What beautiful pictures and a lovely poem as you always choose well. I have many pieces of furniture from my mother's family and cherish each one. They speak to me, too.

As a quilter, I'd encourage you to put a folded towel or other thick fabric between the shelf, back, and sides of your pie safe and the quilt. Wood can stain fabric and that's true of old wood, too. Better safe than sorry.

Hugs!