What to do at midnight or later when the old Sandman just won't visit. I guess some folks say warm milk, but my favorite thing to do is to clean, to just rearrange, to putter. I decided to take the cabinet in the kitchen and have a little fun.
First, the removal (and the remorse. What was I thinking? Why didn't I just get a hot shower?) I carefully and quietly set everything down on the floor so I wouldn't wake up Mom. She didn't hear a thing, she says. So the floor went from this... to worse, and the table?
There was a lot to do sitting there on the table. I had a few new things I'd ordered from Valerie ParHill on QVC. And there were several things I had to go searching for new homes. I decided to keep things blue and white to go with the Flow Blue.
It has been a while since I took everything off these shelves, so I polished and oiled the wood well. The scent of Method Almond brings a lot of pure joy to the job. My dad created this cabinet, It once was a large window, the end of the house. When I was three, he built on two more rooms and a garage... And turned the window to the northern world into a window to a collection of memories.
Mom's flow blue and blue stoneware has all been well worn, but that makes me love it even more. I love the idea of seeing how it was once used in a home, probably maybe the chips even causing the owner sadness and sorrow, just a little. Did some little girl get in trouble for cracking that sugar canister? I love the magical glow of freshly-washed china. The water sheets off the glaze, pooling in the sink and revealing a soft patina of age and well-loved luster.
Mom and I used to call this little hen Penelope. I asked her where she bought it, and she said it was "new." I think it's funny that new means anything bought after she got married in 1950.
Mom's flow blue is pretty chippy. I realized while I was washing it that the "good stuff" had all come to me, to my old house up on my corner. Mom and Dad always gave me flow blue for every birthday, Christmas, any holiday. Most of mine was perfect. Now, however, Mine no doubt feels a lot of neglect because I serenely doubt my son does a lot of midnight cleaning by washing china.
The final reveal! I added in the pretty new white chicken light and the vanilla pottery hurricane. The name of our game will probably always be at best, "Organized Clutter." I love the idea of serenity, of washed out linens and very blank canvas, but... not at the expense of purging so many lovelies that were so adored, collected by Mom and Dad. The little butter paddle beside the prune jar? A little note attached in my grandmother's pointy little writing: Translation: Made for me by Vernis, my brother. He carved this butter paddle from our old home place (in Center Point, Indiana.) Now tell me. Do you purge things like that?
I couldn't resist adding in the egg wreath, even though it isn't Spring. The chickens, the colors, the fresh idea of newly pure clean china. A little berry, burlap, and eggs.
Yesterday my son helped me finish the cabinet by removing all the top shelf lovelies. I appreciated his patience when I know there are so many things he needs to be doing.
Mom is a little under the weather still, and I know she loves the idea of cleaning. Maybe not rearranging, but definitely cleaning is always in season! This cabinet surely isn't perfect. The cords to the heaters show. The runner is black and ivory instead of blue or navy. I couldn't find a different place for Mom's precious Jim Shore Gazebo. But just the little rearrangement of our kitchen cabinet was enough to give me a lift... And Heaven Knows, I could use one.
Whimsy and Hugs!