Front Porch Stories: The tale of the China Cabinet

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By Kathy Bohannon, Special to The Shopper

There’s a china cabinet in the dining area of my house.

It looks like any other old-school Duncan Phyfe styled china cabinet, tall, cherry wood, glass doors and slightly overstuffed with some favorite things.

A few details about this cabinet make it more than special to me. Aside from the fact that I grew up with it looming in the dining room of our home, it had a charm about it.  There was a matching roll top desk adjacent to it, but while it was indeed the predominate piece of furniture, that roll top desk kept me busy as a very small child. Eventually, though while I was still very young, the desk was given away to a relative. I heard it was painted pink.

As the desk exited, the china cabinet stayed, standing as a sentry to the dining room. It stood among lesser furnishings, proudly displaying mom’s china day in and day out for many years.

At some point I became curious about what was hidden behind those doors at the bottom. The doors had their own configuration as to which one could open first and they made a specific sound, almost like a soft bell as the metal hardware pieces rubbed together. Among all the odds and ends stashed there were some wedding shower items and baby shower trinkets. For hours on end I sat on the floor in front of that cabinet, pretending to host wedding and baby showers with the little plastic pieces.

Eventually I outgrew any interest in the cabinet and moved onto bigger curiosities; boys.

One of those guys would become my husband. His mom Josie happened to visit once during the wedding planning and she saw the huge cabinet had been cast out to the carport. Two doors were broken and some glass was missing. She asked my mom what she was going to do with the cabinet and mom offered it to her.

Josie took the china cabinet home and began working to restore it. She replaced the missing glass and mended the doors. It soon became a sentry in her dining room, and was filled with her cherished items. Christmas china was stashed in the bottom behind the doors that once held playthings for a little girl. A matching china service for twelve lined the shelves, some plates standing along the grooves in the back. My mother-in-law cherished this cabinet for many years and it was so sweet to see it in use again.

There came the time that Josie needed to move in with her daughter. The cabinet needed a new home, and she gave it to me.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever have a piece of furniture make its way back in such a manner, but I’m happy to have this tribute to both sides of our family. Whichever child of mine wants it will have a piece of history of both of their grandmothers as well as their parents.

It’s a fine cabinet full of family history and currently full of my collected depression glass, teacups, assorted china and tucked behind those doors, a few special things I only use during holidays.

Until it has another home in the family, it will continue to stand tall and proud, a sentry over my tiny dining area.

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Kathy Bohannon is a Christian humorist and inspirational speaker. An avid paper crafter, she also enjoys sewing and needle arts. Kathy shares her love of crafting on Facebook and on YouTube at Kathy Bohannon Creatively Blessed. She and her husband John live in west Newnan. She can be reached at [email protected].

2 comments

  1. Anne Burr 15 June, 2020 at 21:13 Reply
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    Are you sure you are not talking about my china cabinet? The depression glass, beautiful china that rarely comes to the dining room table, Christmas items stacked carefully on the shelves and the Christmas china stored below… guess a lot of us “older folks” have that piece of furniture that who knows what will happen to it when I’m gone!

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