Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Come sit with me in my living room.

Would you like some raspberry tea? It's already brewing, just for you, my friend. I love sitting in this room with my friends because everything here is a memory and I love sharing memories. (And talking!)

See the Queen Anne chairs, colorful crewel embroidery on white wool?  I visited those chairs every time my car needed a 5,000 mile servicing because there was furniture dealer next to the car dealership. Better to wander through a furniture store than sit in the plastic chairs at the dealership! I couldn't afford the chairs until all the kids were done with college (sigh) but as soon as the last tuition check was written it was time to celebrate! I bought the chairs! Okay, an unusual way to celebrate but, whatever. It worked for me.

The colors (green, coral, tan, yellow) of the embroidery on the chairs works perfectly with the Persian carpet on the floor. There's a story about the carpet, also. The carpet came after the chairs.

Would you like more tea?

About the carpet? Well, when visiting my daughter in Turkey, she took me from one carpet dealer after another along the Alley (that's what the locals called it) outside of Incirlik air base. They knew my price range and unrolled carpet after carpet, piling them up, a dizzying array until I was on sensory overload. I learned to drink the tea they offered while holding a sugar cube between my teeth because that's how they do it. (When in Rome and all that except I'm talking Turkey here.) Finally, one dealer showed me a carpet "Just for fun, Madam," because it was out of my price range. But it was the work of an artist. And the colors? Coral, green. tan, yellow. "Yes, madam, an artist. And old, too. Made about 1930 in Persia. See along the edge? He wove his name there." I ran my fingers over the unfamiliar Arabic letters. Touching what someone created with pride in 1930. "No more Persia. Now Iran. I send it back tomorrow to Iran. Nobody buy it here for too long." I asked him not to send it back, to let me think about it. "Yes, madam, I wait." He gave me more tea and a sugar cube. I bought the carpet.

My sister found a glass sculpture of a coral fish suspended on green glass seaweed. She's an artist and knew it was perfect for this room I like how sunlight reflects off of it. I call it my cold glass fish.

The coffee table? Oh, my father made that and he also made the small cabinet in the corner.  Best of all, he made the grandfather clock. The chimes remind me of time passing. Passing in small increments of fifteen minutes, but passing nevertheless. My father passed but left me with his labors of love.

See the bookcase? Jam packed with books, my favorite books. There's a story there, too, of course, because things that have stories give me comfort. My grandfather-in-law was an Irish immigrant who worked as a grounds keeper for the wealthy in Shadyside.  Who did he work for? I don't know and that bit of history is lost. If I  could rewrite history, go back in time, I would ask him more questions but I can't go back. The grandfather clock reminds me of that. But the people he worked for (the Mellons? Carnegie?) gave him furniture they were discarding. The bookcase has a story that can't be told. An untold story is sad. Stories should always be told, written down, shared.

I'm trying to do that now. Thanks for listening.


  1. I remember when word spread across the base that "someone's 'rich' mother-in-law" bought the "just-for-fun" carpet! How fun!