Monday, May 9, 2011

INTERRUPTED (A - Z CHALLENGE)

Yes, moving house interrupted my blogging. So, thought I'm a little late, I'm getting back to the Challenge. I intend to finish it.

I'm working tonight in my new study. This room is considerably smaller than my old study, and I have yet to get it organized. And instead of a massive desk (one metre by two metres, meaning roughly three feet by six feet), I'm working on a desk that is roughly 40 inches by 20 inches. It is sufficient, however.

More important, the desk has a history. My parents were married during the depression of the 1930s. For their first anniversary, dad's parents got them a nice desk. Dad, who was working for a national bank at the time, studied at the desk to achieve a certificate from the national Bankers' Association — the kind of thing which would have helped his career. (I still have his certificate among my papers.) That certificate was also, as I recall correctly, something he could have used as the beginning of a university degree in commerce.  In the process, Dad became the first member of his family to get at least part of a university education. My future was pre-determined; I would have a university degree. (Actually, I have two: Bachelor's and Master's.)

But then World War Two came along. Dad had a commercial pilot's licence, and took a leave of absence from the bank to help train air crews as part of the war effort (the first of three generations in uniform, it turned out). Then I came along. Then, well, . . . life is interesting, and unpredictable.

When dad died, almost six years ago, J and I drove over 2,000 kilometres east, to arrange a memorial service and collect a few things of value and significance, including the desk and my late mom's cedar chest (just a bit older than the desk).

Both the desk and cedar chest are in use in the Bears' new den, and will likely go to our children at an appropriate time. But I have a very good feeling about having dad's desk for my desk now.

29 comments:

Natalie said...

That is beautiful that you have your parent's special things. It would mean a lot to me too. Hope you are both settling in nicely.xx

potsoc said...

You are a lucky man, Bear, th have such keepsakes.

Frances said...

Bear, it's grand for you have your Dad's desk and to be using it daily. Keep us posted on how you continue to settle into your new home.

Has the weather finally begun to warm up a bit up there? Here in New York we still have zigzagging temperatures, which is helping to prolong the spring flowering season.

Best wishes!

Helen said...

'I' for interrupted. Quite the appropriate word for today. It's good to have you back where you belong ... behind this desk.

I have my mother's pie safe and a china cabinet I remember setting the supper table from in 1946 when I was five years old. They are precious reminders of those days ...

Tess Kincaid said...

House warming hugs. xo

Better is Possible said...

Your post has such a nice warm fuzzy feel! Items with attachments are so meaningful!

dana said...

When we must pare down our possessions, we realize which ones are meaningful and which things were actually complicating our lives and taking up space.

GutsyWriter said...

I wold love to see a photo of your desk and the chest. Sounds like it will give you joy and inspiration to write. Did you not use it in your previous house?

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I feel good knowing that you have made this transition, selecting the important things to settle with in your new home: the desk, the cedar chest, J

Things from our parents or grandparents help us remember the past and give us a story/legacy to pass down to children.

Bises,
Genie

About Last Weekend said...

What a great story. How fantastic to have a desk with so much history. You family sound such wonderful people. And how fantastic that they valued education so hightly. I was actually one of the first in my family to get a degree, we came from Manchester stock and quite poor so they didn't have the opportunity but so nice now that everyone is on an equal footing...

Murr Brewster said...

A bigger desk just means more place to stack stuff, anyway. A more petite desk will make you tidier, or able to build excellent paper cairns.

Lins' lleisio said...

How lovely to be writing on such a 'warm' piece of furniture. Hope your new home is always full of peace and hope.

Amanda said...

there is something very grounding to have a piece of furniture from someone you love. after my mother's death i inherited a grandfather clock (but we call it granmaudie clock). with every chime on the hour it reminds me of her.

i wish you the same warm memories with your dad's desk - may you write beautiful stories on it.

xo

Lydia said...

How wonderful that you have your father's desk there in your den. I have my mother's desk that she got during the WWII years, and I have her mother's cedar chest too--filled with amazing keepsakes. I could really utilize that chest as storage for my own things, but they have been safely in place there (some for over 100 years) and I cannot imagine moving them out!

Just saw this on Facebook...although I am not aware of the background of this story.

Nancy said...

I've been eyeing all of the things in my house lately as to what I will keep and what will go in a year or so when we downsize, and my secretary will definitely stay. Your Dad set a great example for you, and one that you certainly fulfilled.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Bear.!!

Oh so wonderful to have your Dad's desk, I have a fad for desks, I am sure you will get a lot of pleasure on using it daily.

Hope you are settling well into your new home Bear, miss you.

Best Wishes from Chief Owl.!

nollyposh said...

i love furniture with history X:-)

GutsyWriter said...

Are you OK? No news in a while.Sonia.

Rob-bear said...

Sorry to be slow in replying, friends. Bear's computer is down, after having fallen down, and cracking its screen.

I'm currently using J's bright, shiny, new computer. Which means limited and very careful use. Especially for a Bear.

Please Bear with me. See you anon.

nutschell said...

Good for you trying to finish the challenge! The A-Z blogfest was really a crazy one. I managed to post everyday, but I missed visiting 258 blogs on the list. So here I am dropping by to say hello! I'd love to see you finish your Z post!
nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

rosaria said...

Bear, I hope you're doing o.k. and are settling in.

Helen said...

Wishing you a good week, Bear!

KarenG said...

I really do love having these kinds of treasured possessions in my home, and using them!

Rob-bear said...

Well, now that things are semi-organized, I'm responding to you comments. Belatedly.

® Natalie: Having these possessions, and being able to use them, is indeed a delight. I expect we'll be settled in by time of Summer solstice, or Litha, or Alban Heruin.

® Potsoc: I am indeed lucky; and I cherish that "luck," as well as the furniture.

® Frances: The "moving in" is still happening. As for the weather, we had frost warning a couple of nights ago. Daytime temperatures are up to 20°C (68F), so it's still not that hot. And other parts of the country have had snow storms.

® Helen: So glad to know you have your mom's pie safe and a china cabinet. There's something about these special possessions, inherited and reused.

® Tess: Thanks for the house warming hugs. This "human filing cabinet" (apartment building) doesn't have as much character as your surroundings, but the view is grand.

Rob-bear said...

® Better: Fuzzy post from a fuzzy Bear, I guess. Thanks.

® dana: Indeed; one quickly learns what's important, and what can be trashed or recycled.

® Gutsy Sonia: I'll try to get a photo of the desk when things are a bit tidier. I had a huge one metre by two metres desk in the house; our son has it now.

® Genie: Well the transition is still "in transition." But we are getting adjusted to the new place. Before we moved we were sure these two special items would come. They are the right things for the spots we have chosen. Important legacy items, indeed.

® Last Weekend: The value of education — very high. Whether academic or trade skills; both are needed.

Rob-bear said...

® Murr: Thanks so much for dropping by. Me? Tidier? They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. Around here, cleanliness is next to impossible. Same for Tidiness. Sigh.

® Lins': "Warm," indeed. And we would love to have lots of peace and hope. Thanks.

® Amanda: Thanks for the story about the "granmaudie" clock. Obviously a much-loved inheritance.
I don't know if dad's desk is helping me write better stories, but I like to think so.

Rob-bear said...

® Lydia: There is something important about keeping things from the past. It really is about heritage. I couldn't Bear the idea of sending Colbear a plush Bear; that would be a waste of good cash. Making more people aware of Bears and their lives — now THAT is important! Thanks.

® Nancy: Having things and using them — that is important, for multiple reasons. Thanks.

® Camilla: Great to hear from Chief Owl! Though I'm not about the Coo these days, I'm still here, and have no intention of going away. Couldn't Bear to leave all my friends.

Rob-bear said...

® nollyposh: Furniture with history. Great phrase. Thanks.

® Gutsy Writer: Yes, Sonia, I'm still here. So far behind I think I'm in the lead. Thanks.

® Genie: Still in transition, a month later. Sigh. But getting closer to being organized. Bises, aussi. Thanks.

Rob-bear said...

® nutschell: Thanks for coming by this blog. I do hope to make it to the end — in fact, I expect to reach "the end of the line" sometime this month. Patience will be rewarded (hopefully)!

® rosaria, Helen, and Karen: Thanks for your good wishes. The desk is getting lots of use; it is also getting cluttered. I'll have to deal with that. Sigh. No matter where I go, clutter seems to find me.