The Story of a Kitchen Heirloom

I walk in front of it multiple times daily. I am aware of the story of its journey…and yet, missing pieces of the saga are surely unknown.

It’s an heirloom that even when taken out of intended service still touched the heart of a shy little country girl.

The setting was during the 1950s when this little school girl played with kitty cats and dollies.

My sister and I had multiple adventuresome “let’s-play-house” locations on our farm. She and I had “moved” into an empty wooden boxcar that was eventually renovated into grain storage.

However, my favorite let’s-pretend-to-play-mommy location was a building within our barnyard that had been saved from demolition. It actually had been part of the farm’s original let-the-prairie-winds-blow-between-every-piece-of-wooden-siding house in which my family had lived.

Feels Like Home

Dad had designated the resurrected wooden structure as a small farm shop. Dear Sister and I turned it into a “home.”

With intrigue, I had been captivated with the little shack’s squeaky wooden floor boards and musty-smelling interior. But it was a sturdy cabinet reposing in the southeast corner of the little building that had caught my eye.

Prior to its move into the farm shop, it had served its purpose well as Mom’s only kitchen cabinet. She had stored everything from “soup to nuts” behind its doors and on its porcelain counter top.

A burnt etching had been innocently branded into the bottom edge of an upper cabinet door—remnant of a kerosene lamp’s flame.

Hundreds of loaves of homemade bread had been kneaded and shaped on that counter top.

Time traveled. Built-in kitchen cabinetry in our new farm home replaced the single kitchen storage beauty. Retirement of this piece was at hand—at least as a kitchen helper.

A Wonder for the Imagination

Within the four walls of play-house happiness, the cabinet reposed in fashionably painted candy-cane-colored white overcoat with bright red trim. Upon slowly pulling open the drawers, small unopened cans of farm machinery oil were seen.

Other than housing modest-sized necessary farm supplies for Dad, the cabinet had another purpose, too, Dear Readers. Its surface had become a treasured spot for meal planning and preparation for little-girl-dolly playing. After all, Dear Readers, our adored babies had to eat! Mud pies artfully decorated with fresh-from-nature weed seeds were simply created on its counter. Perhaps, you well remember having created your own mud pies, Dear Readers. After all, they had satisfied the sweet tooth of every vinyl doll!

As my life moved out of its little-mommy stage, I never forgot about that seasoned old kitchen cabinet. A generation later, it changed residences again and moved to the farm of Dearly Beloved and me. Oh, it was not to be used as a storage cabinet for Dearly Beloved’s farm tools and paraphernalia. No siree! A metamorphosis took place in its look when Dearly Beloved and I painstakingly removed that colorful 50’s-era façade, revealing a treasured natural-oak find!

I will never be privy to the creative thoughts of my old kitchen cabinet’s designer as he accurately swung claw hammer securing wood to wood.

Nor will I ever realize how our rickety first farm home became residence for this kitchen storage amenity.

Cherished Memories

Yet, cherished memories stored within the special part of my brain marked “Childhood” was the only catalyst necessary to instill its future with the past.

Dear Readers, Miss NiNi has not rocked vinyl dollies to sleep for years and years! And pretend play houses have gone with the sands of time. Yet, the old kitchen cabinet’s purpose is far from over!

In creating this baking chat, a missing historical piece to my furniture puzzle has just been revealed by Sweet Sister. Whereas, my colorful Fiestaware dinnerware of the 21st Century is showcased behind the furniture’s original glass framed doors, Mom’s Fiestaware from the mid-20th Century had graced the cabinet’s shelves seventy years ago. The cabinet has come full circle!

I wonder what additional long-lost puzzle pieces are yet to be revealed in the saga of the old kitchen heirloom.