The Greatest Treasures
Like most Southern ladies (as well as a few of our gentlemen) I love beautiful interior design. I am also wildly sentimental about the pieces I choose to fill my home. I like to say my personal decorating style is “Early Attic” because I tend to choose furniture that has been passed down from family members through the years over the newest designer items on the block. I choose pieces that nobody else wants; things that are bound for the attic or the giveaway bin until I claim them as my own. I think that’s also a big part of being Southern— hanging on to things that keep your family history alive with stories of days gone by. My home isn’t likely to end up featured on the pages of a magazine but for me, it is filled with hidden gems.
In our dining room, we have the chairs from my husband’s grandmother’s table. The same chairs he sat in as a child, every Sunday after church, as he ate roast and green beans and deviled eggs and listened to the grown ups talk about what everyone had worn to church and how long the sermon had been as he waited patiently for a slice of chocolate cake. In our bedroom we have the first piece of furniture my parents purchased as a married couple; a dresser that doesn’t match a single other thing in the entire house, but I love it anyway. In the den you’ll find the1970’s coffee table of my youth and you can still see the little dents I made when it became my tap dance stage all those years ago.
In our daughter’s room there’s a bed and a chest from my great Aunt Cora along with a dresser and a chair from my husband’s great Aunt Jewell. The guest room has a chifforobe (look that one up if you have to) that my great grandfather stained with pigs blood about 100 years ago— back when that was something that didn’t freak people out. The list goes on and on. And while I adore our antique French sofa covered in vintage Fortuny fabric and the Brunschwig and Fils drapes and the Thibaut wallpaper and all the nice, new, pretty things throughout my home, the sentimental items are the ones that take center stage.
When my husband and I were setting up our first home together we had no dining room table and no money to buy one. We barely even had a dining room; but that didn’t stop my daddy from building us the most beautiful table you could imagine. Through the years it became our kitchen table and it’s where our children did homework, and where we sat together after high school football games and pre-school graduations and on countless birthdays laughing and loving the days away. When our son moved into his first house he asked for that table and now it has become his big important desk where he sits to do big import and work and it thrills me to no end that he cares about such things.
Years later, my family and I moved into a house with an actual dining room. Not long after, my parents gave us a beautiful, fancy, grown up dining table to go with it and when our daughter was learning to write; she snuck in and carved a sweet little smiley face on that table. She decided to go ahead and carve her brother’s name too— so she could blame the entire escapade on him when the time came. It was so precious I couldn’t bear to get on to her for it, and I would never dream of having it repaired. Little did she know she had given us our very first family heirloom (along with a charming anecdote) to pass along in years to come.
The pieces that tell a story of days gone by, the ones that remind me of the ties that bind; those are the things I love the most. The hand-me-down chairs and tables and chests with chipped paint and dents and hand carved names which dot the landscape of my home likely aren’t worth much money, but they are all full of memories and love. And for me, that is truly the greatest treasure.
I am a native of Heflin, Alabama and I savor all that small town, Southern life has to offer. I am a lifelong Methodist and love the "Open Hearts, Open doors, Open Minds" philosophy of The United Methodist Church because I truly believe "Y'all" means “ALL”!
I am an overprotective Mother, expert furniture re-arranger, wanna-be philanthropist, etiquette enthusiast, hopeless dog lover, a loyal admirer of beautiful interior design and a sassy, Southern writer.
I am a regular contributor at Good Grit Magazine and I love writing stories that will give you something to laugh about and something to think about. My first book A Mother's Prayers for her High School Son is available at Amazon.com or wherever books are sold. My husband Rick and I have two children, Jake and Sadie Sue. We all live a fun, fast paced and unpredictable life in the Heart of Dixie where we share our home with four dogs, Otis, Bear, Dixie and Molly & two cats, Katrina and Oliver.
You can follow along with our adventures on Instagram @thealabamahousewife or by visiting www.thealabamahousewife.com.