I don’t like new things. This is nothing new because I remember as a child being fascinated with old things. Of course back then I had never heard of the word antique let alone know what it meant. What I like about old things is that they have a history, a story to tell. I also do not like mass produced things. I like things that a person made with their own hands and that also is nothing new for me. I realize that is not the way of today we are supposed to want new and improved, but nobody ever accused of going with the flow. Looking back I would attribute this affinity to my grandma Beau. She would tell me stories about the old days, when the relatives came from other countries to America, what things were like when she was a little girl and what her life was like as a young bride during the World War II years. Often while she would be telling me a story we would be doing some chore using an item that I now cherish and use myself. Our home is not filled with new things purchased from retail stores that are cold and plastic with no story or memory, but rather our home is filled with memories from treasures handed down and home made. Things used and touched by those we loved.
God gifted my husband in abundance with the ability to build things. Beautiful things starting with our home. He built it with only his own two hands and had never endeavored to build anything of such great proportion before. Then when we married I wanted a new bed, one that was ours. I always loved the log beds, but knew that they were way out of our price range. Then one day he asked me what I thought about him making us a bed, the log bed I wanted. I was thrilled, I never dreamed he could make a bed like that. It took awhile because the trees he had cut to use for the construction of the bed had to dry well. And then the construction itself took some time because the actual tools used in making the log beds are quite expensive so he had to do by hand what others do by tool. Finally the day arrived when the bed was completed. We brought it into the house and set it up. Then I put the bedspread and pillows on and when I stepped back it was the most beautiful bed I had ever seen, well worth the wait. That night as I laid in my new bed, I thought about how blessed I was to have a husband who was so creative and put so much love into making a bed for his new wife. I guarantee that is not something you can buy at any store.
Well that was the beginning of his furniture making. Truth be told, he has made the majority of furniture in our home. Coffee tables, benches, a boot chest, an armoire for my clothes and our kitchen table is a huge picnic table. And that is just the beginning of the things he has made. And the really amazing part is, he doesn’t even draw his designs out on paper. They are just in his head. I tried to make a dress once and even with a pattern, measuring carefully and pinning I still had one side at least one size larger than the other! People come into our home and marvel at the things he has made and many have asked him if he had ever thought of selling his furniture. The truth is he would love to and we have tried to sell a few of his pieces to no avail. You see we live in the middle of an Amish community and it’s a funny thing. English people, (that is what the Amish call us), have this idea that anything the Amish make is far superior to anything they could get from anyone else. People will go to the Amish and pay obscenely inflated prices for things because they are Amish” hand crafted”. Jackie’s pieces however, are not considered hand crafted they are homemade. Hand crafted or homemade, I suppose it is a matter of opinion and importance. I myself will take homemade with love over the fancy stuff in the stores or something “hand crafted” by a stranger any day of the week. And as an added bonus, we would not have half the things we have were it not for my Jackie’s God gifted hands and the ability to see something grand in a plain piece of wood.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.