By: Nancy Blakley Henderson
Well now, this is something new from me. Not long ago, I wrote a blog called The Cedar Chest. I enjoyed writing the blog so much that I have decided to expand this blog, making it into a book called The Cedar Chest. This is the first chapter. Let me know what you think.
My Name is Cedar Chest
Cedar Chest is the name given to me by my crafter, although there are many different names that I might have had.
Some of the words people say when referring to me are Hope Chest, Dowry Chest, Trousseau Chest, Glory Box, or Bottom Drawer. Thinking it depends on once crafted, where and who one ends up with as to what name given.
Of course, it does not matter what name a chest has because it does not change the job that it was crafted to do. Speaking of being crafted, I do not know the person who did that. My first memory feeling is that of being gently rubbed with something soft, which had a lovely clean smell and placed into something without any light. One day, suddenly there was light again, and I was in a large room. Once again, a person rubbed me with a soft cloth, and the sweet clean smell returned, but this time there was talking.
The words heard about me were fascinating. Things like cedar wood lines my inner walls, floor, and top. Evidently, this enables me to take care of the precious treasures that my person(s) chose to put inside me. My job is absolutely a special one which must be very serious. Also, I have a lid that opens and closes tightly. Another thing heard by me, I am beautiful with a top that rounds down in front, and there are handcrafted corners which look like small draped curtains.
One day, the lights went out again as someone wrapped me in a blanket. How do I know it was a blanket because the person wrapping me up said it was. After only a short time, the lights came on, and I was in a new place. Again, the soft rubbing began accompanied by the sweet smell, and the rubbing thing made me feel fantastic.
Suddenly the rubbing stopped, my top opened, and soft things placed inside my walls. It seemed that all of these things had different textures and shapes, but that did not matter to me because this was my first job. I would keep these treasures safe and prove myself worthy.
Periodically, my lid opened, and one of my persons placed new treasures inside of me. All these items were different, but all were important and special. Warmth and laughter filled my surroundings, and many times, the soft rubbing of me and sweet smell comforted me. Of course, sometimes the light would go out again as another blanket wrapped around me, and when unwrapped I was once again in a new place, but my familiar voices were there with me.
One day while all of the voices were silent in my place, the room got hot, and a dense gray filled the air with an awful smell then loud sounds were heard all around me. Also, many shouting voices filled the space around me, and fear nearly overcame me! I held tightly to the treasures that were inside me knowing my job was to keep them safe and that awful smell out. Finally, the heat, the dense grayness surrounding me, and the loud voices left. Lots of fresh, clean air surrounded me, which helped me to relax and calm down because I knew my treasures were safe.
Soon, the rubbing and clean sweet smell returned then a blanket wrapped around me, putting out the light, but as it unwrapped, a new place surrounded me, and the voices around me were the same. Occasionally, a different sound entered my surroundings and became another one of my voices. I began to know these voices as my people and decided there were two kinds, boys and girls, because of hearing those two words to describe them.
Many times a blanket wrapped me, and when unwrapped, I sat in a different place with my boys and girls who would always refer to these different places as homes, so now I do too. Seven people lived in my house, two girls and five boys. The funny thing about those boys, periodically their voices changed by getting deeper, although sometimes squeaking a little. Only one of the boys had always had a deep voice, and they called him Dad or Daddy.
One day, I heard one of the girls referred to me as a Hope Chest. The other girl thanked that girl then called her Mom. The Mom told the girl that she was a young woman now, and could store her unique treasures inside me. My lid opened, then the Mom and young woman removed everything residing inside of me before closing my lid. Well, this made me very nervous and made me wondered what was going on. After all, it was my job to take care of those treasures which were no longer inside of me.
Soon, I felt a different kind of rubbing, which was not very comfortable, but for the first time, the young woman talked to me. She told me that she was sorry that I was in the fire when their home burned, but she would fix me. When the uncomfortable rubbing finally stopped, I felt a gentle rubbing again, but not with the sweet smell. My young woman told me that she was going to paint me an antique blue then put her treasures inside my cedar lined walls, but first, she had to wash my exterior. She seemed so happy and excited then soon she was singing, which made me happy and delighted too.
My young woman loved music, and she sang a lot, but the thing I liked most about her was her laughter.
It did seem like it took her a long time to finish making me antique blue, but she told me that I was going to be beautiful. Liking her a lot made it easy for me to trust that she would soon be through making me very beautiful, although thinking handsome was a better word for me, but not sure why.
I could not wait to see what treasures my young woman would store inside of me and kept thinking if she would quit shuffling her feet around the room while the music played, that she might get done faster, but while doing the shuffling she laughed and sang the whole time, so it made me feel good too.
For a couple of days, the young woman did not touch me, but she talked to me telling me that my paint must dry. Then one day, she took something soft and rubbed me while saying that she would take great care of me, and I would always be with her forever and ever. The sweet smell returned with her every rub; then she opened my lid.
As she placed her treasures inside of my cedar walls, my young girl asked me to please take care of her priceless keepsakes, and she told me about each one of them. One of her unique treasures was her first corsage given to her by someone called Daddy. Once it was no longer wearable, she had pressed it between two sheets of wax paper placed inside the pages of her Bible. Knowing about each of her treasures held inside my walls made me feel even more loving and protective of her, of course, I mean her keepsakes me being only her Hope Chest.
My young woman talks to me, and nobody else ever has.
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