Friday, October 10, 2008

Hope Chests

I'm part of a sewing forum, and I just got on it a little while ago to catch up on what's been happening there.

Lo and behold! Hope chests are the topic of the hour. I just wrote this post to add to the discussion there, and thought I'd share it here:

"...I really like hope chests. I think they are a wonderful idea - mainly because they teach a girl to think seriously about what her life will be like when she gets older. Preparing ahead of time is just good sense! I have the extra time to plan (and extra money to spend) NOW - why not make use of that fact?

My hope chest itself is very special to me. Reading through these posts reminds me that I'm one of a few girls who actually has a CHEST for her things. My Daddy likes to work with wood, and he made mine for me when I was about...16, I think.

It was supposed to be a Christmas or birthday present, but things happen, and I got it in the middle of the year. I didn't mind a bit. It's a lovely chest. It isn't made out of expensive wood - just pine - but I love it. I chose the color I wanted it to be stained, and Dad had me give him an idea of what style I wanted. I also selected the handles - the trip to the hardware store for them is a memory in and of itself. :)

The most special thing about the chest is that Daddy burned his name, the date, and a special message to me from him inside the chest, on the very bottom. Sometimes I'll take everything out (quite a job!) just so I can read that message. :)

I know everyone has different ideas of what should go in a hope chest, but my goal is to fill it with things I will actually USE in the future - and that includes sentimental things, since they have value to me. ...But most of the things in there I have bought or made myself for use in the home I believe God will give me someday.

Some folks say to select neutral things, since your tastes may change before you have a home of your own, so for a long time I was afraid to buy too much for my chest. I did make one queen-size quilt, which filled nearly a 1/4 of the chest.

This year, though, I've begun to realize that my tastes (in color, at least) haven't changed since I was 12 years old, so there's a pretty good chance I won't change before I marry. Now I feel free to buy and make those personalized things I've thought about for years.

I now have 2 quilts in my chest,...
...an afghan (it's huge! I love it. Memories of working on it for months...),
... some random serving dishes, all in blue and white (memories of shopping for it with my older sister!)...
...a hand-powered food processor (too cool!..it's in blue, of course.)...
... a quilt my mother made, which covered me for years, until it became to worn to use...
...a book that ladies in my life put together for me when I graduated, full of words of wisdom...
...my old journals...
...my high school diploma...
...a lovely teapot...
...a fall-themed tablecloth...
...a small stoneware baking sheet...
...and I don't remember what else. Just a few odds and ends, like a veggie peeler, and such.

Outside my hope chest - around the house, wherever I can find room to store them:
...Books...
...more books...
...three pizza stones (love these!)...
...a kitchen chopper (in use!)...
...a lovely little blue-and-white teacup from my sister (again, in use!)...
...photos...
...a bookshelf my brother made, to match my hope chest (this is really special)...
...and, my most recent addition: a high-quality set of stainless steel pots and pans. (The story for how I got these is AMAZING!)

Also, I have a few projects sitting in my sewing area, waiting to be finished:
...another quilt...
...12 cloth napkins...
...fabric for a table runner, or anything else I decide to make...
...and who knows what else...

Now...if only I had picked up those great deals over the years, I'd be filled to the bursting point! I still keep thinking of that GORGEOUS huge white tablecloth I could have gotten on sale...if only I hadn't listened to that voice that said "your tastes might change later." Ah, well...memories! The stuff life is made of. :)"



So... what about you ladies here? What do you think of hope chests? Do you have one? What is in it? Do you want one? What would you put in it?

5 comments:

Heather said...

Well, Am...you know what is in mine. :)....the beautiful quilt great-grandma made me, the doll house great-grandpa made, my old dresses, books, baby quilts, and lots of other things. Actually, there isn't enough room in my hope chest for all those wonderful items that I find on sale....that's what boxes and basements are for. ;) Wow! By time I get married and take all my stuff with me....our house will be almost empty! That reminds me, we need to think about planning a time to go out shopping together.

Megan said...

I can't wait to get a hope chest! I just ordered one not too long ago. But thanks to my Grandmother, since I was 8yrs. old and up to my 18th b-day, she had bought for me all my silverware, dishes, and several useful odd and ends. I feel very blessed and I am excited to be able to take them out of their poor little cardboard boxes! :)

Amanda said...

I don't have a hope chest quite yet, but it's on order (my parents told me to pick one out of a catalog for my 18th birthday), and I'm very excited! I plan to include my journals, family history info, and helpful books (medicinal, cookbooks, child training, etc.). I'll also be keeping an eye out for linens, kitchen utensils, etc, and making afghans (I've already done a few of those), doilies, and anything else I can think of! I am reading a book that is *full* of ideas - the possibilities are endless! So I don't know what all will end up going in there... time will tell...

Amber said...

Megan; you must be so excited! I'm happy for you. Putting things in an actual chest is different from keeping them in little cardboard boxes. It's so special to be blessed with a chest, isn't it? What style did you order?

Amanda - you too must be so excited! What does the chest look like? Will you get it soon? Books that give you ideas for your hope chest are such fun to read, aren't they?

By the way - in regards to your comment on one of my other posts (computer time)...well, despite being busy, I AM thinking of you, and will send you and Jessi your letters as soon as I can finish them. :) Lazy me.

Miss you!

Marie said...

I actually have a chest, inherited from my Grandma. Right now it is in my room storing the family quilts. I hope to clean it out soon so that it can hold my things. I have two afghans, one I made and one Mom made for me. There is also a set of dishes, a set of silverware, and some embroidered table runners. I have a lot of things that I want to make for my chest i.e. napkins, quilts, tablecloths, pillow cases... It was neat to see all the things other girls have in their chests.