This little chest of drawers has performed loyally for nearly 75 years. It wore a coat of lead-based ivory paint during its first mission dutifully holding my little hand-sewn sacks and kimonos, knitted and crocheted bonnets, booties, sweaters, and soakers. As I grew, so did the garments within, until it was promoted to become the repository of cashmere sweaters and silk scarves. By that time, the baby ivory had been traded in for a much more sophisticated shade of blue.
In the circle of life, it returned to its original assignment as a baby's chest when Robin was born in 1961. The blue paint was stripped away and a new coat of bright white (probably still lead-based) with a charming bunny decal became its uniform and eventually its shroud. It also performed double duty in the nursery of Kevin and Colleen.
The years and many moves have taken their toll. Deep splintery gouges mar the side and the top. Pulls have pulled away. And it smells really funky! It saw duty in three states and was re-posted to twenty different addresses. But in all that time, it remained in my service. Most recently it has been hidden in a corner of my closet and been demoted to holding obscure, arcane sewing equipment. The equipment has been dispatched to other locations: the garage sale pile; the trash; and for a few select items, the quilting supply cabinet.
The little chest of drawers is now fully retired and stands sentry in the garage awaiting city-wide clean-up day. I cling to a faint hope that the folks who come before the pickup to glean what they can from other's castoffs will see some further utility in this loyal dresser and that it will be returned to active duty.