Pretty, Isn't it? And for $350. one would think it was a steal, huh? Well, in a way, I guess it was.
I love antiques. For 42 years I have been collecting them. Over the last fifteen years I have slowly given my daughter some of my treasures. I gave her these with the understanding they were family items to remain in the family. If she was ever tired of something then I was to be consulted before it was sold or gotten rid of. The above hall tree was not one of those items. This piece was just being stored in her front sun porch for us until we enclosed our porch or built the garage with rooms above. She begged me to keep it on her porch. I made it VERY clear it was not to remain at her house." Promise, mom. I won't make you feel guilty taking it back. I am just storing it for you."
My favorite Aunt Loree, ( think I have spoken of her before on my blog ) pulled the hall tree out of her next door neighbor's trash, in Spartanburg S.C. over 32 years ago, for me. One of the feet had been chewed off by rats. No telling where it had been before it was finally being thrown away. My Aunt asked the neighbors if it was alright for her to keep it. Of course they said yes. I paid to have it shipped here, then paid to have it restored, new foot and all.
Sometime in January or early February, don't remember when now, my heart skipped a beat when we were picking up Chandler. I noticed the hall tree was not on the porch. I looked at Randy with panic in my eyes. When Chandler came out my husband hollered inside for Amber. He asked her about it and she said not to worry, it was in the garage. The weather was bad so we let it go. My heart was weary though and later Randy and I talked and understood it was most likely gone. Still-----hope.
Some weeks later we were picking Chandler up again. His mom was not home. Chandler was alone. Randy and I searched through all the rooms in her garage---no hall tree. Later that evening Randy talked to Amber. Instead of confronting tell her he told her we wanted to pick up the hall tree knowing full well it was not in the garage. He wanted to see what she would say. She told him it was in Robert's ( a man with which she was involved---might I add here she had moved in with him and shortly after Christmas he had kicked her out---remember my post about Chandler not being able to get in touch with her? ) shed and he was in Las Vegas. She did not have the key. She said we could just not without notice, expect to come pick it up. When Randy questioned her about previously saying it was in the garage she became quite indignant and insisted she had always said it was in Robert's shed. Robert's house is in the same area where Amber's house is located. He has two large dogs and we were not sure about them. Maybe this was just part of our excuse not to deal with it at the time or maybe we just did not want confirmed the real truth.
Yesterday I was to take Amber to Flagstaff to get her first treatment for her cancer. I am not sure if I posted about what led up to this arrangement but just know it was to happen. Randy was driving me over because we only have one car up here. He had to have our car to pick up Chandler after school. We were taking Amber's rental car ( Oh Boy, the reason she had a rental car is another essay in and of itself ) to Flagstaff. When we got to the house there was no car out front. We knocked. No Answer. The house is always unlocked so we went inside calling for her--no Amber. Randy went up stairs to check. No Amber. The house was a mess and disgusting. Food left all over the house. Two large cardboard wrappers from beer cases left next to the garbage- the dogs had pooped in the floor- You get the picture. The dogs water bowl was empty. We gave the dogs more water and filled their food bowl and left.
As we left, a car approached and rolled down the window. It was Robert. I had only met him once before so I did not recognize him but I recognized his little girl in the car seat. He asked us if we had seen Amber. No, of course was our answer .Said we did not know where she was. He proceeded to tell us night before last Amber had rammed her rental car into his truck that was parked at his house. She pushed it with her car across his yard. This saga goes on and on but the bottom line is she was arrested, spent Monday night in jail, the rental car and her phone impounded. Robert had heard she was let out on her own recognisance. After getting all this information Randy asked him about our hall tree being in his storage shed. He said the only thing he had of Amber's was a box of Christmas stuff but we were welcome to go with him and look. We did-no hall tree. He told me Amber had contacted several antique dealers and had sold several items . We asked him which dealers and he named three he knew of. At ten o'clock when they opened we walked through the doors of the first one on our list. I could not talk. Randy spoke to the lady. She knew Amber by name and knew exactly the piece of which he asked. She said the owner had bought the hall tree and a couple of other items. He told her the story and she called the owner. The owner actually lives in the country club area where we live. She allowed us to buy back the hall tree for $350.00 She would not sell us back the antique ice box she had bought. She said we would have to find her a replacement. She had also bought a stacking book case but this was an item Amber had purchased on her own and was hers to sell. My Ice Box was a Christmas present for her husband and housed their T.V. It felt strange seeing it in a stranger's house. She did take my phone and number. I asked her to please call me if she ever wanted to get rid of it. She is a pastor's wife. She was a nice lady, in general, but she has made me think about comforting other's in times of distress. She was telling me these were only earthly possessions and bla, bla, bla. Now, any of you who know me, KNOW that I get this concept. My grief involved much more than my family antiques. I told Randy I wished that I had responded with something like if they are only earthly possessions why won't you sell me back my ice box. Again, basically she was nice----just irritating to the feelings I was having. Truth is though, if the situation was reversed, I would not be able to look at the ice box, in my home, and enjoy it, knowing the circumstances behind my purchase. Another irritant was after some advice she was spuing forth I kindly told her we had luckily had the same counselor for 25 years. The next sentence out of her mouth was if we needed a counselor her husband was one. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh---just ranting at the moment------continuing to get the venom out of my body.
Not sure what comes next. For several posts now I have not written about our personal trials with our daughter. This is one rich post in the opposite direction. Just seemed in need of screaming out to the world today. I am very grateful we were able to retrieve the hall tree. It is one of my most prized items because of my Aunt. I am also grateful for all the tears I released yesterday. I buried much of my daughter yesterday. I know there are more tears ahead and more burying yet to come, but for now----we are off to pick up Chandler. We are taking him to to the dentist for teeth cleaning and a tooth pulled for his upcoming second orthodontist visit. I am looking forward to seeing his nice smile in a few minutes!