Army Laundress

Soap Suds Row - The Bold Life of Army Laundresses 1802-1876


Grandma's Desk

Posted by armylaundress on March 7, 2016 at 3:05 AM

My memories of my maternal grandparents include the fact that they lived in a basement apartment. A few concrete steps down brought me to their front door. Inside the door was a writing desk. The desk had a tiny metal cauldron on the top corner that held peanuts for the squirrels that liked to visit. There was also a pony shoe, lost by a pony that pulled a Denver streetcar. (Or so the story goes.)

My grandparents married in 1908. I am unclear whether they purchased the desk, or whether my grandmother's family purchased it before then. However, by best guess and family memory, it came from the Denver Dry Goods Store. It was probably not too expensive of an item, but it served its purpose.

As a child, I rarely saw the desk open. It was a Federal style writing desk, with a drop down front that provided a writing surface. The body of the desk contained lots of little cubbies, with scraps of papers and letters filed away. A large drawer provided storage for other items.Perhaps there were too many temptations for little hands within the cubbies.

I was fortunate to receive this desk when my aunt and uncle were moving to a retirement community. The first question out my husband's mouth was, "Where are we going to put it?"  That was not a concern. I knew I could find a place. The desk found a home in my already crowded sewing and craft room. There was a spot where it fit perfectly, and afforded me a view out the second story window.

Most of "Laundress" was written at that desk. My trusty laptop sat on the writing surface, pencils and sticky notes filled the cubbies. It is a classic old meets new matchup. Grandma would probably marvel at the way her desk is being used. (Face it, she marveled at the Spirograph drawing kit that I had as a child.)  The technology would be beyond her. But at the same time, I believe she would be very glad that it is still a useful, much appreciated piece of furniture.

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