Monday, September 1, 2014

Coming home...

Yesterday was my birthday. It was one of those milestone birthdays -- I won't say what year:-)
It is a birthday I will remember, though, not because of the year, but because of the amazing gift I received. 

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Friday, three of my neighbors pulled up to the house in a truck with something covered in the back. I stood on the porch in a state of shock with my eyes closed wondering what in the world it could be as they unloaded it with the help of my husband and dad.
When I opened my eyes, there sat this gorgeous Arts and Crafts settle. 

But this is no ordinary settle. It was originally in my great grandfather's house here.

My grandmother sold a lot of the furniture when they tore down the old house to build the new house my parents currently live in. This piece had gone to a neighbor and, amazingly, had remained in the neighborhood since the late 1950s. 

I never imagined there would have been mission-style furniture in this Victorian farmhouse, so I looked through some recently discovered photos and found this one of my grandmother in 1956 sitting in an amazing arts and crafts rocker.

Then I noticed there is another mission style piece in the bottom left of this Christmas photo.

Most furniture in this style was originally covered with leather so I am puzzled by the tropical upholstery on these pieces. She also covered my great grandmother's chaise, that I now have, in the same fabric, so it must have been in style.

Here my great grandmother poses with the rocker.

What a link to my past this settle is. I originally thought it was a Gustav Stickley piece until I did more research and found it was actually made by the Harden Furniture Company, which is still operating today. How fitting that it came from an American company. Y'all know how I love and try to support American companies and "Made in America" products. 

I am honestly still speechless to have received such an amazing gift. I was in tears, obviously. I spent Friday night just looking at it, sitting on it and thinking about my grandparents and the generosity and thoughtfulness of my neighbors. It's the kind of gift I will never forget and something money could never, ever buy.

My sweet neighbor, Barbara, said, 
"I just thought it should come home." 

It is home, and I could not be more humbled to have it.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Barbara, Regina and Mrs. Thompson.
What a special "milestone" gift this was:-)


  1. Anita what an amazingly wonderful birthday surprise! I know you will cherish it forever.

  2. Gee Singh NewbanksSeptember 1, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Oh what a sweet gift! So glad that it is home again.
    Happy miles stone birthday! I had one of those 4 months ago as well :)

  3. Happy Birthday wishes to you Anita. What a wonderful gift to receive on your special day too. It is a beautiful piece. The 'Hawaiian' print sure looks out of place in the old photos. I guess they were keeping up with the styles then. :) Great old photos. Have a wonderful week. Blessings,

  4. It is absolutely beautiful. I love Mission furniture! And the photo of the Victorian house is amazing too. Was that in Balsam? I thought you lived in Balsam NC. Must be some wonderful folks living there! Your grandmother looks so petite sitting in the rocker. The secretary (is that what you call it) behind her is a keeper too! Thanks for the wonderful photos and story.

  5. What a wonderful gift. It is full of memories that will last for years. It is so nice to see it 'home'. Deb

  6. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLRSeptember 1, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    What an amazing birthday gift, Anita! How lovely that they would think to return it to you and keep it in the family. This is truly a gift that money can't buy! Happy "Belated" Birthday to you!

  7. Happy Birthday. What a gift to have the memory back. A litte nephew bought a house. He found a rocking chair at a sale and brought it home and put it on the front porch. Some noted that the rocker was back home again. The house had belonged to this person's mom and the rocker had been sold when she passed. A little spooky,as well.

  8. Michele @ The Nest at Finch RestSeptember 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Oh, Anita. I am actually reading this with tears rolling down my face. WOW. That is the best birthday present EVER.

    Happy belated birthday, you beautiful sweet lady!!!!

  9. The Quintessential MagpieSeptember 1, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Happy Birthday, sweet girl! And that is your kindness coming back to roost! I am so glad you have such great neighbors. That makes the gift even sweeter. Glad it came home to to you, and it is neat and then some. xo

  10. This is so lovely. What good people in the world!

  11. Wow! Such a beautiful piece to have. Happy belated birthday : ). Patty/NS

  12. How wonderful! And belated Happy Birthday!

  13. Ann@A Sentimental LifeSeptember 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Loved hearing the story of your birthday present! Great pictures of the home. I purchased my Grandparents home several years ago as weekend home, I love it when a piece of their furniture makes it back home just like yours. Happy Birthday!!

  14. This makes my heart smile.

  15. You lucky lady you!
    Best wishes to you as you celebrate a birthday and enter into a new era of life.
    Lovely piece of history and furniture.
    May you enjoy each moment of life today...they pass by quickly,

  16. Shirley@Housepitality DesignsSeptember 2, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Happy Birthday Anita...and what an incredible great that they thought to gift it to you....they obviously know how much it would mean to wonderful to have a great family treasure....Harden is a great that they still make furniture by hand in sister has a magnificent dining room set by them....we were love that there is still "handmade in America" furniture that can be acquired....such a very special birthday!!!