Behind My Red Door

Friday, May 16, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - Nany's 'Medicine' Cabinet

I decided to make this my Show & Tell Friday post! Please stop over at Kelli's house to see how to join!
Nany was my mom's mom. When I was growing up, Nany lived in a huge old Gothic Victorian just outside downtown in the city close to where I now live. It was a neighborhood originally built by the well to do and the houses were ornate and expansive. Nany's house had several different living quarters, several smaller hidden staircases in addition to the large one in the massive front hall, a dumb waiter, a root cellar, a cupola that could be used as a lookout at one time, several large marble fireplaces, and lovely stain glassed windows. The additional living quarters were originally meant for servants I suppose. But by the time I was born, Nany was a widow and rented out rooms and living quarters to boarders to earn income to maintain the large old house. It was an interesting old house filled with interesting old things. To furnish it, Nany had gone to estate sales and bought entire rooms- everything that was in the room, also came with the furniture so she had a lot of 'stuff'.

When Nany could no longer live alone she moved in with my folks. My mom inherited much of the old furniture and some was offered to me. Even back then I didn't care for the ornate cherry, mahogany or oak pieces. The few simpler pieces that I did like, either my mom wanted or Nany still used. One piece in particular was a small oak cabinet that locked. Nany called it her medicine cabinet but I suspect it held the kind of 'medicine' that was illegal during prohibition. It was my favorite thing of Nany's. It's simple lines and colorful history spoke to me. Nany is no longer with us and today I am the proud owner of that medicine cabinet.
And though it's oak finish is disguised right now and it no longer holds 'medicine,' it serves us well as an end table in our living room. And it still speaks to me and reminds me of the history and lore of Nany's big old house.

Until next time - hugs, Linda