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Monday, February 1, 2021

From the past

Years ago my hubby and I would travel up to a little fishing village called Cedar Key. My hubby had been going there since he was about 16 years old. His Dad knew a family there and would go every year to hunt in the deep woods. The first time my hubby went on one of their trips he met the patriarch, who at that time was confined to his sick bed. The old clapboard house was a typical Florida wood house with four rooms, windows on all sides to let the cool breeze pass through. By the time I came around, Mr. Dorsett was long gone, and his widow and disabled son had moved into a trailer just a few yards from the old homestead.


When we would go to Cedar Key we would grab a bite of the best seafood around. The restaurants were located right out by the water. We would enjoy cabbage palm salad and a huge shrimp dinner. Topped off with delicious home made key lime pie. Every time we drove up to Cedar Key we would stop in to visit with Mrs. Dorsett and her son, Alf. She would always welcome us in and Alf would tell all of his latest news. Mrs. Dorsett's family were original to the area, and we heard all about her two spinster sisters who still lived in the "big" house down by the water. They were both in their 90's. There were stories of the lynching back in the 20's. Of the pencil factory (made from Cedar trees) that gave Cedar Key its means of work for those who lived there. There was the old cemetery with lots of headstones dated from the 1800's. Some of the small plots were the babies that died during the "pox." We heard about the pine sap that was annually tapped out of the woods. We even found a few of the clay pots that had been used to sap the trees. It was all so fascinating.

Mrs. Dorsett had asked my hubby to look for something in her "barn." While he was rummaging around out there, he saw this old piece of furniture. Now mind you, it did not look like this. It had been painted with a milk paint and the screens were torn. But hubby asked about it, and Mrs. Dorsett said that if we wanted that old thing we could have it. She told us that it had been a wedding present when she got married. But she wanted us to know that "it had been used" when it was given to her. She had married young (13-15??) to the older Mr. Dorsett. She was in her early 80's when I met her. So the safe was already at least 65 years old when it came home with us 40 years ago. My hubby and a carpenter friend took the whole thing apart, stripped down the milk paint and sanded, sanded, sanded. The front is a beautiful oak, but the backboard is pine. We were told that many of the older pieces used cheaper cuts of wood on the backs.

It is a piece that I have enjoyed for many years. It holds a lot of my teacup collection.

There is a story behind every old thing that I own. It reminds me of people or places. It's sometimes like stepping back to a simpler time. Sitting on the front porch, rocking in the rocking chair, sipping a glass of cool lemonade, as you visit with your neighbor passing by.

"While friends are near us, we feel that all is well. Our everyday life blossoms suddenly into bright possibilities". Helen Keller

1 comment:

Linda said...

Your pie safe is beautiful. I love furniture filled with old memories! I just recently inherited my Grandmother's pie safe. My brother has had it for years, as he saved it from my Aunt's chicken coop. The back was gone when he got it and he replaced it with '60's paneling.
We may fix it later, but probably not. I enjoyed your post. Stay well.