When a case is not just a case

Corner Cabinet - Final

Yesterday, I got this corner glass case into my house.  I spent an entire day to pick up, transport, and deliver this single piece to my home, along with several more hours to arrange the contents inside.  But like many objects in my life, this particular item has a lot of layers of meaning.

  1. We inherited this cabinet (along with a few other items) from my wife’s grandmother who passed away last December at the age of 89.  She was a feisty French woman who married an American soldier during World War II, then immigrated to America with their infant son after the war’s end to join her husband in California.  I never knew my grandparents; 3 of them passed away before I was born, and the remaining one lived in the Philippines and didn’t speak English.  So my wife’s grandparents became my own.  I adored this grandmother, enjoying the times we visited her in the Central Valley.  Eventually, time took her away from us, but she lived a wonderfully long life, survived by 3 children, 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.  I am humbled and grateful that her memories will live on, with this cabinet a constant reminder of her strength and joy.
  2. Unfortunately, we could not claim this cabinet right after the funeral.  While we do not live that far from her extended family (about 90 minutes away), we had to make special arrangements to get the case home.  It is too big to fit in either of our cars, and we don’t have access to a larger truck.  Also, working at the Store left me little free time to dedicate to this task.  Thankfully, my wife’s aunt didn’t mind storing all of Grandma’s belongings for the time being, not just for us, but for entire family (Grandma lived with this Aunt before moving into assisting living).  Now that I’m free from the Store, we could finally coordinate a time we could pick up the cabinet.
  3. My experiences with truck rentals has been mixed at best over the years.  This is probably the reason I hate moving and plan to live in my current house until I pass or until the Big Earthquake of 2xxx plunges all of California into the Pacific Ocean.  Either way, moving stinks.  The moving equipment rental companies all seem flaky and flawed.  I’ve had problems with not getting the right sized equipment, or not getting a truck entirely, despite having made reservations well in advance.  So, I was anxious to see if I could get a truck for this move.  In a Bizzaro World type of move, I got exactly what I needed from the moving company.  I was ready to make some last minute arrangements and have to pay double what I was originally quoted, but everything went off without a hitch.  In addition, I was very impressed by the staff who assisted me.
  4. After picking up the truck, my wife & I had a small disagreement regarding this furniture.  Ultimately, it was a small tiff, mainly a difference in perspective that had little long term bearing.  In the end, we picked up the case, and I brought it home (she said in the area to spend time with her family).  But this is another reminder that all intimate relationships will always have bumps in the road.  We’ve been married since 2007, and have been together since 2001, and we still have disputes and misunderstandings.  Thankfully, we smoothed this over pretty quickly and didn’t let it linger.
  5. I drove the truck home by myself, but had to call in a friend who could help me carry this into my house.  The case is made of wood with glass shelves and a mirrored back; definitely a two-person job.  I’m thankful for strong friendships, that are there in both the fun-party occasions as well as the “I need help moving” times.  With this particular friend, I have helped him move 3 times (but who’s counting?!?).
  6. Finally, with this case in place (and all the other furniture rearranged to accommodate the new piece), I spent the rest of last night and most of this morning filling the cabinet with sports memorabilia.  Specifically bobbleheads.  More specifically, 77 San Francisco Giants bobbleheads.  And not just any San Francisco Giants bobbleheads:  all of these are stadium giveaways (SGAs), not ones you buy in stores.  If you’ve heard about fans lining up outside a stadium 4 hours before a game, that’s what my wife & I do.  We’ve spent over 10 years collecting these bobbleheads, concentrating our collecting powers in these items.  When the team releases it’s promotions schedule, (usually in February), I find all the bobblehead days and reserve those dates on our calendar.  Before the teams started winning championships, there would be 2-4 such dates a year.  Now, it’s around 8-10 a season.  That’s a lot of waiting around, but it’s what crazy fans do!  (The real scary thing:  these 77 bobbleheads is probably half our collection.)

With this small journey complete, we’ve come full circle,.  My wife’s grandmother displayed her precious items (pictures, figurines, china) in this cabinet, which gave her joy.  Now, we display our precious items in the same case, which gives us joy.  It took a little longer than we expected, but that’s OK.  The best adventures often meander through the back alleys instead of driving down the interstate.

Maybe I’ll write a separate post about my other display case, with my autographed baseballs and books!  LOL


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