I’m embarking on a new stage in life. God’s given me a miracle and shown His incredible sense of humor at the same time. The Virginia State Police Academy at 51? You betcha! He’s not kidding when He says, “I will give you back the years that the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). More on that later; the big day is July 9. He is faithful to that promise.
So, I need a better home office and filing system as a result. I will have case records and files which I need to store and carry to court. I lost my work desk when I set up my breakfast nook and sitting on the couch with the laptop won’t cut it. My friend, Joe, had some vintage suitcases which he dropped off to me…white with a red silk lining. They got my creative juice flowing.
I went to visit my sister in Atlanta before entering the Academy. We were visiting an amazing store called Rustique. I found two more vintage suitcases, one with the coveted labels on the leather indicating the places or hotels visited.
My Papa built the desk for me when I was in junior high. I picked up the last suitcase needed, one designed for attorneys, with my friend Suzanne yesterday in a vintage shop. She spied it first, but in characteristic generosity, handed it over to me.
I set up my office and then realized that there was an enormous metaphor for life among the “baggage.”
I’ve been working through some exceptionally painful issues from my formative past. It has been hard, frustrating work in which I mopped up some of the dirt and crud from way back when, blew the cobwebs away, and started out with everything clean and fresh.
The chair belonged to my grandfather Galvin who died when I was 18. That chair has been vacant for a long time. Father, as we called him, was a Yale law school graduate. As I embark on my career with the law, I am occupying that seat 33 years later. One chair wheel was broken, so Bruce replaced them all.
There was a kind of icky worn leather seat which I thought I’d use a cleaner on and perhaps put something else on top. I thought the cushion was part of the chair. I turned the chair upside down, cleaning away the dust and cobwebs from the bottom. Then I used Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean the wood on the bottom and that clean smell permeated the foyer.
I turned the chair right side up and the nasty old cushion flew off. Underneath was caning in perfect condition. I see it as my Grandmother Helen’s last gift to me. Caning is a lost art these days, but she loved it on a chair. She had a “man” who did her caning for her out of his garage. She must have put the leather seat down to protect the caning. I think it is beautiful.
Now I have an office that I love. My Papa built my desk. My husband helped stabilize and repair the chair, just as he does for me emotionally. It symbolizes a family history of devotion to the cause of justice. My beloved sister and friends helped me create that suitcase stack.
With God’s help, behold, all things are new again...even the old stuff that I love.