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I am totally stunned.

Happy doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings I have at this moment.

Flash back to last week when I was celebrating my 60th birthday. And of course I got lots of well wishes from friends and a few gift cards for Lowe’s … my home away from home these last few months.

For those who may not know I, along with a few good friends, have been reclaiming my house which was in less than stellar shape after living with a hoarder for over fifteen years. You’ve seen the shows. Picture a house after all their … belongings … have been taken out. Except this house still had utilities and appliances which worked.

Now you have an idea of the starting point here.

It all began with My Friend Ann saying “You know this room would be better off if we took up the carpet.” She was talking about the front room of the house which had seen duty over time as a bedroom, an office, a staging area for packing orders, and a junk room to collect more and more clutter.

Once that room was completed, the progression began. To the Living Room which is now my Creative Space … the Steps … the Bedroom upstairs … and more recently the Hallway upstairs and the Bathroom. Pictures of the last two will happen probably tomorrow when I do the final work on them.

All in all it has been an amazing three plus months, and the results have been astounding. I am beyond grateful to Linda and Ann for their tremendous help and unfailing support in all of this.

It has been a cross between work therapy and home remodeling for us all.

Through it all, my friend Toozie … aka 2Z … has been supportive from a distance. Her physical limitations allowed her to lend moral support … but the drum sanding and all the rest was up to me and Linda and Ann. And I have been grateful for that support as well.

But about last week. My birthday. A conversation with 2Z.

Me: “It has been a real joy doing all this stuff to the house. I cannot believe the results.”

2Z: “Sounds great. We will have to come over and see what all has been done.”

Me: “Well right now the front porch is a catch-all for all the tools I have been getting for all the projects. I guess I will get some kind of chest that looks like furniture to hold them all. I started looking today and …”

2Z: “Well, stop looking. I have this really old chest up in the attic. It’s been there for years. You can have it. Just consider it a birthday gift.”

Me: “Wow! That would be great. Are you sure you don’t need it for anything?”

2Z: “Are you kidding? It’s been sitting up there for years and years. It is really old. It probably goes back to when my grandparents came over to the states.”

At this point I started adding on fingers and toes. Old? More like antique probably. And I started backtracking.

After all, I have a Roll Top (my words) type trunk in my Living Room that holds my board games … chess boards, backgammon boards, cribbage boards and whatnot.

It had been restored as a wedding present to us lo those many years ago.

I got custody of the trunk. I gave up custody of a new stained glass window. I think I got the better deal. I don’t see many like that and I do look from time to time, just in case.

Me: “What kind of trunk is it exactly?”

2Z: “Well, it is a regular size … and it still has the leather straps on it.”

Me: “It doesn’t have a curved top on it by any chance, does it?”

At this point I held my breath.  The chances were slim … but …

2Z: “Yeah, it has a curved top, and wood strips and a metal lock and …”

Breathe, Holly, Breathe.

Me: “Oh, it sounds really nice. Maybe you should keep it for yourself. Or your kids. They might want it.”

2Z: (laughing so hard she had to catch her breath) “Oh sure. My kids. Oh right. They are collectors.”

Me: “No, but maybe it would mean something to them. Sentimental reasons …”

2Z: “No, not even a little bit. It is yours. It is your birthday gift. From me. When can you come get it?”

At this point I had to fight the overwhelming urge to shout “Right this very minute” and instead suggested that I would get in touch with Linda … and see when she and her truck might be available.

Flash forward to today. I have had at least four other conversations with Toozie since then … trying to make sure that she really did want to let me have this trunk … trying to talk her out of it … and assuring her that if her children decided they absolutely had to have it that I would gladly not take it.

She assured me that was not the case, would never be the case, and the trunk was, in fact, now mine …

So today … just an hour plus ago … Linda and I drove over there in her trusty F-150 and got the trunk.

Now I don’t know a Dome Top from a Camel Back from a Hump Back from a Foot Locker from a Flat Top … but this trunk is incredible. Here are some pre-cleaning “before” pictures of it.

Yes, that is the trunk.

Yes, that is the original detailing.

Yes, it does have tiny little wheels on the bottom … the predecessor to todays’ suitcases on wheels, I guess.

Yes, that is Alligator Skin on the trunk.

Yes, that is the original paper on the inside.

No, I have never seen anything like it before.


And all it needs is a little Murphy’s Oil Soap and a little Saddle Soap and it will be good to go.

There is no way I am putting tools in it.

This trunk is going into my bedroom. To hold linens. In that large empty place that I figured I would fill with something cool later.

It’s later.