Friday, March 02, 2007

Saving for the Future

When I was 14, mom and dad gave me the wonderful gift of a hope chest. I had been wanting one for a while, and found a beautiful one for a somewhat reasonable price on Ebay. Daddy was kind enough to order it for me as a late Christmas/early birthday present. When it came, he put it together for me. It has been a joy to slowly fill with treasures to save for my future home.I got one that had a cushion on the top, so it doubles as a window seat. It's the perfect place to think, write, or have my devotions in the early morning.


I don't think there's a "right" or "wrong" thing to put in a hope chest. I have a variety of quite different things! I have aprons, two that I made, one my twin made, and three that I got from my Grandma and Grandpa's house this past winter, after they moved to a retirement home. I have hotpads that Miriam crocheted and kindly gave to me, two sets of embroidered pillow cases, an embroidered wall hanging, some pretty hankies, and various other linens. For this Valentine's Day, daddy even got me a Perfect Egg Timer, so that my boiled eggs will never be gooey! =) I was so happy to get it, since for some reason when I boil eggs without it, they always turn out soft. I have a few other kitchen items, though not many at this point. I also have a few special childhood toys and books, including the doll clothes I made when I was 10. One day I hope I'll have a daughter to play with them.


Even though I don't know what colors or theme my future house will be, I figure that I can use things I make now in my house later. I know that when (Lord willing) I marry and become a mother, I won't have the time that I have now to make special things for the home. The above picture is the project I'm currently working on - an embroidered bedside tablecloth. I've already made a dresser scarf of the same pattern, and my sister-in-law Michele gave me two pillowcases and a dresser scarf of the pattern to make as well. When it's all completed (though it will take a while!) I'll have a whole bedroom set.

In addition to practical things for a home, I also save my memories and memoirs in my hope chest. All my journals and letters from friends and family find their place inside.

How many of you girls are saving things for the future? It doesn't have to be in a traditional hope chest - oftentimes one doesn't have room to keep it! However, you can put things away in plastic containers or boxes. A hope chest does make it special, however, if you are able to get one. You may not save a whole lot, or you may save a lot so that your chest overflows. Whatever you do, the time spent is well worth it. In older days, a girl's hope chest was often basically her dowry, consisting of the only possessions she took into the marriage. With today's bridal showers, you may think that saving things for a future home really isn't worth it. But believe me, it is! I cherish hope that one day I'll be able to use the things I make and save, and remember all the memories behind them. When baking with my daughter, I could tell her that the rolling pin we're using came from her Great-Grandma Lofgren's kitchen. When things come out of the oven, I'd tell her again how the hotpads were crocheted by my wonderful friend Miriam Hart. Making the beds, I'd tell how I finished embroidering these particular pillow cases when I was 14. And on and on.

So, do any of you girls have a hope chest or are laying aside things for your future home? I'd enjoy hearing what kinds of things you're saving! Everyone's different, and perhaps we could get ideas from each other!

A great book on the subject of hope chest is The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love by Rebekah Wilson. It was very interesting to read, and gave me a lot of great ideas. Now, I just need to find the time to implement them!

15 comments:

Mandy Grace said...

Thank you for sharing this! It was fun to read. I received a hopechest from my grandparents for my 16th birthday because they gave one to my mom when she turned 16. In mine I have a 100-year-old quilt that my great-grandmother made, a dish that belonged to another great-grandmother, the dolls I had as a girl and their clothes, and various other things.

I've read Rebekah Wilson's book and like you, was inspired with lots of ideas but need to find time to work on them!

Hazel said...

What an interesting idea. I love the way you store all your journals and keepskes. I have added you to my blog if you dont mind.

Anna Naomi said...

Mandy Grace, it sounds like you have some special things! A hundred-year-old quilt? Wow! I'd like to make a memory quilt someday out of all the various cloths I've made clothes out of... But like you said, finding the time can be hard!

Welcome to our blog, Mrs. Hazel! We don't mind you linking to us at all!

Britt said...

You have a really pretty hopechest, Anna.
I have a hopechest also, although it's not as big as yours. Some of the things I have in it are: a quilt (made by my grandmother when I was born), dolls I had as a child, little girls clothes that I made, all my journals, special letters, jewlry from my great-grandmother, dresses I wore as a newborn, etc.
I have heard many good reviews on R. Wilson's book and I hope to read it soon. (:

Ella said...

I love this post, Anna. I received my beautiful hopechest from Dad and my brother on my last birthday. I have only some stuff that my nana sent me, like cake decorating tools and the like. I look forward to putting more things in there, and using them in my future household.

A Girl form the Past said...

My grandma actually has one that she wants to give me. I've always collected this and stored them under my bed (its quite a mess!) but I’m really excited to get and actual chest to put all my things in! Lovely post!

~A girl form the past

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Your hope chest is lovely! While I don't have a wooden chest right now, a plastic tub works just fine! I keep my journals, special keepsakes, letters, and other treasures in it. I need to work on the practical side though!

Rachel said...

Wow! that is such a pretty chest, Anna. I do not have a official hope chest myself, but I do keep all of my journals and special things in a small cedar chest that my Abba (father in Hebrew) gave me.

Adrianne said...

I also have read Rebekah Wilson's book and was inspired!

For my seventeenth birthday, my father ordered a beautiful custom cedar hope chest. So far, I have a couple corn heat packs, twelve table settings a friend gave us, two dresses of mine as a child, two throws, one afghan, two blankets, one quilt (when I finish!) and my favorite poem and letters to my future husband I write on April 24 and October 24--my half birthday and real birthday.

One thing I've really enjoyed is buying some poupourri and placing it in the chest, wrapped in my blankets. It provides everything with a beautiful scent that you will remember for years to come.

Donna said...

I received a hope chest recently when a friend of the family died. Since my mother in love gave me her hope chest when I got 28 years ago I wasn't sure what to do with this "new" one. I put new in quotes because this hope chest was built during the Civil War. I have all boys and several of my neices are already married but I decided to save the hope chest for my 11 year old neice. I thank you for your list of what you have in yours because I plan to make things to go in this special chest and give it to my neice perhaps for her 13th birthday.

Thanks for your web site and your ideas.

Donna

Anonymous said...

Anna you have a beautiful chest! I am 12 and do not have a chest but I want one. For now I just use an empty out drawer! I just started my chest yesterday and I have a sham my grandmother gave me and salt an pepper shakers my mom said I could have. They look like cows and they are so cute! Also, my grandmother said she has a set of knives for me. There is one black and one white knife in a set. They are cute little knives that my mom has also. Good luck with your chest!

Anonymous said...

I love your hope chest! I only have a few things, actually 2 but it's a start! My grandmother told me she has something I can have for it to. I also have a blanket my grandmother crouched for me. Do you think I should put it in there? I hope to get a hope chest soon but for now a drawer works just fine. When I was making a list of things I would like for my hope chest I realized just how much you need to live on your own! Good luck with your hope chest!

Katie said...

Love your chest! I saw one on amazon like it that I want. I don't have one yet but I started collecting some things. I have an afghan, sham, salt and pepper shakers, and a set of paring knives (2 black and 2 white). I want to start a journal so I can save it too. Good Luck!

Jaime said...

Your hope chest is so pretty!! My dad made me a hope chest for my twelfth (last) birthday and I'm trying to find out what to put in it. Right now, I have a shawl, some half finished hair bows that I made, and a baby quilt that I just finished. I love your ideas!!!

calla said...

So I have been readin and looking up a bunch about hope chest because i just recently started mine, so far I have some very exspensive pots & pans & cookware from Pampered Chef. An old dress my older cousin wore in her wedding & she has given to me. A couple papress ripped out of a magazine I liked of a ring & a bed set. I enjoyed reading about yours its beautiful! Thank you forsharing! Calla:)