Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 99° Clear

Treasure Hunting

The Keeper of the House

An antique dough bowl, filled with natural objects such as stones and antlers, makes an pretty setting for a candle. (Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
An antique dough bowl, filled with natural objects such as stones and antlers, makes an pretty setting for a candle. (Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

 

 

 

Caught up in the New Year ritual of house cleaning, I swept through the house dusting, rearranging and organizing.

As I moved from room to room I let my mind wander as my hands worked. I began to notice that with every item I touched, there was an association. A memory. A link to a day recalled or an event to remember.

In the living room, on the table behind the sofa, I keep a large antique wood dough bowl my grandparents purchased decades ago. It is filled with agates I have picked up over the years on family trips - or the occasional solo escape - to the Oregon coast.  Antlers my son found on our property and brought home to me rest on top of the stones, surrounding a single candle.

There is nothing rare or precious about the objects. But to me the arrangement is a shrine of sorts. Sometimes at the end of the day, as I move through the house turning off lights and locking doors, I stop to scoop up a handful of agates, letting them fall back into the bowl as I recall days spent in a little town on the coast, my daughters beside me as we walked along the shore taking the polished stones washed up by the tide. I run my fingers along the smooth surface of the antlers, remembering the boy who ran to me with the treasures he’d found, smiling as he presented his gifts.

I lit the candle and left it burning as I went about my chores, celebrating the comfort and satisfaction of keeping house; recognizing the blessing of shelter and a life filled with priceless and simple things.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com



Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes about antiques and collectibles and the love of all things vintage. Millsap's Home Planet column appears each week in the Wednesday "Pinch" supplement and she is The Spokesman-Review's female automobile reviewer. She is a regular contributor to Spokane Public Radio and her essays can be heard on Public Radio stations across the country. Cheryl-Anne is the author of "Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons."