Sunday, April 14, 2024

Fresh Starts...

I was given another old trunk by an old friend of my husband. It wasn't in the roughest shape, but it definitely wasn't useable. I began the stripping down process months ago in the hopes that I would be able to give it to my nephew for his High School graduation in June.  Last week I finished the cedar lining and the polyurethane on the trunk, and today I sealed the tray.  The finishing touch is the trunk lid which will be lined with his gradfather's old flannel shirts, quilted together. They are very close, and someday, when my Dad is gone, it will be nice for him to have them in his legacy trunk along with his scout gear, hockey jerseys, cap, gown, and diploma. While I have gotten rid of the musty smell from the orignial paper lining, and the deep down greasy dirt of the oil cloth exterior, many of the flaws are still visible.  The patent on the lock, which had been cut, goes back to the 1860's, and rather than replace it, I polished the brass highlighting it. The flaws give it character and tell the history of where it's been. 

About four years ago, before they were insanely popular, I bought a Blackstone flat top grill. Being cast iron it was very expensive, but came preseasoned, which was great becasue I literally knew nothing about cast iron. Fast forward four years, my inexperience and laziness has left it a mess, partially seasoned, and beginning to rust. So, in between poly coats on the trunk tray, and after a deep dive of how-to videos on Youtube, I took the grill down to bare meatal and began the painstaking process of reseasoning.  It took about an hour to strip it back, and about two hours to slowly reseason. My neglect took a lot of dirty, hard work to repair. Is it perfect? No. But the surface is slick with no sticky points, and I feel like I can maintain and build on the seasoning over the coming months. 

Last year, in a moment of utter disgust, I decided we needed a better way of keeping the spare rolls of TP in the office bathroom than a half tray on the floor, so I took an old nightstand that my Dad had made and we weren't using, and brought it in. It served it's purpose well for months until one of the maintenence people decided to move it directly under the papertowel dispenser where water dripped on it all day.  The water casued mold, and it deteriorated quickly. A few weeks ago I realized that no one had been moving it when they waxed the floor and it was now anchored to the floor. *insert a loud sigh and eye roll here* With one quick jolt I freed it from it's prison, brought it home, and started the painstaking job of stripping it down.  About an hour into sanding I could hear my dad's voice saying that's never going to come out, but I persisted nonetheless, the whole while cursing myself for bringing it in in the first place.

The day was a slow moving back and forth from project to project, just me and my thoughts, consequences and regreats.

The trunk sat negected for years before someone insisted it be appreciated.
The Blackstone laid shoved aside and uncared for months.
The nightstand was cast aside, it's value disrespected, until someone had had enough.

Kind of like me.

For years I negected myself, putting everyone else first, hiding myself away in the corner. I did not always treat myself well, ignoring small things until they became big things, finding myself in places I didn't belong, for far too long.

Until one day I had had enough. I jolted myself free from the neglect that held me in place for so long, stripping myself down to figurative bare metal, and resasoning myself at my core. No more dark corners, wrong places, or negect. And while some of the scars can never be erased, I am learning to be appreciated, cared for, and to find beauty in the scars my choices have left behind.


  1. Well done you. That is a journey I am still on - and I have a long, long way to go. Looking after myself still feels selfish and self indulgent - even though I know it is not.

  2. This was so beautifully deeply true!! *love and hugs*

  3. Beautiful post, Juli. And you deserve to be appreciated, loved, and cared for. Not only by others, but yourself as well. xo

  4. Good on you, a damn good post, been a while since I have dropped by due to changing computers and finding my bookmarks incomplete but have managed to recover some of the missing ones


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