Friday, December 3, 2010

No other explanation

I was continuing on my quest to decorate our home for the holidays today, when trouble tried to strike. I decided that I had enough festive china to give my hutch a merry makeover. We have a beautiful dining room set that belonged to my great-grandparents. When I was little I would go visit them at their house, and sometimes they would argue over which one of them loved me more (ok, irrelevant, but come on). Anyway, I decided I would just clear out most stuff and replace it with items from the festival of decor that had exploded all over the dining room table. As I reached back on the second shelf to grab a large platter, there was a slight wobble from the shelf. That was odd, but I had a platter to move. The next item I grabbed caused the entire shelf, and all of the crystal on it, to pitch forward far enough to send things sliding.

Crystal was hitting the ground at my feet and my brand new lead crystal anniversary gift vase (that was filled with about thirty small glass ornaments, of course) was headed for the edge. I quickly pushed the shelf back up, and realized the front right peg that was intended to keep that corner in place had gone by the wayside. I immediately realized what that little metal piece I had seen floating around months ago was. Physics alone had been keeping everything steady on that shelf for quite some time. I was trying to hold the shelf up while relocating the crystal that had not leapt to certain doom. Finally, I had an empty shelf that was resting peacefully on the three remaining brackets.

I started standing up crystal glasses on the lower shelf that had been hit, and was surprised that nothing was broken. Next, I crouched over to start picking up the mess I figured I would find on the ground. I picked up one champagne glass, one wine glass, one vase, and a box car from a small crystal train. There was no damage whatsoever. I had anticipated that I would have to rope off the area to spend days finding glass shards, but there was not a single chip to be seen.

After inspecting the hardware under the shelf, I vividly remembered seeing the piece in one drawer, in particular, resting in a bowl. I confidently strode over to that drawer, only to find that I had cleaned out the junk from there quite some time ago, and the bowl in question had new stuff in it. I sorted through eleven more drawers over the next hour with no luck. Finally, I broadened my search to include any piece of hardware that could possibly be used, MacGuyver style, to keep the shelf in place. When I found a decent candidate, I headed for the hutch, after stopping briefly to grab this really cool screwdriver that belonged to my late grandfather (at least I knew which of eleven drawers to find that in).

As I set to work securing the screw in place, my mind flashed to my late grandfather and his parents, and my visit just hours earlier to the cemetery to freshen up their plot. My immediate thought was "Hey! Are the three of them up there laughing over what's going here with their furniture and tools? Some thanks I get for going to visit!" Suddenly a new thought hit me as it became almost painfully obvious that they thanked me by making sure nothing broke by holding some things back from the slide and cushioning those that fell to the ground. This departure from conventional logic is new for me, but is the only explanation that makes sense...or at least is the only one that fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling so perfect for the holiday season. (Maybe whoever saved the vase loves me the most, in a very close race!)