Jan 18, 2011

Sparkle Plenty

Ah, my mother's chandelier!

'Pige,' as only those in her immediate family called her, was as tailored in her style as any woman could possibly be. Her clothes were pressed and starched so severely that we often teased her that they were stiff enough  to walk on their own.

When riding in the car as a passenger, she would hold out the seat belt for fear of it 'mussing up' her freshly ironed button-down menswear shirt. Her closet was color coded and she was the uber organizer before it became a job description for many. Everything in its place and a place for everything seemed to be her mantra.

Bingo was her passion in later years and she was heralded at every Bingo hall, large and small, in Pasco county for her cleanliness and style. "You 'smell' so clean." was a common refrain. She would just smile and take in the compliments.

Pige's home received no less attention. Her fastidiousness  was well known and suffice it to say it was at the peril of each family member's happiness to maintain the order or else!

Her home was as regulated in design as was she. The rooms were color coded just like her closets and each space reflected her vision and sense of purpose. She was ahead of her time in many of the details, although we teased her often for her unique ideas.

Everything was in rhythm with everything else save one particular element. It was the yin to all her yang and stood apart from all else in the home. It's place of honor was over the dining table and it hung in silent grace before everyone who ventured by. It never received the attention that it deserved, as Pige seldom used the room save for the occasional party or hosted dinner in her early years of retirement when Daddy was still with her to enjoy the events.

Ah, my mother's chandelier! Little did I appreciate her keen vision of seeing its beauty and grandeur. When my sister, niece and I packed up the house on our final trip to Whippoorwill Drive, I spent the better part of a packing day lovingly wrapping the majestic crystal anomaly in hopes of using it as my own.

That was nine years ago and only this past week have I taken the initiative to open the aged box and let it again reveal each intricately packaged segment of the behemoth glass structure. I painstakingly washed each swag and pendant to recreate the aura that my mother had proudly cherished so many years ago. After hours of loving labor, its beauty was once again released from the years of darkness and today it again holds court.

My choice of locale, however, is not my home, but rather my shop, Chez Laurice. I sense that Pige is looking down with nodded approval. Certainly, she is at the same time aghast at the fuss 'n frills  shabby vintage decor that her daughter favors. But I have not doubt that she is sparkling plenty herself as she reflects upon her well loved over-the-top chandelier and its new home.

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