What was I thinking?


Partial view of the partially emptied “Wexford Shrine”

This is what I spent a fair bit of my day today working on – packing up the hutch we all refer to as The Wexford Shrine.   You can see why we call it that – and this is after I had already packed all of the luncheon plates, all of the water and tea tumblers, all of the mugs, all of the sherbet/champagne glasses, and all of the punch cups.  It’s about 1/3 empty at this point.


More of the interior of the Wexford Shrine.

I started collecting this stuff when I was about 15, while I was working at my first non-family paying job at a Sprouse-Reitz variety store.  This was in the late 70s, and I think that was when Wexford “crystal” was experiencing a bit of a renewal in the “fancy dishes” market.  Being just fifteen, and having very little good taste to my name, I looked at this stuff and thought – “wow, shiny!”  So I opened up a layaway account with my new employer, and started to put away a few pieces of Wexford every month, paying for it with automatic deductions from my 30 hour a week paycheck.  It didn’t take too long to accumulate a respectable (or, perhaps in this case, disreputable) amount of the stuff, all tucked away in a special trunk, between tea towels and kitchen goods and all the other things I felt I would need in the future to set up my own home.

Fast forward a few years, and Wexford once again fell out of favor.  I was married with little kids, and one of the things we liked to do on weekends when the weather was nice was go to the local Flea Market to browse around and see what cool things we could find.  One day, while looking through their 25-cent bin, I found a treasure trove – a bunch of Wexford sherbets and goblets!  For twenty-five cents each!  I kind of went nuts that day, bringing home about 20 more pieces for my collection (as you can see, my tastes hadn’t improved much at that point) and then every time we went for the next half dozen years or so, I’d manage to scrounge another couple or dozen pieces of the stuff out of that bargain bin.

Fast forward another dozen years or more, and I had pretty much stopped collecting Wexford, as I had quite a nice set of the stuff by then, but then when we moved to our current home in Idaho, I began to wish I had more of the apothecary jars.  They actually looked pretty nice in the cabinets here, holding our teas and coffees and other things.  So I picked up a few more on eBay as I had a bit of spare change and as I found them available for reasonable prices.  We still used the dishes for holidays and such, mainly because they were “fancy” and the kids really got a kick out of them.  And, being that they weren’t really all that expensive to replace, I figured that if any were broken it wasn’t a tragedy.  At some point we bought a used, real wood dining set, and it came with a very, very large china hutch.  We’re talking over 6 feet across and about that tall.  My Wexford collection just barely fit into it – and only if you didn’t try to put the apothecary jar collection in there with all of the other pieces.  In fact, the Wexford was pretty much all we were able to fit into it, and this is how the Wexford Shrine was born.

So that’s the long story of why I’m going to spend the next few days individually wrapping and packing probably 200+ pieces of Wexford.  I thought about just selling it or leaving it here, but with all the family holiday meals served with it, and all the memories of my kids wanting to use the “fancy dishes” for their treats “just for special” – it’s hard to let go of the memories.  It’s also my only really fancy set of dishes, so although I now look at it more or less as a bunch of “Redneck Crystal” – I think it’s worth the effort to bring it with us to our new home.  Hopefully we’ll have more family get-togethers there and it’ll get taken out of the cabinet even more often than before.  And since we’re not planning to move again, hopefully this is the last time I have to trek the stuff to a new house.


Lodge manufactured home


Lodge manufactured home

Here is an example of the house we’ll be getting. It’s called the Lodge series, and has a “log home” look to it. The inside is really, really nice. We’re also getting the side section, as is pictured here. That’s where our his and hers offices will be located.  (We’re getting his and hers offices because we’ll both be working from home, and because we have radically different preferences when it comes to things like QUIET, we’re chalking the extra expense up as marriage insurance.)

Some of the fun stuff!

Besides packing and cleaning and working two jobs, there are some fun parts to this whole move.  Well, besides getting to go out and romp around on our new acreage.  🙂

One of the fun parts is picking out what kind of interior we want to have in our new home.  We’re buying a manufactured home which will be made to order once we have the construction financing and permits in place.  So one afternoon last week, we met with the manufacturer – Kit Homes – for a tour of their facilities and a chance to look at paint, cabinet, floor, door and counter swatches.  Here is what we picked out.  Image

The cabinet door at the bottom of the pile is the color our kitchen and bathroom cabinets will be.  We could have ordered different colors in each of the rooms, but I really wanted the whole house to coordinate and look like a harmonious whole.  And the color is lovely – a nice reddish brown called “Red Provincial.”  The laminate flooring will also be warm reddish-brown, and a shade or two lighter than the cabinets.

The other swatches are the linoleum flooring for the bathrooms and utility room, and the formica counter tops in the bathrooms and in the offices (We’re having built in desks done to save space and keep the harmonious look to the new place going into the office areas.)  The lighter colored marbled block is the kitchen counter top we picked out.  It’s called “Canterbury” quartz, and it’s gorgeous.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but it has small copper flecks running throughout.  I think that will pick up the reddish color of the kitchen cabinets nicely.

The linoleum we picked out is called “Magma” but we’ve nicknamed it “Chameleon” because no matter what color wood you put it next to, it just works.  Knotty light pine, honey oak, walnut, Red Provincial cabinets, maple – it looks fabulous next to all of them and each brings out a different set of colors in the tile.  The smallest swatch is the interior wall color.  We picked a creamy white for the walls, because with all of the darker materials we wanted those to be bright.

We decided not to have carpets in the new house.  For one thing, carpets are actually pretty nasty – if you lift one up after it’s been installed for a few years, you will see enough filth underneath it to keep you from ever wanting to sit or lay on one again!  For another, it would be hard to keep them clean with all of the indoor/outdoor trekking that will probably be going on.  And, lastly, it’s hard for pets and spills to ruin a carpet if you don’t have any!  We do plan to have room size rugs, but the nice thing is you can move those to clean underneath, and if something trashes it, you can replace it.

So, it’s not all work, work, work here, just almost all work, work, work as we prepare to move to our new life in a few short months.  Oh, and we close on the property tomorrow.  🙂  So that’s definitely going to be a cause for celebration!