The Bed

We fancied ourselves antiquers in those days. In reality, we bought used furniture at farm auctions, garage sales, and dusty second hand stores.

In its day, it was called a sleigh bed. We spied the slightly warped high headboard and frame propped up against a wall, and bargained for a price we could afford. Back home, our daughter was fast approaching the age to move out of her crib into a “big girl bed” and my parents were with us for a visit. We enlisted my father’s help. He sanded then painted the headboard white and stenciled it with blue tulips and red hearts. Our daughter slept with that design above her head long after my father died. Until she left the nest and began her college years.

robin gathers twigs
nesting haven grows crowded
wind tussles emptiness


Grace is hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Haibun: one or two paragraphs of prose (not fiction) followed by a haiku. She introduces the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, asking us to write about finding beauty in broken pieces or imperfections. Photo: headboard from the side. This is my daughter, many years ago, being awakened by a surprise birthday party from her friends.

55 thoughts on “The Bed

  1. Misky May 29, 2017 / 11:34 am

    What a beautiful bed, and a touching story. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 29, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Especially after my dad was gone, it was a very special piece of furniture! Invaluable really. Isn’t that the way it is sometimes? Something that is monetarily worth very little, can mean the world to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Misky May 29, 2017 / 12:42 pm

        I have a photo of my dad holding a large head of lettuce. It’s a long story behind it all, but I love that photo. So yes, you are right, the funniest things can hold such great memories.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just Barry May 29, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Woven and crafted with care and love. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) May 29, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    This was a wonderful piece, and yes there is such a wonderful bridge between generations… I really hope that your daughter one day will use it for her children… actually this is how antiquities are made… it’s the story that make it unique.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 29, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you, Bjorn. So glad you enjoyed. And yes….what is truly valuable often is not because of the monetary value! 🙂


  4. Grace May 29, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    A beautifully made bed piece Lillian ~ Love the personal touches ~

    Liked by 1 person

  5. whippetwisdom May 29, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    What a beautiful bed, both with the personal art and the personal story behind it. A real treasure and a lovely closing haiku too xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 29, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Thank you. It’s why I “filed” it in the Cherished category of my posts. Brings back many memories. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kim881 May 29, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    Wow! A wonderful bed with a story to match, Lillian! And I love the haiku – I can picture you in your robin’s nest with your father sanding, painting and stenciling the headboard!
    When I lived in Germany, once a month people would put unwanted items out on the street and you could go and take whatever you needed. In those days I was a poor student and often went out rummaging for bits of furniture. One time I found a sofa which I upholstered myself in purple velvet. I still hanker after another purple velvet sofa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 29, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Oh yes. That happens here in Boston every year when the college students all exit. People with vans tool around the city, a passenger craning their neck out the window to see if any “treasures” left behind have appeal 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sarahsouthwest May 29, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    Wow, he did a fantastic job. I love that you made a family heirloom out of something cast aside. It’s a lovely haiku, too, the nesting of birds. And your daughter looks so amazingly happy. This whole thing has really made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 29, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Always glad to hand out smiles 🙂


  8. Glenn Buttkus May 29, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    A grand piece of nostalgia–of personal history; did your Dad do woodworking or Tole painting I love that tradition. You rocked the prompt, & your haiku is aces & accurate & traditional. A++ for your assignment today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Thank you, Glenn! My dad did a lot of woodworking but the stencil type painting I think was fun and second nature to him because by trade, he was a draftsman. I still have some things with his amazing block printing on them. 🙂 Getting around to my reading in a few moments this morning. Slept in a bit 🙂


  9. jerennazuto May 29, 2017 / 6:19 pm

    It’s so beautiful, there’s an amazing feeling in it. I am loving the haibun form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 10:57 am

      I also like the combination of prose plus complimentary haiku. The trick in the haibun is twofold: the prose must be personal, not fiction; and the haiku must be about nature. Glad you enjoyed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jerennazuto May 30, 2017 / 11:14 am

        Yes the unique composting of it is so beautiful! I enjoyed it very much!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. hypercryptical May 29, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    A beautiful write and your haiku touched at my heartstrings. There is a sadness as the nest empties…
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 10:58 am

      ah yes….the empty nest syndrome. We always had a framed saying in our bedroom that someone gave us when our daughter was born: The best thing parents can give their children is roots and wings. 🙂


  11. Waltermarks May 29, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    A sleigh bed, that’s pretty. My in laws used to have a big brass style sleigh bed. I bet you just made her day, the flowers are a pretty touch. A great nest, for a precious flock

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nosaintaugustine May 29, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    What a nice memory of your father and daughter. Keep telling it and it will carry on as a family memory to be passed down with the bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 10:59 am

      Oh yes……the importance of family lore 🙂


    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 11:00 am

      Thank you! My father-in-law, at the same time, took an old wooden dollhouse that we’d been gifted by a family whose daughters were grown, and painted and wall papered it to match the house we were living in at the time. Two very special artifacts in our family!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Ah yes…..and she’s 43 now with her own children 🙂 Aren’t family photos just the best? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Victoria Young May 30, 2017 / 12:28 am

    What a fun project. You’re daughter looks tickled pink 🙂 The final line of your haiku fills me with melancholy – lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Thank you so much, Victoria. About 6 girls woke her up that morning — a wonderful surprise followed by Swedish pancakes for breakfast and they all walked to school together that morning. A birthday she’s never forgotten! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jane Dougherty May 30, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Those kind of memories are the best, a collective piece of happiness crafted by so many pairs of hands. The haiku is lovely, and I hear the departed child in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bev May 30, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Until I sold my home, it was filled with a wonderful collection of antique furniture, which I loved. I’ve kept one piece, a sideboard dated 1888, with which I could not bear to part. Your story is one that touched my heart, and with which I can easily identify. Good write!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 4:06 pm

      Thank you, Bev. When we moved to Boston — a city highrise, we also had to divest of many loved pieces of furniture. Some were handed on to our children…others went to folks who seemed like they would love them too. We do have a few wonderful pieces still.


  16. Singledust May 30, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    beautiful memory, from a piece lovingly put together by hands you will always feel his presence. so love the way you weave the love from one generation to the next with the simple but generous gestures.


    • lillian May 30, 2017 / 11:43 pm

      Thank you. So glad you enjoyed. So much love put into handmade and hand finished gifts 🙂


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