Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Shopping with my Guardian Angel: Church Pew

It's taken me a while to get this picture up. For a long time, I've been hunting for a church pew for one side of our table. A bench doesn't quite bridge the gap between wall and table, yet chairs were too troublesome fit in the narrow space. But now that antique church pews are all the rage, it seemed impossible to find one for a price I could in conscience pay.

But earlier this summer, I was visiting my in-laws. The day before we left, I went down the cellar to find something, and spotted the church pew that had formerly graced their entranceway sitting in a corner beneath an old blanket, gathering dust. "Are you giving this away?" I asked my mother-in-law. She was torn: she liked it but had no room for it, and her younger daughters, who have taken over interior decorating, were adamant that it had to go. She had acquired it when someone in the 1970s had dumped a pile of old pews at the 4H hall where their family belongs. The board, anxious to get rid of them, asked everyone to take one home. Then years later, her son-in-law had refinished and refitted the pew. But she was tired of having it in their living room.

Well, like I say, in America, you can acquire just about any material object if you are in the right place at the right time. And your guardian angel, knowing your needs and desires, is usually happy to put you in the right place if he can. So my husband and I took advantage of a nearly-empty suburban to bring the pew home with us. And as you can see, my older children immensely prefer it to the backless bench they had before. Many thanks to my husband, mother-in-law and guardian angel!


LeeAnn said...

I have my eye on the old pews in our parish church. We're moving to a new building in the next year and I keep telling people I want to buy one or two of the pews after the old church is sold. They're not quite as nice as yours but dark wood with the scroll top at least. Have you seen www dot usedpews dot org? There were a set of 17 pews for $50 each in my county! So tempting but I'm sure they wouldn't want to break up the set. :)

My ideal would be the Bavarian style corner banquette that is actually longer than the table, often running the length of the main room. I have a wonderful old book of photos of Bavarian peasant/folk-style interiors called "Alte bemaelte Bauernmoebel." Bavaria is/was largely Catholic and every home pictured has a large corner niche with crucifix looming over the dining table. My daughters' Bavarian-born preschool teacher had a church pew in her dining room. You can pack a lot of little kids in a pew!

Mrs. T said...

What a beautiful photo! I'm sure your kids are very happy not to be sitting on a backless bench. Our family is smaller, but we have been through similar what-to-sit-on experiments in our tiny kitchen nook (finally resolved by a hand-me-down round maple table which baaaaaarely seats the six of us, very cozily). At our dining table the two older children sit on old school chairs, while the two little children sit on a bus bench given us by a friend who bought it for $5 at a garage sale. My guardian angel likes shopping, too.

LeeAnn said...

"at the 4H hall where their family belongs"

Glancing through this post again, this phrase struck me as funny. Would they go in the Home Ec exhibit or the cow stalls? ;)

scmom said...

Very cool. And love those smiling faces!

Mrs Pea said...

It's beautiful, as are your little smiling ones!

I also wanted to thank you for your beautiful book, The Angel in the Waters. We bought it as a gift for our son a few days ago [having looked for it all over, I suddenly found two catholic online family businesses who stock it in the UK].

It is a beautiful, beautiful story that makes me cry when I read it. It has helped our son actually enjoy the concept of an angel - previously he was scared - but the idea that while his birth mother is no longer with him, his angel has been there all along, is very helpful and nice.

jen said...


Kristyn said...

Wowee... that's great, Regina! To think it was there all along! We really want church pews too for our long table in our narrow dining room/schoolroom/library. They would be perfect but it's true that they're not the easiest to find. I would rather not go the backless picnic bench route if I can help it. God bless.