How many of us sat around the fire embroidering linens like these before our marriages?
The Hope chest or Bottom Drawer used to be a major feature in the life of an unmarried girl as she approached marriageable age. It would contain household linens, but also much of the bride’s adult wardrobe. this became known as her trousseau.
My bottom drawer contained several sets of mugs and glasses. The former won in a raffle at the village hall and the latter collected from garage forecourt promotions. As I didn’t drive until after I was married, this is an enduring mystery.
I was also given my mum’s jelly pan and that has been a treasured possession – and much used. I think my husband would find life diminished if he didn’t have some home-made marmalade to start the day.
Bella would have had the benefit of many attics to rifle through in order to supplement her list of wedding gifts. Although having looked in ours when the offspring moved out, I have to say that not everything looks too good to throw away after ‘keeping it for seven years’ as one thought when it went into storage.
Today, of course, many couples will have lived in their own flat and quite likely lived together, so the need for a long wedding-list of basic items such as bed linen, crockery and cutlery, is much reduced.
What did you have in your Hope Chest when you married? What was the weirdest wedding gift you received?
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One of our strangest presents was an encyclopedia (in 3 volumes). As we both had masses of books this seemed an odd choice!
Yes, a bit odd for you with an already ready-made library, Myra. Sometimes, I think, people give what they’d like to have been given. Anne
That whitework is lovely, Anne. I have a bedspread that belonged to my grandmother and I am pretty certain she would have worked it herself for her hope chest or bottom drawer as it was always referred to in my family.
When we got engaged we started a book called One House Plus which listed all the items we hoped to have one day. We, too, had glasses from a petrol station but that was simply explained as OH worked at one as a student but our oddest gift? Probably the cream jug and sugar bowl – a souvenir of Lake Lugano – a place neither we not the donor had ever visited.
Good luck with your new book, Anne. Your productivity is an inspiration to the rest of us to get writing.
Hullo Ann, thanks for dropping by and sharing those lovely stories. So many, mostly women, have created lovely things over the years. I suppose a lot of men made wooden stuff. I laughed out loud about Lake Lugano. Nowt stranger than folk, is there. Anne