I received a Lane Co. hope chest in 1999 when I graduated from high school.
It sat at the end of my bed filled with dishes, linens, treasures,
winter sweaters and photos.
When I got married Mr. Nielson and I loaded my chest
into my brothers truck and took it to our new home.
I unloaded the dishes to the old musty cupboards of our 100 year old home,
and the bedding onto our new bed.
Christian and I agreed that we would give our daughters hope chests when
they graduated from high school, like me.
But we felt like Claire was ready for it sooner.
Generally I think that these days kids are just ready sooner.
So, Mr. Nielson began construction on the chest early December.
Our Bishop was kind enough to let Christian use his wood
shop to construct the chest since most of his tools are packed away still.
Almost every waking hour Christian was there working on the chest, and
it was hard to keep a secret from the Little Nies about where he was.
He even missed the tradition of a Christmas Eve movie so he
could finish the chest in time for Christmas morning.
But he did it!
After the Little Nies went to bed on Christmas Eve I helped Christian carry
the heavy box inside the house. It was gorgeous!
He had stained the beautiful maple wood a light color
and inside was filled with glorious sweet
smelling cedar to protect its contents.
I wrapped up dishes, goblets, and table linens in pretty paper
tied with satin ribbons, and put them inside for her to discover.
I can't wait to see what else she fills the beautiful chest up with
for her future life, home, children, and family.
(She has quite a collection already).
Last year I got Claire and Jane Minerva Teichert paintings for their future home
and pretty embroidered dish cloths.
Oliver oblivious to the gift, asked me why we had gotten Claire
a coffin for Christmas.
"A hope chest, also called dowry chest, cedar chest, trousseau chest
or glory box is a piece of furniture traditionally used to collect items
such as clothing and household linen,
by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life."