The Journey of Red Hutch

August 27, 2012

She stood in the kitchen of our first home on Ninth Street in Greenville, North Carolina. By the time we met her, she had already had her oaken boards and oval trim painted white for kitchen use. We bought a small blue and white square of linoleum for the kitchen and decided to paint our Hutch a cornflower blue. Proudly she stood in our small kitchen holding our wedding china and various other wedding gifts. When we moved we were given the opportunity to take Hutch with us. We gladly accepted the offer. For nearly 47 years, Hutch has stood in a variety of our homes from Wilson to Elizabeth City, Boone to Arapahoe, always standing tall and proud and filled with treasures of the household. It was in Wilson that Hutch was painted again... Red to go against a yellow wall. Antiqued and finished for a new day with our family. She was moved into our river house as Red Hutch. Aging had created cracks in her finish. Her crackleware-skin wore well. She still stood proud. Then on August 27th of 2011, she met Hurricane Irene. Irene took a great toll on us and many of the people of Pamlico County and surrounding areas. Surge, flood, mold became everyday words to us. And decisions of rebuilding began. We tend to be a people ever ready to begin again. Red Hutch was stored in a pod in the back yard when the water receded. She sat through fall and winter and spring until it was summer again and she was moved back to her place in the dining room last week. The year had not done her well. The crackles in her antiquing were wider and split. She seemed to be coming apart. But as I sat and looked at her, I thought about how much she had been a part of my life for the past 47 years. She has held china and books and Bibles and devotional materials. She is part of my history and the ravages of time cannot take away her importance to me. I value what Red Hutch has meant and what she has offered to the Campbell household. The decision was either to ditch her as too far beyond repair...throw her on the trash heap. But love is not like that. Love is redemptive and healing toward all creation, even Red Hutch. I found a brush and a can of polyurethane, scraped all that would scrape off and painted Red Hutch as if I were applying a liquid band-aid. She shined up immediately and stopped peeling. The red paint was cracked open to reveal the cornflower blue we had painted her with all those years ago, and the white she was painted with even before she was ours. Her cracks and scars tell the story of her journey. Blue and red and white and even a few glimpses of her original oak. She still is sturdy; her bones strong. And today she is filled again with Bibles and songbooks, cookbooks and a few pieces of china. If you come to visit us, be kind in speaking of her. Red Hutch tells a story of what it means to be loved and treasured beyond aging and wear, beyond fad and fancy. She speaks of steadfastness and loyalty, humility and service. Would that we treasured all things with such respect. Blessings to you and yours.  

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A Night Prayer
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