The Bergen came from a widow who lives down the street from us. She really has no one else in the world except for her very elderly and very deaf bassett hound named Barkley.
Now, I'm a dog person. A sort of animal whisperer really - I like animals more than people most of the time and most of the time, animals like me more than most people. Same goes for Mr. Sweet Peep. Animals love him too. As in, we'll be hiking and a bird will land on his shoulder and sing him a tune. Really, he's just like Snow White. But Barkley, the elderly and deaf bassett hound glared at both of us and growled this deep, gutteral, evil little growl. It was enough for both of us to stand straight and keep an eye for the door. But our 1.5 year old, jaunts right in, leans out, butt in the air, lips puckered and gave that old graying dog a kiss square on the lips. And he, in return, licked her from forehead to chin. We apparently have another animal whisperer on our hands. And this was some sort of invitation to hear the elderly widow's life story.
I'll save you the trouble of hearing it. But keep in mind, Mr. Sweet Peep moved that hutch from the basement and out to the truck while me and the widow talked about life and love and children and old antique furniture pieces. The Bergen came from Campbell River, BC more than a decade ago and has been with her for as long as she and her husband had been together. It was an anniversary gift from many years passed. A magical piece she had cherished. She had a sparkle in her eye as she talked about it and a faint whimper in her voice when she told me she just couldn't bring it with her anymore. That it was time to let go.
The Bergen is named for her and aptly so. Straight and tall and strong, but with a feminine curve and line you only find in old women who have lived every single day of their life to the greatest. As of now, the Bergen is my favourite piece. And I'm sad I'll only have it for a short while and won't be able to put my own story and history into it. But I'm sure she will go to a good owner. Perhaps as an anniversary gift and perhaps it'll finish it's story just like the beginning chapters finished - full of love, life and memories and a bit of sparkle and magic.