I sometimes wonder if that phrase describes our house – a hutch too far. It’s like a bridge too far, only with furniture. In case your World War II history is a little rusty, British Lieutenant-General Frederick Browning (commander of the British airborne forces and – this is really cool – the husband of Daphne du Maurier; Rebecca, I love that novel) coined the phrase. During the planning for Operation Market Garden, he reportedly said, “I think we may be going a bridge too far” when discussing how long his troops could hold a bridge in the Netherlands.
Whether it’s overreaching to have three hutches in one house, I don’t know, but at least our hutches are working successfully, unlike the Allies’ 1944 military operation. Last month, I shared our dining room hutch with you, the one I call the curiosity cabinet because it contains numerous little tchotchkes and keepsakes in addition to dishes.
|Dining room Back porch|
We have another small hutch on our back porch. It is really more a Hoosier cabinet than a true hutch. Like our dining room hutch, this cabinet was inherited. It belonged to my Pennsylvania grandmother. It has been through a lot. It was painted several times, its tambour door broke, the original painted glass has been replaced. When my uncle died, my parents took in the cabinet, but they never used it. I later rescued it from my parents’ shed. They were planning to throw it away when I snatched it. It still needs work. The drawers don’t open very well, for example, and one door won’t latch, but I love having it on our porch where it holds my compost pail, grill lighters, marshmallow toasting forks, leashes, Armor All, bug repellent, you name it.
Our third hutch, the only one we actually purchased, sits in our living room. And, baby, it is big. It is a little more than seven feet tall, five feet wide, and nineteen inches deep. All one piece. It is murder to move. We bought it at an antiques store in Walworth, Wisconsin after we moved out of our city condo to a small-town house. It houses our flow blue china, Fiesta Ware, table linens, candles, and other odds and ends.
|A peek inside. The bottom drawer hold croquet balls and Eiffel Towers. Hmmm.|
If we ever downsize from this old house, no doubt we won’t be able to keep all three of the hutches. It would be tough to decide which to keep and which to let go. Not exactly a Sophie’s choice (in keeping with my World War II references), but a hard decision nevertheless. Do you have a similar problem with too many chairs or tables that you can’t or don't want to get rid of?