Friday, February 01, 2013

The Butler's Tray

So...while sick with the flu last week, I discovered the joy of Downton Abbey. I have heard about this show over and over, but had never seen it. I just knew it would be right up my alley, what with my love for all things British and all. Steve and I don't watch a lot of television as far as series go -- in fact, just last week, we started watching 30 Rock on Netflix, just as the series was preparing for its series finale. That's how behind the times we are around here! Anyway, perhaps I am the last person on the planet to watch Downton Abbey, but I am happy to say that I am all caught up to the current season, and waiting with baited breath for Sunday evening so I can watch the next episode.

I can't begin to tell you what I love most about the show - - the scenery, the costumes, the story line...all of it absolutely perfect in my eyes. I will tell you that Mr. Bates is right up there at the top of my list. Lord Grantham's valet is a man of few words, and dashing beyond measure. Oh, how I love that character! 

While lying in bed, watching episode after episode, I kept noticing the butler's trays that were popping up in so many scenes. I kept thinking how familiar it looked. The tray you see above, I found at my local thrift store a few months back (no surprise there), and it usually sits in the center of our dining table. Sometimes I use it for coffee or snacks. Anyway, it is nearly identical to the butler trays on Downton Abbey. I love to obsess over little details like this. Now, of course, I love my little tray all the more. When I bought it, the best detail on the tray was a piece of tape, stuck to the back of it:

I wish I knew who put it there, nearly 90 years ago, and what the significance of the date is. Things like this always make me think of my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Steen. When I was a student in her class so very many years ago, I remember her saying that she loved to be traveling in the car at night, and seeing a light on in a random house. She said she loved to catch a glimpse of a person in a window, and she would wonder about that person, or family...what were the details of their life? I have never forgotten that, and often find myself doing the exact same thing. I also do that with items such as this tray. Who did it belong to? What does that date mean? Was it a prized possession that was cast aside at the end of a life, winding up in a thrift store with piles of other people's former belongings? Whatever the case, I'm so happy to have it in my home now.


Kate D. said...

You always find the greatest stuff. I have to come to Idaho to shop. Those cookies look good.

Emily said...

I love the date on the back of that tray and I'm right with you! I love thinking about and discovering personal history!

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