You find out you’re moving to Europe – the dreams of touring famous museums, sipping wine along canals, stepping through streets lined by ancient architecture or (insert postcard perfect dream here) – are quickly pushed aside (at least after a few days of the approval) and the front-runner of your mind becomes. . . the mountain of administrational tasks before you. FBI background checks, medical exams, reissued birth certificates (as if anything had changed since the original documents were issued?) – I could go on, but I won’t in order to prevent an anxiety attack, except to say that the inventory valuation prior to shipping was probably one of the most tedious and time consuming. If you plan to ship goods overseas, everything – from furniture to plates to shoes to children’s toys needs to be valued and recorded for inventory purposes. Considering at least half of my furniture was hand me downs from my grandmother, my husband spent many an evening perusing antique auction websites trying to value what we had in our possession. The one that stumped us the most was the baker’s rack. Actually, I didn’t even know what to call it until I phoned my Grandma.
“Hi, Grandma – we’re trying to value everything we have in our house and you know that piece you always had in your kitchen? The one that holds the copper pans on it? Yeah, what would you call that and where did you get it?” I nod into the phone.
“Ah yes, that’s called a baker’s rack,” she explains. Baker’s rack. . . I write this down in my notebook.
“Yes, Hemphill Wells, the department store I worked at in Lubbock – well, they had all their kitchenware on the first floor. The rack was always for sale but no one bought it, so they just used it to display kitchen items.” I add to my notes.
“But I always wanted it – and they sold it to me. I bought the copper pans on display, too. I never used them, I just thought they were pretty to decorate with,” and I smile. The first time I moved to the Netherlands, I put the pans in storage – why did I do that? The piece isn’t complete without them.
“Thanks Grandma – this is helpful, we’ll see if we can find another one online,” and we move the conversation onto other things.
In the end, we never found another baker’s rack online. It’s truly one of a kind. No matter what country we’re in. But it still holds the copper pans, antique kitchen utensils, and on occasion, the kid’s legos, art work, and stuffed animals. In a home with minimal counter space – it becomes the dumping ground of our breakfast nook that gets cleared weekly – but I don’t think Grandma would mind too much.