As I put in my papers to retire and started to say my goodbyes to my customers one customer of mine who I had become a very good friend of as well as an excellent business partner gave me a farewell gift. She works for LL Bean and had been in their Hong Kong office until Hong Kong reverted back to China at which point she took a job at Bean’s headquarters in Freeport, ME. That was 17 years ago. Now that I was retiring at our final luncheon, which my wife joined us and her team, she presented me with a Chinese painting that comes as a scroll that she had brought back from Hong Kong on a recent vacation to visit her relatives. The scroll tells a story in pictures and is about 18 feet long. You hold it in your hands and unroll one side while rolling the other side to read it like a book. It was a very special gift and I will always treasure it.
Now the challenge is to find where to display it in our new home.
As I wrote about recently, above the dining area is a ledge that I was trying to figure out what to do with even though it was intended for plants but I decided was too hard to get to water or take care of properly. The first thing I decided to put up were my fathers trains, which have been packed away for the better part of 35 years as I didn’t ever figure out how to display them. Then my bear claw snowshoes were added as a reminder of our years in New England. Finally, I realized the scroll could be easily seen and accessed for viewing but in a safe place (well, until the time we have grand children who might be tempted to hop the balcony to try walking on the ledge – but that is years off as neither of our sons are married yet).
Someone at our church recommended that we have a house blessing and we recently finished decorating and so had the event. Our minister and most of the folks from our church came and it was wonderful. At one point I got the scroll and told the story behind it, and then we unrolled it. Everyone was very impressed and suggested that we get it mounted and put it up on the front wall. I diplomatically said thanks for the idea but have no desire to do it as the ‘magic’ of it is to hold it in one’s hands and look at it up close.
Anyway, the house blessing made me think of the gift and how our house blessing is the White Anglo Saxon Protestant version of feng shui, which is the Chinese system of arranging a house to bring about the most favorable luck for the inhabitants.