I could so relate to Sarah at Three Boys wanting to find a solution to her fireplace dilemma. Using the fireplace, an old, gaping one, a little like mine, seemed a little dangerous with little ones running around. Leaving it empty, however, was an invitation for her kids to play in it. Messy. (Sarah's fireplace, is totally awesome...the kind of fireplace people dream of...just problematic for children.)
Like I said, I could relate. When we first moved into our house, there was a screen in front of our fireplace, which my son was endlessly knocking over. BANG.
I decided to put my globe collection on display there, but to my son, who was only 1 at the time, they looked like great big beach balls. My cherished collection was toast ...no fire needed.
So this is the solution I have settled on for now. I actually got all the pieces at different times. The little trunk was given to me by my grandmother when I was in high school. I can't remember where the middle suitcase came from, but the big one also came from my grandmother. It was in her attic and she let me have it. I didn't realize at the time that it had been her personal suitcase (she was a bit of a collector.) When I got it home I realized it was embossed with her initials-- prior to her marriage with my grandpa. They were married just shy of 67 years, so that makes it one old suitcase. It shows its age, but, hey, I do too.
And so for now, this is my solution.
Sarah, came up with a pretty awesome solution too.
But maybe one day, when our kids are older...we can sit and relax by a crackling fire.
I'll be happy too wait a good, long time for that day.