The Southern Tradition of Toting Around Our Home by Host & Serve

Reed, New Orleans, Jayne, Estersohn

Julia Reed’s New Orleans home

We may live at many different addresses in our lifetime.  Through the years, a number of different keys will be on our ring to a number of different front doors.

There will be thresholds that mark great “crossings” in our lives: one we cross for the first time in our first home, doors that may seem to revolve as children traipse in and out, and doors we close for the last time because life has given us another key to a different door on another street.

Julia Reed, author, journalist and Art & Antique Show guest speaker on Sunday, Dec. 7th, said,

“Lots of words have been written about home being where your heart, your love, your dog, your parakeet, whatever, is. I get it—bricks and mortar don’t make a home and all that jazz…

Julia Reed's Tortoise ShellFor me, home is where you find the touchstones of your life: the yellow and white “wedding” china that was a gift from my grandfather… the John Alexander portrait of my noble cat Sam… [and] the giant tortoiseshell I smuggled out of Grenada during a hilariously hellish cruise with my dear departed cousin Frances.

And that’s the thing about touchstones: Unlike a house, you can take them with you. After all, generations of Southerners have made a semi-profession out of toting around and lavishly tending to family heirlooms and prized possessions” (Garden & Gun, Oct/Nov 2013).


No matter where we actually live, our home is made of the things we collect along the way and carefully tote through time from address to address: those beautifully etched crystal sweet tea glasses passed down from your grandmother, that gold mirror from your mother that has hung on many walls, and the 1920’s Jacobean buffet that was your first purchase of real furniture.

Touchstones are quintessential parts of who we are. They are things that mean something because they carry a bit of us in them.  And, that is what a home truly is made of… those bits of history that patina our house with charm and personalize each new address with meaning and depth.


The Young Collectors Booth at the Art & Antiques Show is one of the best places to start investing in pieces that are worth being a part of your home forever, no matter the changing address. The booth will feature a specially curated selection of items meant to inspire guests to look to the past in order to create the dynamic relationship in their homes between the aged and the new.

Jennie Hugo of Crosby Designs and William Nash of E.W. Nash & Son will lead tours at noon and 4PM on Saturday, December 6th, giving tips on shopping the show and incorporating antiques into modern design.  Guest lecturers Jane Schwab and Cindy Smith, interior designers and co-authors of The Welcoming House, will also be stopping by the booth on Saturday to select their favorite pieces prior to their 1PM lecture.

For some of us we are just beginning our new families, choosing an address at which to settle in, and assembling the touchstones of our lives. But, no matter where we are in our parade of homes, it’s never too early or too late to add a piece to our houses and to ourselves.

After all, we need something to tote around and tend to… it’s a Southern tradition.

You won’t want to miss hearing Julia Reed speak at the show on Sunday, December 7, at 1PM. She is a clever writer and sharp observer with a point of view as authentic as her Mississippi roots. She is a contributor to Newsweek, The New York Times, and one of my favorites, Garden & Gun magazine. Her latest book But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria had me laughing from the introduction.

You can follow the Young Collectors Both in Instagram @youngcollectorsbooth.

Mollie Peterson- HOSTandSERVEMollie Browning Peterson has lived in Jacksonville all of her life and loves our city on the water.   She has taught as a teacher at James Weldon Johnson College Prep for 11 years and states, “it is an inspiring job that allows me to be creative and challenges me to be a better person each day.” She lives in Ortega Forest with her husband, Matt, where they enjoy redesigning their first home to fit their needs and loves to host parties.  Mollie is the creator and author of the blog site,

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