Estate sales are treasure-troves for lovers of old things with an eye to their restoration. No matter the accumulation of decades of grime, the scraped chair leg, the missing drawers of a chest, the discolored table with initials carved on the top.

Whether bought at Goodwill or Edwin Pepper Interiors, these pieces reflect their previous owners’ utilitarian and esthetic tastes, as well as their sense of what had constituted home.

Some of advanced ages also have their cherished pieces restored and refinished as a legacy for others to enjoy in their homes.

One such business that accommodates such needs is Zollinger’s, located in South St. Louis. Originally founded by H. R. Zollinger, a dentist, in September 1893, the Junker family took it over in 1933 and continues under the ownership of their son, Tom. Under its modest roof, rooms of skilled woodworkers and other artists repair wobbly joints and missing parts of furniture, hand sand, buff, apply primers before applying at least five coats of lacquer. The results warm the heart: new furniture emerges with lustrous hearts of cherry, oak, pine, walnut, elm, and sycamore.

The craftsmen’s touch, their love for distressed wood, once thriving in forests, their honoring the work of other woodworkers from all times and parts of the world – all of this gives me pause. Perhaps another way of understanding the line from the book of Revelation 21:5: “Behold, I make all things new.”

These skillful hands at work in Zollinger’s are restoring my dining room chair. I am more than grateful.