The time is approaching. “How do I feel” you ask? I’m excited! I’m nervous! Is this a dream? What am I getting myself in to?
What I’m doing is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I just didn’t really know how to get started. That’s where Lisa came in. She coaxed me and pushed and bullied me until I cried “uncle”. (No Lisa, you really didn’t bully me!!!!) Funny way to say thank you to her but that’s what I’m doing! I needed someone to jump in with. And who better than my friend!
So the time is about here. We are spending lots of time on the phone making plans, changing plans, and talking about our next flea market adventure.
I have one problem though. I have a hard time of letting go of some of my stuff. Both things I’ve had for years or even some of the newly acquired treasures. I just end up loving them all! Once I connect with it, even if I don’t know what I will ever do with it or where I will find room for it, it’s mine! And once I know a little history about its life, well you could say I’m a goner! Much to my husband’s dismay! (He was a minimalist until me met me!) I have to say though, after all these year’s, he’s been pretty good, although it did take some training.
I have chairs. Lot’s of chairs that really shouldn’t be sat in, because they are too old or too rickety. But oh, they are cool! And I can’t part with them. They are all from different eras and each one is beautiful in their own way. I have lots of rocks and shells, several vases, a few rugs and lamps just to name a few. Several hatboxes, quilts, some vintage clothing, even a few bobble heads! ( I love those!!) I guess I like a little of everything.
And as any collector knows, there’s nothing better then the smell of old wood from a table or chair! The smooth grain of a worn wooden rocking chair. Or better yet, walking into an old house with a little mustiness in the air! Ah yes! The best! Anything aged and imperfect seems to call to me.
So when you all come to visit our booth this Sunday and if you find something you can’t live without, just know I understand. But I might have to fight you for it!
When Grandma and Grandpa moved to the “mobile home park” we were told never to say that they lived in a trailer. However, “Sundial Park” was a very nice place with a community center and rec room. If we pleaded real hard they would take us over for a game or two of shuffleboard, though we rarely beat Grandpa. Another favorite activity at Grandma and Grandpa’s trailer park – errr mobile home park-- was to pay a visit to the “Goodie Room.” The “Goodie Room” was attached to the rec center and smelled like rotting food; nevertheless we always demanded to go. My grandparents had nicknamed the trash/junk room the “Goodie Room,” as the residents would often leave things, which weren’t quite ready for the trash bin (most of these residents lived through the Depression and hated to waste anything). You never knew what you might find in the “Goodie Room”: a chipped dish that you could make into a Barbie swimming pool, an almost-new magazine that you could cut Betsey McCall paper dolls from, an old Reader’s Digest that could be folded origami style, spray painted green and decorated as a Christmas tree. The “Goodie Room” was about the thrill of the hunt-- that is what Jenna and I are up to now.
Jenna’s blog got me thinking about my roots in collecting vintage articles. I never had the experience of a Grandparent taking me out to scour the thrift stores, but mercantilism runs in my family. Over the years, my paternal Grandparents owned several Mom and Pop stores. My best memory was a store that they had near the river in town. Displayed across the squeaky hinged screened door was a diagonal metal banner for Camel Cigarettes that banged loudly when the door swung shut. They didn’t need a buzzer to announce a customer. The planked floors where made of an old wood, and when you stepped in, you were met with a big-red-chest-style freezer (the kind you have to reach into) branded with the classic words, “Drink Coca Cola.”
Grandpa and Grandma’s house was attached to the back of the store and as a kid, the best part of spending the night at their house was that as their guest you were allowed, after dinner, to go out to the store and pick one treat from the vast array yummies. Sometimes I chose soda pop, after which Grandma would peal the cork liner from the back of the cap, she would then press the top of the cap to the front of my shirt, push the cork lining back into the cap through my shirt, and presto I would be wearing a Bubble Up pin! Grandpa would open most of the pop bottles for his customers so he would end up with a stash of bottle caps and we could get quite a selection of “pop” pins on our shirt before it was time to go home. Usually, however, I went for an ice cream or Popsicle when it was my turn to pick a treat from the store. Looking back, I think about how that store was filled with today’s collectables… the old soda pop freezer, the Camel sign, the neon Ham’s Beer sign with a smiling black bear, and even that banging screen door.
Where do I begin? I guess my earliest memory of collecting started when I was probably about 4 yrs old. Granny bought me a little Brownie camera. We were on our daily walk before naptime and went inside a Salvation Army store. I fell in love with it and for a bargain price of .10 cents it was mine. I have it to this day. And it works! (With film! What’s that??)
That was the beginning of what was to become a life long journey of treasure hunting.
My grandma on my mom’s side was my trainer. As I grew up and had kids of my own, I would drop them off at pre-school and away Grandma and I would go! Goodwill, garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales. We had to work fast, as pre-school only lasted a few hours and we had to get back to the kids. However there were many times we took them with us. You’re never too young to start learning the trade!
She taught me the secrets. What to look for, and where to look. Up, down, on the floor, in corners, in nasty looking boxes of junk, through heaps of linens (dirty or clean), abandoned photos, and discarded clothing! Everything had a story she would say. And I believed her. After all she was Grandma! I learned to ask questions about items that I would buy. Wanting to know what it was, where it came from, how they acquired it, how old it was. It was all part of the process of collecting. I was hooked. I would call my mom (grandma’s daughter) and tell her all about the treasures we acquired, but she just didn’t get it. Grandma told me the “collecting gene” skips every other generation and that mom was skipped! Ha! I was in!
Skip forward to present. Here I am with my oldest and dearest friend Lisa moving forward on this journey which is a little scarry but a lot exciting! If back in our youth we had a crystal ball as to what we would be doing at this time of our life we probably wouldn’t be a bit surprised. We still have the sense of adventure that we had back in day!
Wish us luck and we will definitely keep you posted.