Apr 1

Antiques

I remember my parents obsession with antiques when I was younger…and it wasn’t necessarily something that I shared…at all.

My three sisters and I would sulk out to the car as our Mitsubishi Montero roared to life. My dad would back out of the drivewary, narrowly (or sometimes, not-so-narrowly) missing the basketball hoop, pull onto the street, and then we’d be on our way. Across the winding green rolling hills of Pennsylvania, dotted with fields filled with lolling cattle, the occasional horse and buggy clopping along, and the groundhogs peeking out of their holes every now and then as if to yell, “stop that racket!”

And we’d drive for what seemed like forever until a small antique shop showed itself or we came to a small town that was antique in and of itself. I remember walking onto creaking wooden porches and into the store packed from floor to ceiling with antiques.

Mirrors dusty and splattered with time, old jewlery tinged a different shade, metal lunch boxes rusted in the corners, a delicate dish perfectly etched with flowers, books with crinkly pages that seemed like they could turn to dust if you weren’t careful, stuffed animals worn under their arms and on their cheeks and noses–all the places where they were held tightly when their owners were still young and still alive.

I admit that the stuffed animals caught my eye, they always did back then, but otherwise, I found the shops a bore. It was too crowded, and my parents always spent way too much time weeding through every article of furniture. And it smelled.

Now, I know the smell was of memories.

My perspective on antiques and antique shops slowly changed over the years.

I realized that antiques weren’t old useless dicarded things, but were items filled with stories of their own…a life of their own.

The beautiful woman looking at herself in the mirror before riding with her beau to a church meeting.

A necklace given to her daugther on her sixteen birthday.

Washing out the crumbs of her son’s lunch from off the metal, the water pooling a little bit in the corners.

The dish her grandmother gave her that she placed on the mantel far out of reach

The books her daughter read laying in the hammock in the front yard

The stuffed animal ruined with love

And I think there are all types of magic.

The magic of words, music, nature, love, sorrow.

The magic contained in the moment, as well as in the hopes for the future.

But the magic of the past is my favorite right now.

These seemingly meaningless objects have so much significance and life and stories inside them.

So much so that I want to pick up the old rusted lunch box and hear what it has to say. Or go to sleep with the mirror underneath my pillow and add my reflection to the others inside.

2 Responses to “Antiques”

  • That’s the way I feel about antiques too. Not to mention old barns. In NC, I pass by so many barns and old homes that are now abandoned and being taken over by overgrowth. My imagination loves to go wild, imagining what used to go on in those old buildings.

    Great post!

    Christy

  • Suzanne Brown says:

    LOVE this!! Makes me miss you like CRAZY!!

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