Friday, April 15, 2016

What Do You Mean You Don't Want This??

Our daughter, our only child, is 32 years old and has her own tastes. Well, ok, that doesn't sound startling. But when I want her to have some things I think would be neat for her to have, and she says "Mom, that really isn't me.",  it does take a moment to sink in that something I like has no appeal to her at all! One could, if one were so inclined, actually have hurt feelings.

I had an antiques business, and have many items still left from that, plus items given to me by my parents which belonged to my grandparents and even great grandparents. They are precious - to me.  She hasn't grown up having those same feelings so she doesn't see them in the same context. And I had to learn a while back, that's OK. To be fair to me, though, she has changed her mind about some of the things, but only some. So I have been looking for places for the extra stuff in the barn: outlet stores for certain charities, people I know who might like them, or a university drama department.

Recently, she has begun sewing accessories, while taking a break from her painting and drawing. She is quite a good and creative seamstress, and has used a bunch of antique fabrics and tablecloths to make into shoulder bags, messenger bags and small pouches. She shares a love of fabric with me - I used to smock, French hand sew, and create one of a kind items of clothing for her. She looks forward to using the clothing herself should she be blessed with a daughter. But antique fabric! Oh my, it just made my heart beat a little faster - French linen sheets with heavy white embroidery, rough linen French feed sacks with a red or blue stripe  down the length of the bag, soft prints on cotton dress fabric, linen towels, barkcloth from the mid-century, tablecloths from the 1920's- 1950's, tickings of all kinds and toile. I would purchase them, wash and fold them and look lovingly at the stack. I sold many, but I always seemed to buy way more than I could sell (it helped to know other dealers who sold them by the lot for a great price!) and I use the linen sheets on our beds and old kitchen towels are put to use again in our kitchen. But still, just what am I going to do with the rest now?

I had to sell my antiques business when I became chronically ill. The fabric was boxed up and stored. First I had given Tabitha everything which was stained or had been torn, so she could cut around these parts and use them for sewing. Later I stood looking at the large plastic storage box which has been in the extra closet for years. How many years? And really, what good where they going to do me? They would do an awful lot for her, so I asked her if she wanted them - she pounced quite happily! She recently did her first show and did pretty well even though it really wasn't her demographic. And she's bursting with plans on how to make them even more unique!

(Photos taken by Daryl Ham)

Now, here's a secret - when she first showed me the small pouches using the different tickings as lining, my first thought was "AAHH - she cut up the ticking fabric!" Silly, isn't it? I realized then that it was good I had given them away, I had become attached to these "things".

Of course, some things haven't changed, there are still items I have which she doesn't want. And that's OK, it's her life. I respect that!

............... Well, I might still try to talk her into taking my grandmother's large beautiful dough bowl, made from a single piece of wood, or my great grandfather's long handmade porch bench .....................

And here's a good link to motivate you to move on, thanks to my friend Fran! Be sure to read it!

Live your life one day at a time!

Friday, April 8, 2016

About Scenery And Mailboxes

During the time I owned my antiques business, we purchased a 2000 Ford Excursion, which is really a Ford 250 pickup with a roof. It was HUGE and was a great boon to me as I hauled things around in my business. When we moved to the upstate of South Carolina in 2007, I continued my business for about another year, and but as I became ill with Myalgic Encephlamyalitis, the antique business had to be sold. We kept the Excursion though, because it came in handy for hauling bales of pine straw,
 flats of flowers, dogs, or anything else that needed something big for transportation.

I had had a few minor mishaps with the Excursion when we first got it, because it is such a large vehicle to try and mix it up with smaller cars in a normal sized parking lot. The top of the Excursion's tires come up to the top of the hood on small sedans. I am thankful that it was never anything serious, and I finally managed to feel like I had mastered the art of driving it and felt pretty comfortable doing so. But if you aren't careful, it can catch you off guard in just a moment!

The roads in the area where we live now are almost all country roads, narrow with little to no shoulder. One day soon after we had moved up here, I was leaving the drive-in window of our local drug store, I noticed a road going off around a couple of small mountains. I knew from the name of the road, it must come out near where I would have taken my turn off towards home on my usual route. So I decided to take the long way home, and see what I could see on this unfamiliar road.

As most country roads around here, it had a lot of attractive scenery - old houses, old trees, yards with flowers, farms with cows and horses. And it also had sharp curves and S turns where you had to be careful you did not run off the road into perhaps an old stone wall. So I was moving along, enjoying the scenery, and trying to be careful to give enough room for occasional oncoming traffic. Then I came around one curve in the midst of a stand of trees, to suddenly having an open field to my left, where the distant mountains could be seen over graceful trees in a green pasture. What a lovely view, I thought, as the road kept curving. Then I was jerked back to reality by the sound of

As I quickly turned my head to the right, I caught the sight of a green plastic mailbox bouncing up against the bank, and my outside rear view mirror ripped from the side of the car. I quickly eased the car to the side of the road, and sat there for a minute, stunned by the loud noise, and the now useless hanging mirror. I glanced back at the mailbox, and knew that I couldn't just drive off, so I found a place to turn around and then parked in the driveway by the damages. I got out to try and hopefully put it back together, but it wasn't going to happen. Looking down at the pieces, I felt so stupid and then, taking a big sigh I climbed back into my car and drove up the steep driveway to let the owners know that I would purchase them a brand new mailbox. After knocking on the door several times I realized that the person wasn't home, so I found some scrap paper, wrote them a message and taped it to the glass door so they'd see it. Then I drove on home, keeping my eyes squarely in the road.

When I returned home and filled in my husband with my sad story, all I could do was wait now until the person called me. John very kindly offered to take me out for a quick bite since he could tell I was still rattled by the incident. When we returned, there was a message on our house phone from an elderly man with a southern twang:

"Miss Cook? This is Daniel __________. You lef' me a message about my mail box? Well, honey, jus' don't worry yourself 'bout that mailbox, it's been hit so many times I might as well jus' throw it away. I have a home health nurse, she's an ex drug addict, ya know, and she can just' take care of it. I 'preciate your leaving me the message and all, but jus' put it out of your head, 'cause there ain't no reason to worry about it no more!"

John and I just looked at each other, then I played it back again. The second time, I started laughing and yes, I did feel better. When I took the car in for repairs, however, it wasn't a laughing matter, as the repairs cost well over $300. But at least I didn't have to buy a new mailbox! 

Live your life one day at a time!