“Mom! Come on, do we have to stop? I just want to get to Granny’s house. I’m tired!” It never failed. There was always a thrift store or yard sale that would catch my Mom’s attention on the way to my Grandmother’s house. Or if we did not see one on the way over to Hot Springs, NC, she would find one when we took my Grandmother out the next day to run errands and get groceries. No matter how much I would protest, my whining never made her get back in the car.
My grumbling never had any effect on Granny either she would simply pat me on the shoulder and say, “Hush Sugar let your mom be.” I would impatiently roll my eyes without her seeing and sigh. In those long, arduous moments of waiting on my Mom to come back to the car, they seemed to drag on forever. Then she would come back with one thing or another that she deemed was a “treasure,” and we would finally be on the way back home while she babbled excitedly about what she found to everyone. What could she possibly want with someone else’s junk?
I didn’t get it then, but I do now because I have turned into my Mother.
Now I am the one listening to my kids in the back seat moaning and groaning as I drag them into thrift stores. Oh heaven help me, I really have become her, and trust me when I tell you that she is dying laughing and telling me, “I told you so,” every chance she gets.
Sometime during the summer of this year, I let go of some mental blocks that held my creativity back, and a new version of myself emerged.
I finally admitted to myself that I LOVE ALL THINGS VINTAGE! Ever since then, my collection of treasures has been growing. I find myself in some of the same thrift stores that my Mom has frequented over the years, and I call her when I find new ones she hasn’t heard of yet.
With Christmas now upon us, I keep drifting back to the ideas of “Christmas Long Ago,” just like the book you see featured in these photos. Which by the way, I found TODAY at a thrift store in Waynesville, NC, for only $1.00! I basically cleaned out their shelves of all the holiday books they had, LOL.
I went thrift store shopping for a large basket to go about foraging for organic décor in the woods but came home with a Jeep full of new treasures to photograph. I did find my big basket; I just didn’t make it out to the woods this evening. If you missed my post on why I want to forage this year with my kids, you can read it here.
Part of the fun of pillaging the storefronts for older items is that you never know what you are going to find. Some days you can search and go to five places and never find anything, then go another day and come home with a car filled to the brim and feel like a pirate with his treasure hoard.
I find practical items that my family and I will enjoy, but I get especially delighted when I find something authentically old. For example, today, I found a music book printed in 1916, which makes it 104 years old! When I hold pieces like that, I feel as though I am holding history in my hands. My daydreaming takes off, and I enjoy imagining who used the piece and what could their stories could be like?
When I was an undergrad at Mars Hill University, some of my fondest memories were working in the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies and learning more about the region and its history, and visiting the archives. I would love to be able to say that it was there that I developed my love of old things, but it isn’t, is it? No, I have to admit that it started many years ago while I complained from the backseat of a car while Mom went on the hunt for her treasures.
I hope that the Christmas books I found today will become treasures to my own children later on, even if I did obtain them second hand from some other family or person. The things that we hold dear and share with loved ones create memories that ultimately become the secret treasures of our hearts.