It’s true and I just realized it. Yesterday. My husband and I went for a drive to the beach and along the way I kept seeing “junk” and antique shops. After my “oohs” and “aahs” I would say, “I really want to go in there!” To which his response would be some sort of nod or roll of the eyes. (This actually happens on a quite regular basis now) We saw one place – about a 1/2 acre sized property – littered with sheds, lean-to’s and the likes filled to the brim with everything you could imagine. A rainbow of glass bottles, a myriad of lawn ornaments and homemade signs reading things like “Mary’s Art Sold Here” and “30 Year Clearance Sale”. (That one boggled my mind – still does). It was so cluttered with stuff you could not see in the windows. We later passed the giant and foreboding antique’s place I’ve always wanted to go in but never have. My husband said, “looks scary, like something out of a horror movie,” to which I replied “It looks AMAZING!” This place is an old farmhouse next to the highway. It’s falling down. Literally. A huge sign on the sign reads ANTIQUES but you can barely read it. To the untrained eye yes, it looks scary. To me, a virtual treasure trove waiting to be discovered.
To better understand we need to go back 25 years. My parents divorced when I was very young and both re-married in the very early 80’s. My mom and step-father met at an auction. An antiques auction. (Starting to get the picture?) Every outing, every vacation, every trip we ever took centered around visiting some historic site or some huge antique bizarre/fair/market. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been to Williamsburg. They even owned an antique shop for a spell and their house is still full to the brim with antiques. My step-father actually knows two of the guys from Antiques Roadshow. I’m not kidding.
I never appreciated those things when I was younger but apparently now I do. They were constantly (and still are) on some sort of hunt for the perfect pipe box or Queen Anne table. My step-father eventually decided to earn his keep as a cabinetmaker – specializing in antique reproduction furniture. Today, the older they get, their trips are less frequent and now (of course sans children) are more “vacationey”. But thanks to the internet and Ebay, they still enjoy the proverbial hunt.
So here I am, twenty plus years later creating vintage inspired jewelry. Collecting vintage odds and ends and antiquing modern things to look old. I knew someday parts of my mother would creep in like they do for most women – eventually. I figured it would be along the lines of constantly nagging and writing notes when I have kids. Or taking up painting when I get older. Perhaps having a fondness for all things Italy. Instead I’ve developed a love for things I HATED when I was growing up. Old bottles, vintage jewelry… things I can make new again…or better yet, new things I can make old.
Life has a funny way of coming full circle and surprising us (or biting us on the ass). Instead of shaking my fists in frustration, I’ll embrace the wonderful legacy she has passed on. I only hope I can pass on something equally rewarding and wonderful to my children.