Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Should Stop Listening

I go to antique stores quite frequently and generally I just look, but sometimes I will be walking by and something yells, "Hey, you! Over here!". I'm going to have to start ducking and running the opposite direction when I hear that call.

Today brother David and sis-in-law Karen and I went on a tour of Bastrop and Lee Counties. We started off by loading up a pickup full of furniture and assorted junk that I had dug out of the closets and garage and dropping it off at the thrift store. The available space in my bedroom almost doubled. All that junk had been accumulating in the far corner for weeks now and it's ALL GONE! Someone else will now have the opportunity to rescue the faux French provincial bedroom furniture that we acquired back in the early 1960s. Lord, bless them. I enjoyed it as long as I could stand. I love looking down in the end of the bedroom and seeing all that lovely space.

After that chore was completed, we went on to Smithville and wandered through all the little antique shops that line Main Street. I visit these stores at least quarterly and seldom find much to tempt me to open my checkbook. But today was one of those times when I kept hearing that tiny little voice from the corner of the store. "Hey! Over here! Yes, you!"

At the first store we visited, I found a first edition of an H. Allen Smith book I didn't have. H. Allen Smith was a humorist who was hot in the 1950s through the early 1970s. Mother was a big fan of his writing and introduced both David and me to his sharp wit. Over the years she built a collection of his books and I added to it on several birthdays and Christmases. There aren't that many of his books that are not to be found on a shelf in my bedroom bookcase, so I was greatly surprised to find one of the missing today. I figured that would be my one find for the day's outing.

Across the street in a store I've never found anything of interest in before, I heard that little voice again. This time it came from a top shelf. I glanced up and there sat a complete 6 volume set of the Golden Book Illustrated Dictionary. You may remember that a few months back I found a complete set of the Golden Book Atlas in an Alvin antique mall. I purchased it as a companion to the complete set of the Golden Book Illustrated Encyclopedias that I found in the Elgin Antique Mall a couple of years ago. I had owned a set of the encyclopedias when they were first issued in 1959, my parents having purchased a volume at a time in a grocery store promotion. I had read my set to tatters and was delighted to replace it. I didn't even know the atlas or dictionary existed at that point.

I bet I am the only one you know who now owns all three sets of these books. (Thanks to Google, I just discovered there is at least one other set out there left for me to acquire - a Golden Book History of America series.) At the same store, when I went to the counter to make my purchase, I heard a faint little whisper from the counter under the cash register and there sat a terrific little Japanese vase that also came home with me and will find a home in my miniature oriental room.

I had no expectation that there would be anything to find in the antiques store on the corner because they seldom have anything in my price range. And, in fact, I did not find anything but a slightly interesting oak buffet that refused to say anything to me. I was almost through the door when the little voice said "Hey, over here!" There, sitting in a little alcove, was a piece of golden oak furniture that I could not at first identify. So instead of running through the door like I should have done, I went over to get a better look.

The culprit was a pretty little sewing stand. I was hooked almost immediately, although it took me another 15 minutes strolling through the next store before I made up my mind and went back for it. It will be perfect as an end table in my living room and will also provide another nice storage place for my good yarn stash. (As opposed to the plastic bins in the garage that hold my mediocre yarn stash.)

The little sewing stand came with its contents, a motley assortment of yarns and needles and pins and patterns. I carefully, to avoid needle sticks, removed everything and learned that the previous owner did embroidery. In addition to the handful of threaded tapestry needles, I found little balls of yarn in about 20-30 different colors, a handful of embroidery floss, 4 pillow covers stamped for embroidery and in untouched condition, 2 books of embroidery stitch guides, and a card of buttons. I had a vision of some little old lady who enjoyed crewel work as she watched television in the evening and whose family, when she died, sold her sewing stand as it sat. It needed a good home and it knew a sucker when she passed by.

I was not the only one making good finds today. Karen and David took home a back seat full, because there were little voices yelling at them right and left, too. It was a good day for antiquing.

Then we headed on to Lincoln and ate at the Elm Creek Cafe. I indulged in a big chicken fried steak and David and I split a piece of dewberry pie.

It may have been a little cold today, but we had a good time poking in the corners of the little shops, talking to the proprietors, and figuring out how to fit everything in the small backseat of David's pickup for the ride home. Sometimes you just need to go on a ramble and listen to the little voices.



Bettye said...

Beautiful find!!

RMG said...

More room for cats!