Saturday, June 18, 2011


I really enjoy antiquing, although it has really taken a back seat in my life the past years. Now, I am making a point of visiting antique stores. The American made pottery and glassware I collect offer many items that can be found for $10-20. To me, there is something so fun and exciting about the "hunt" for pieces. But I think it may also have to do with the fact that as a child, my family would go to flea markets every Sunday. Then after the market, we'd have a meal out.

All four kids and two parents packed into a Beetle Bug. Funny how I have no desire to drive one (too small) but I do drive a PT Cruiser. Anyway, I recall these excursions taking place while I was in Junior High through my first year of high school. I remember that all of us kids would bring our homework to complete in the car! One of my brothers would have had to sit I think in that tiny back. We called it the "way back." I started to collect antique dolls and Valentine postcards. Nothing costly - I even believe I spent the first $5.00 I earned babysitting at a flea market.

It was at those markets that my family "acted" normal. Although my parents could still yell at each other in the Bettle, at least in the flea market mall they had to behave themselves. Maybe that is why I am finding myself "feeling" so secure and safe when I'm browsing in an antiques shop. It brings back memories of when I really did fell safe and secure as a child in a childhood where there aren't many memories of that.

My youngest son and I have gone on a couple of antique jaunts together and he has become quite in-the-know about the glassware I collect and is able to spot it. This time my oldest agreed to accompany us, maybe inspired by the fact that I offered to splurge on Steak n' Shake with the coupons I had. Oh I forgot, his girlfriend was out of town at her college orientation in Iowa. But no matter, I was happy both of my sons would be with me.

We hit a store out in the country about 45-minutes away. I'd never been there and it was in a beautiful old stone house. My oldest son was enthusiastic browsing and found a minature horse family in Bone China for $9.00. He purchased it for his girlfriend who is planning to be a vet. He also bought a beer stein for $10.00 deciding to start a collection in honor of his dad who was of Austrian heritage. I told him that his father had a collection himself and that I carefully packed it away, although it is hidden somewhere now in the storage shed.

I found it interesting that he would decide to start this collection which is similar to why my youngest son collects sports items from Wisconsin teams - it is where his dad grew up and went to college for his BA.

The women vendors at the shop fell in love with my sons. The fact that my oldest bought the horses for his girlfriend was sweet, as was my youngest going around and spotting my glassware. My boys are tall, good looking young men - like I don't state that enough in these posts. They're just such nice kids, wearing their Young Life shirts and interacting so pleasantly. I got to talking with one of the women who told me about her two daughters in college. I mentioned raising the boys on my own because of my husband dying. I don't bring it up that much anymore but I think I wanted some credit since the women were gushing over my sons.

This woman replied with one of those ignorant remarks that makes you just want to scream and which we get our share of. Hers was after a mumbled kind of I'm sorry: "Oh, I know someone whose father-in-law just died." Hmmm I thought. How does that relate to me or losing a husband and then having to become an only parent? Answer: absolutely nothing. But I wasn't in the mood to comment or correct her. She'd said a lot of nice compliments about my boys and I decided to let her slide. If I ever go back to the shop though and she is there, I may say something.


  1. It's wonderful how you and your boys reach into your history for 'normal', loving and intact family experiences. They are a touchstone and oasis. I do this, too, and like you, I've been drawn to a flea market called 'Goodwill'!

    I believe that after their father died you provided them with an oasis. This will serve them well. I'll bet your son will keep his eye out for that glassware you love so much because it reminds him of you.

    As for the vendor - well. This is a tough club we've joined - widows and widowers. Membership dues stink.

  2. I'm glad you and the boys are enjoying things together. Thelma Z (having trouble posting with my google account--my comments keep disappearing.

  3. From WITM - Thank you for your comments. I am also having trouble posting comments to readers since getting our new computer. Here is a fun tibit - my youngest son goes to Goodwill quite often and comes home with shirts or shorts under a dollar. Just the other day he found a sports t-shirt from a team in his dad's old hometown in another state! It is a small, rural town not a big city. This was a realy fun find for him. Or maybe it wasn't that random after all...