Friday, February 20, 2009

Value is Relative

"Things only have the value that we give them." - Moliere (French Actor and
Playwright 1622-1673)

On Saturdays, when I get some free time during the day, I go one of three places: the book store coffee shop, Panera for my soup in a bread bowl, or a used furniture/antique shop on main street. The antique shop is my favorite, since it is absolutely banned from my travels with kids during the week, (to my husband's relief). Taking small children to a cluttered shop does not equal fun. This is why the phrase: "bull in a china shop" was invented.

Going to this last place on my list is very relaxing for me. It's quiet, and no one tries to sell me anything. I can wander through two floors of junk as if I'm rummaging through an attic. It's fun. I've been antiquing since I was a little girl. Mom used to take me, and I'd buy used books and old post cards with my piggy bank money.

In the store I frequent, the shopkeeper buys and resells the belongings of the deceased. Every time I walk in and the old bell tied to the door jingles, I cannot help thinking of the scene in A Christmas Carol where the maid is selling Scrooge's bedclothes and shirt. Trunks filled with WWII memorabilia and uniforms, deviled egg dishes from the 1950's, Bibles with the history of a family inscribed, these are some of the things I find. Some people have no relatives, or the things they treasured in life have no meaning to their children, so they end up in this store. I come home with all kinds of treasures: old printing drawers, oil paintings, mirrors. I love old mirrors, not because I like to look at myself all day. You can hardly make out a reflection in this old glass. The mirrors I like have rust marks and gashes, evidence of history and age. The older the mirror the better. I put it up and daydream about the scenes it has witnessed through the ages.

"You know that is damaged, right?" The shopkeeper is pointing to the plaster detail on the top of a mirror I am about to purchase for a steal of a sale price.



"Yup. That's how I like it. Imperfect and dented by life. Aren't we all?"



He just looks at me and smiles. "You know the secret at a young age." He says. I do. The secret is that value is relative.


--Here is an old printer's tray that I made into a work of art. I stole this idea from my mother. I have a sea shell fetish. Above are pictures of pieces of my antique mirrors that are so old you can not really see your reflection well in them.

4 comments:

Brenda Jean said...

I love going to antique shops too. I was so sad when my favorite one closed-- it was in a nearby town and was HUGE-- in an old furniture company building and you could be there for hours and not see everything. Sigh. I'll have to find some other shops. I love what you did with the printer tray. I love shells and rocks-- maybe I should look for one!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I also love to collect shells. I have buckets and buckets of them. What you did here looks like a museum collection - very nice! Oh and I just hate it on those declutter-your-home shows when they try to convince the homeowner that the belongings of their ancestors have no present value to them - that they should build their new life with new stuff.

Putz said...

por por doris so shriveling, es 89 and spetic, shutting down dented so to sp;eak but yet still so perfect...pray that she wil go into her rest this week

Putz said...

my treasure are my old memories that are just as warped and dentented and screwy as the stuff you are talking about on this blog...my memories go to europe this week for some reason

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.

Fondly,

Loren Christie

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