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Monday, March 24, 2008

Back to the Bookcase

I collect pictures of equestrian art.
Some I bought at flea markets or antique stores; some were given to me.

“These are a few of my favorite things.” (Remember when Julie Andrews sang that in The Sound of Music?)

Many items on my wall and on the top shelf of the bookcase I made from the old headboard weren’t expensive. Most are second-hand, and thus recycled. Some are homemade. But they’re things I really like.

For instance, this original watercolor was a gift from Mary Ann Reynolds, an art teacher buddy from years gone by. We taught together at Jackson in the 1980s. After my retirement, when I had to do twenty days a year as a consultant, I worked with Mary Ann on various projects that combined art and literature. She painted this picture just for me—we both love horses.

Speaking of horses—

I’m lucky to be married to someone who often surprises and delights me by bringing home stuff that he thinks I’d like. One day, he saw this wooden horse statue at the Rocky Mount Goodwill. He only paid a few dollars for it. “I thought you’d like it,” he said when he handed me the bag.

Like it? I love it!

The Goodwill isn’t the only thrift shop that John and I frequent. The Discovery Shop at Westlake has some fantastic decorator items at great (low!) prices. The Discovery Shop supports the cancer research—last year, they gave half a million toward finding a cure for breast cancer.

I bought this horse tile there for $5 several months ago. Below is a closeup of the detail.

In the picture below, there’s a little brass vase that John paid $2 for. In the vase are two sprigs of artificial flowers that I bought at the Discovery Shop two weeks ago—$1.50 each.

Next to the vase is a picture frame that Robyn Bevins (daughter of my college roommate/ BFF Polly) gave me when I visited them in Newport News during the CNU conference. She’d thought of me when she saw it, and bought it second-hand (we give each other a lot of recycled stuff). It was perfect for the photo that Ed W.—one of my Lake Writer buddies—Photo-shopped from the jpeg I sent him so it looks like a watercolor of Melody and Cupcake. I LOVE that picture in that frame.

John bought me the large brass vase at the Discovery Shop about six weeks ago when I had back problems so bad I could hardly walk. We were returning from my doctor's appointment and had to pass the Discovery Shop on our way home. John said he’d just be a minute—I felt too lousy to get out of the car. He returned with the vase—only $6. It’s so perfect for this space. The flower arrangement inside was another Discovery Shop buy. I paid $5 for it—a half-price special—two weeks ago. They’re perfect in that vase.

The framed Emily Dickinson quote (“Hope is the thing with feathers . . .”) is a card from my cousin Marty. She wrote, “It reminds me of that picture on Grandma’s wall. . . .” and I go back 55 years to when Marty and I were kids and sat under that picture.

The little heart candle came with something I once bought. It’s purpose here is to hold the picture frame in place. And it smells nice. The decoupage flowerpot-candle is a Robyn Bevins original. She’s a talented craftswoman who makes a lot of neat stuff. The doily underneath was hand-crocheted by a great-aunt—I think it was Aunt Ossie Nace Goode of Lithia, Virginia. I have a lot of handed-down doilies made by my Nace ancestors.

Anyhow, I have a lot of favorite things that didn’t cost much but mean a lot. I can look at some of them and see the faces of the people who gave them to me.

I can look at things John or I bought from Goodwill and the Discovery Shop and hope that the money we spent there advances the good work that these places do.

I feel sorry for folks who have to buy everything brand new. They don’t know what they’re missing.


1 comment:

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I love your old horse pictures.

I used to have a business selling antiques called Good Junk.

Maybe you'd like to borrow my books American Junk and Garden Junk?