The year I decided to retire from teaching I remember the thought crossing my mind…that if I returned to the classroom another year I might run into the dreaded “incident” all teachers feared…The innocent comment from a student (on the first day of school) that you taught (not their mother) but grandmother! Horrors!!… and the irony would be that I, myself, wasn’t even a grandmother at the time…I still had all my children’s weddings to attend!
Believe me…with the abundance of teenage pregnancies…the generational cycles can move pretty quickly! I remember when I had Tommy, my youngest, one of my former eighth grade students was down the maternity hall from me at Roper Hospital. We bumped into each other while walking the halls one day. She was seventeen at the time and …well, I was older.
I also didn’t want any of my students thinking what the famous storyteller, Donald Davis, thought the year he got Miss Daisy as his fourth grade teacher. (Sixties, gray bun at back of hair, reading glasses perched on her nose as she stared over the top, etc.) This would be the teacher that Donald remembered and loved long after the last bell rang…but on that first day of school…his initial impression was “Good grief! The school board didn’t give us a teacher…we got an antique!”
The definition of “antique” involves an heirloom or period piece that is valuable because of its age. (Donald soon discovered this was true of Miss Daisy…luckily for him he did get an “antique” in every positive definition of the word…a true heirloom master teacher.)
Until only a few years ago (when Lassie was owner of an antique shop in downtown Summerville) I had never even entered an antique shop. I think it was left over negative memories from my childhood that turned me off to antique shopping.
Growing up I remember riding with mother and Aunt Eva to different places around the Piedmont area of the state… going to visit this or that great aunt who was selling some of her “heirlooms” and Aunt Eva was anxious to get in on the sell.
I didn’t realize back then that apparently my fashion taste was already developing and big, black, heavy furniture with (claws) just didn’t do it for me. In fact when I would walk into silent creepy parlors filled with ancient dark furniture owned by even (from a child’s perspective) more ancient looking little women with sparsely covered white hair…I would start feeling like I was suffocating under the dust and the ‘tell tell’ smell of old….everything old.
Today, of course, I love going to fun, whimsical antique stores looking for nostalgic items from the past that remind me of different incidents from my childhood and adolescent recollections.
My latest purchase cost a “big” $3.97 cents. This little pull-along hobby horse brought back memories of a bedside lamp that my younger brother David got when he was little. The body of the lamp looked very similar to this handmade carved horse. It was kept on a bedside table and I remember you had to pull his tail to turn the light on and off. David still had that horse lamp when he graduated high school.
Now I can remember my brother and the ‘almost’ forgotten horse lamp with the pull-along pony in Rutledge’s guest bedroom.
To me…this is the beauty of “antique” shopping. Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance) agrees.
“The openness to receive riches from the past often results in delightful lessons about… listening to your heart, honoring your creative impulses, stepping out in faith, and above all, realizing there is “no lack.” How can there be lack in our lives when even the commonplace, through passage of time, becomes precious?
Isabelle Eberhardt wrote back in 1900 that remembering the good and beautiful from the past… amounts to a rich “seasoning” of the present. (I do believe Isabelle was a true history teacher under her antique expert facade.)
So until tomorrow…we all know that time heals but time also “seasons” the rich memories and memoirs from the past…interweaving them into precious gifts from the heart…priceless!
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
* Last night Ben and I met Lee and Vikki to celebrate both Ben’s and Vikki’s birthdays…July 26 was a good day for the family in more ways than one. We tried out a restaurant on King called Leons and the grilled chicken and hushpuppies were exceptional…along with the scalloped potatoes.
Ben looks quite dashing in his “golf” cap that I brought him back from Ireland…he says he is also going to wear it when the band plays! A good “loving” picture of Lee and Vikki…and then the whole gang!
But enough about food…after dinner Vikki took us to see their new home on the corner of Rutledge and Maple Street. It is a beautiful old Victorian looking home…three stories…with fire places in almost every room. For right now they are renting it (a financial investment) with hopes of moving in themselves (with a family intact) within the next few years.
I do hope so…because this house would love to hear the laughter of children…it was meant for that purpose I believe. Come with me as we tour the home…(Lee and Vikki have been painting and fixing up for over a month since the closing…and renters are getting ready to move in quite soon…so glad Ben and I got inside while we still could.)