the antique store

I’ve driven by the little sign every day since we moved in 2 months ago. Just a little red sandwich board with simple, painted white lettering “Antiques” and an arrow pointing left towards the little village, sitting on the side of the busy road that winds around the army base towards my home.
The village where time seemingly stands still. It sits atop an emerald green hill, adorned with flowers and decorated with rock gardens. Fragrant purple lilacs freckle the hillside, while stone pathways weave through the gardens to the peak.
The village itself is perched on the hillside, houses built cascading down towards the water, each one with a beautiful view. Each one over a hundred years old and painfully restored by their owners.
In the midst of this travel back in time, sits a building simply marked “Antiques”. Curiosity got the best of me on Sunday, as I spent the afternoon with my mother, and we decided to stop by and see what we might find.

The simple front was deceiving, as the store was filled to the brim with some of the most beautiful antiques I had ever seen.
Window frames, chairs, tables, shutters, books, toys…. and of course… furniture.
Just a narrow path winds around the outside edge of the store, the outer walls seemingly held up by huge pieces of furniture.
On one wall – the enormous oak entrance arches from the local hospital. Removed in renovations and now resting gently against the wall, waiting for a new home.
On another wall, a mahogany sideboard from Austria. circa sometime in the 1700s.
Yeah, they wanted 5 figures for that one.
And I’m not sure how they would have removed it from the store, as it was probably 8 feet long and buried on the back wall.

The majority of the time, my mom and I were calling each other – “Oh wow, come see this mom!” or “Lindsay – isn’t this beautiful?

I stepped to a glass case, filled with spectacles, pocket watches and other jewellery. I was filled with sadness as I scanned these artifacts and among them were miniature portraits in tiny silver frames.
The sadness overwhelmed me for a moment, as I realized that this was someone’s family for sale. Someone’s great-grandmother or great-great grandfather. A little piece of someone’s history sitting in a glass box with a price tag on it.

Perhaps someone had carried that tiny frame close to their heart. It may have been a gift from a fiancĂ© before her love went off to war, travelling the world in a soldier’s pocket, giving him strength at night to carry on with his duties, giving him a reason to fight, to come home. Something to look forward to.

Maybe I’m a bit sentimental, but I’m a huge believer that family is everything. They should be your biggest supporters and they should stand by you and believe in you, even if they don’t agree with you. I have family photos dating back many many years, and I can’t imagine throwing out or selling photographs of my family members.

My soft heart reached out to the ladies beneath the glass.

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5 thoughts on “the antique store

  1. Yes, furniture is one thing, then we reach a new level with photos and some other things. So, I get your softness and sadness.
    I also miss those kind of photos…we have all become so digital, hardly anyone prints pictures anymore, never mind use film!

  2. The first part of the post reads like a painting. You describe the scene so well I want to be there with you.
    Oh, my gosh. I completely relate to what you were feeling here. I just can’t make myself go to estate sales. I have friends that have gotten great pieces at these sales. But I find them emotionally overwhelming for exactly the reasons you outline here.
    Such a great post.

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