Monday, November 28, 2016

East or West Home is Best

The perfect place to live---there is no such place--let's agree to that.

But many times a person can go on a vacation--and return and think--now THERE is a place I could settle down--when I retire, when the kids are grown, when the cows come home.

Dear One and I know a few people who have travelled places and returned--pulled up stakes and moved away.  I am sure it works for some.  This is something I can't imagine doing.  I always felt that the specialness of a vacation is that is IS temporary--you DON'T live there.  Vacation is a snapshot (literally) in your life--not the reality of your life.

We love to travel and have been very blessed to have had vacations in places that have touched our hearts.  We usually bring home a suitcase of reminders--maybe a local product-or foodstuff-or special book--and most likely a vintage something that we found on a "poke around the vintage shops kind of day" that we like.  I might even come home with visions of repainting the kitchen that JUST PERFECT shade of sky or sunset or stone or flora  or shutter that I saw on a vintage home.

What makes the perfect place to relocate?  I think many do it to move closer to family (I always wonder what the family thinks of the idea)  Some do it to leave behind a life of memories or a perceived staleness in what exists and a searching for the freshness of what is ahead.

I have always been haunted by a quote from Blaise Paschal (b. 1623)
“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?
This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”
[This is from page 75 of Blaise Pascal’s Pensees (New York; Penguin Books, 1966).]

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Your Kiddos Don't Want Your Tchotchke

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal had a front page article on bric-a-brac and baby boomers.  It seems that baby boomers are downsizing their homes and "gifting" family treasure on their kids and grandkids--who just do not want it.
I hear that story all the time.  Friends who own and sometimes decorate with family heirlooms and hand-me-downs are lamenting that their kids do not want "that old stuff" even if beloved Granny owned it or used it or touched it.  I particularly hear that about sets of dishes.  No one seems to want Granny's Havilland or Auntie's apple pattern dishes.

I understand that angst.  I am sentimental and love this old stuff.  For me, the greater connection to a family member, the better.  But, as I have no children--all my stuff will someday be owned by people who do not share my last name.  But heck--I have a house full of treasures that were owned by someone else's granny. I am treasuring them and taking care of them.  Such is the life of antique recycling.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Miss Nameless

Who are you Miss Nameless?
We sell many paintings at and at antique shows.  We try to search out appealing pieces--some in oil, gouache and watercolor.

I heard once that paintings are the jewelry of a room.  It is difficult to pick out a piece of jewelry for another person--it really is so personal.  But we sell paintings often--so maybe selecting paintings that will appeal to others is an easier task.

Who is the woman in this painting?  I haven't a clue.  The piece is not titled and not signed.  It is clearly a 1950s/60's vintage and framed under glass.  The woman is seated and pensively staring at the viewer.  I like to take a few moments and reflect on the paintings we buy.  What is their history?  Who if anyone sat for the portraits?  Sometimes there are answers--often not.

Elkhorn Antique Market August 11, 2019

"Summer afternoon, summer afternoon--to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." Henry ...