Kenny and I have always loved antiques. When we were dating, one of our favorite things to do was drive out of the city into a country setting and find antique stores and browse for hours. The first thing we ever bought was a sterling silver candelabra in Bedford, Pa.
When we were looking at engagement rings, we looked strictly at antique diamonds and settings, and we both wear antique rings as our wedding bands. On our honeymoon in Deep Creek, Maryland, we bought our antique china closet, and our fifth christmas together, Kenny bought me a civil-war era spinning wheel.
We even live in a 125-year old house.
We love that there is a known or an unknown history to anything that has been around long enough to be labeled “antique.” I find comfort in the tried and true nature of the antiques in our home, and love being able to use a lot of them. I wonder who the woman was that wore my engagement ring and wedding band…how long were they worn? Did she treasure them as I do? Was her marriage as happy as mine? We know a lot of the history of our house because of public records, and we live in a small enough town that people remember original owners, and stories about “the old McGarvey house.”
I’ve written lately about my love of christmas decorations, and now I have an entirely new obsession: vintage christmas decor. I can’t get enough of browsing Pinterest and Etsy and Ebay for aluminum christmas trees, antique Father Christmas statues and my absolute favorite: The Holt Howard Starry-Eyed Santa design. I have been able to pick up several boxes of glass christmas ornaments from Goodwill in past years, so getting vintage ornaments doesn’t have to break your bank.
This year, my christmas gift from Kenny was an antique dough bowl, which we spent some time looking for in antique shops this summer. It’s proudly displayed on our dining room table and I’ve been searching for seasonal decorating ideas using it. He got some art supplies and has been practicing sketching and painting with oils. Maybe next year some family and friends will be gifted some of his art like I was five years ago.
I love collections, and I will continue to collect old things for as long as I can. I don’t know if this is positive Feng Shui, and I certainly don’t think that the recent indulging in cleaning out everything (Kondo) would agree. It is still bleak in this midwinter, but the days are beginning to get longer. We will spend our evenings surrounded by things that bring us comfort and spark joy within us. They can live harmoniously together. Old and new. Comfort and Joy.