One of the reasons I am so passionate about vintage and antique things are the stories behind them. As a clairsentient, I am able to feel things from objects and places. Older things have lots and lots of yummy energy and emotion invested in them; stories, and history, good and bad. New things are bland, empty. Think of it this way: when you are used to eating gourmet food, such as French cusine loaded with cheese and rich sauces, or spicy Indian curries, or velvety chocolate Volcano cakes, new items mass produced in China, or cookie cutter tract homes are the equivalent of eating plain white bread. Not very exciting, and frankly, not very nutritious. Oh, once in a while its okay, but as a regular staple…well…One could starve eating nothing but white bread.
And so, for me, an estate sale or flea market is a delicious exploration of the senses, as necessary to me as breath and water and love. It is a perk to my being the owner of a vintage store that my job requires me to shop estate sales as often as I can. And at each one, I savor the delights of the stories and history behind each item I look at. I marvel at the tiny hands of the woman who owned those 20 pairs of perfectly kept gloves. I dream along with the gentleman who loved the sea as I look over all the nautical prints he kept neatly in an ancient, crumbling photo album. I tingle with the memories of the woman who was once the excited young girl that wore that stunning cotillion dress in the 1930s, which is now starting to fray along the folds a bit. Each item, each house, speaks to me. Its a communication I relish.
Its not all that often though that they speak to others through me.
This weekend I came across a privately run estate sale. Most of them are run by professional companies, but when I asked about this one I was told by the lady in charge that she had grown up in the house and it had been owned by her mother who had just passed. I, of course, expressed my sympathies. It was obvious that she had been close to her mother and that the sale was an emotional event for her. The mother , though clearly of just regular middle class income, had been invested with lovely taste, and her cute little home was maintained beautifully. I came away with some gorgeous things: linens, gloves, jewelry, some very pretty china, a handworked pillow, and a large oil painting of red roses that I just adore and may keep for myself. Back at my shop, I was going through my purchases and discovered inside a hand painted trinket box, alongside a safety pin, a penny, some random bits of plastic and a handful of beads, a small note penned to the daughter from her mother. Just a simple little note, nothing overly emotive, but signed,
Those two words spoke volumes to me, not to mention the love that poured forth from the paper itself. I felt as warm and safe as if it the note had been meant for me. But it wasn’t. It was meant for another daughter. I knew I couldn’t throw that little scrap of paper away. I tucked it into my purse.
This morning I drove back to the estate sale. I found the daughter in the kitchen and handed her the note. I told her that it was meant for her and that I did not have the heart to toss it. Then I left, but not before I saw her eyes, and not before I felt the mother envelope her daughter with love. Not everyone can feel the things I feel, but everyone should have the chance to feel the love of someone dear who has departed . It is my pleasure and privilege to be able to be the messenger.