In things pondered, thrifting + vintage on 12/07/2009 at 12:53 pm

The antique sewing machine sat in quiet solitude beside her bed. As I admired its tarnished curves, I could almost hear it hum and whir under her watchful eye. Down the hall, a man paused and gingerly stroked the keys of the stately grand piano, the melody momentarily chasing the bitter chill from the tiny cottage.

I wandered into the kitchen and listened quietly to the women gathered around the breakfast table. Each dish and utensil was carefully examined and a verdict rendered: trash or treasure. Dusty shelves lined every room, their contents tousled in heaps and occasionally spilling onto the wood floor – volumes and volumes of music and poetry.

With arms overflowing, I paid for the things I had gathered – her things – and closed the rickety door behind me. Soon, in the warmth of my own kitchen, I presented each one to a raptured audience over breakfast. But later, as I polished the worn toy chest and assigned its new home I was reminded that one day, when we are gone, a gaggle of nosy strangers will rifle through our things at dawn, and render a verdict. But the truest treasures will not be there for the taking – only their shadows.

  1. This is a lovely post, thank you. As an infrequent estate sale attendee, I do wonder about what sentimental value the objects I’m rifling through had, and it gives me pause.

    • thank you, erin. i just finished reading your post from yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. my favorite thing about writing in this space is meeting the kind souls who take the time to do so. have a wonderful monday.

  2. oh, i love that old toy chest. how beautiful.

  3. thank you, kate. it was practically buried beneath a pile of old newspapers on the screened porch, right next to a pile of things marked “sold”. i nearly missed it.

  4. oh, beautifully written. Yes, Sometimes I also wonder, when we are gone, our things will still remain and they´ll be as you said, treasures or trash to others. And each and every object will silently keep a story.

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