Thursday, September 18, 2008

a recent find (with some history)

A couple of weeks ago, I was enjoying a leisurely afternoon off. My husband took our girls to his parents house for the day, and I set out. I meandered through the flea market, chatted with shop owners on quaint city streets, sipped iced green tea by the river without a care in the world. It was blissful. Then on my way home I passed the antique shop where I had discovered our little bench and headboard, and I decided to go in to say hello. When I entered the shop, I noticed a few people talking by the counter, but I was drawn to one cluttered corner of the store where I spotted this

It's an old oar, if you couldn't tell :) Having enjoyed some wonderful years on my school's crew team, I'm fond of oars. I've also been on the look out for one after seeing the one pictured below in the August 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens feauturing The Keller family's home in Cape Cod. I clipped the picture and tucked it away in my design inspiration book, and everytime I'd come across it, I'd think how lovely it would be to find something similar.....

so needles to say, I was thrilled to discover the oar which, as it turns out, also hails from the North East. It is so worn and weathered. I'm in love. Before finding it, I already picked out the perfect place for it--hanging on the white-washed exposed brick wall leading from the playroom to the kitchen, but now I'm not sure because it honestly looks fabulous everywhere. Who would have thought there could be so much potential for a 70 year old Nantucket oar?

There is a sad part to this story though. When I went to pay for the oar, I chatted on and on to the the cashier about how the lady who owned the store, Maria, had sold me our beloved headboard and about how much I enjoyed her quirkiness and good life advice. Then I asked where she was that day, and the poor cashier looked a little confused and told me that she had passed away a number of weeks ago. I'm not used to bursting out in tears in public, but I did that day. I had only met her that one time, but I bawled as if she had been an old friend. The lady at the register turned out to be her daughter. We had a nice talk, she gave me a hug, and she assured me her mother was in a better place. I know it is true, but still, death is always so striking. I don't think there is a perfect way to prepare for it, even for an aquaintance's death.

The happy part is that I have some lovely things by which to remember what seemed like a remarkable person. Also, now when I look at the oar, I try to be grateful for the happy friendships I've made, even if we meet just one lovely time.


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