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Ovation: Antique Shopping Can Be A Fantastic Stroll Down Memory Lane.


I’ve always liked old things.  I used to get a big kick out of helping my grandmother in the kitchen.  She had an old aluminum egg-beater that you would crank to whip eggs.  I was fascinated by the cogs and gears and couldn’t wait for the next opportunity to crack and egg and hear that thing whirr.  If I was really lucky, she’d make egg noodles and then I’d get to use her flour sifter, too!

Nowadays, I’ll spend a few hours every once in a while walking through antique stores.  I get a kick out of seeing items from my childhood on display as valuable antiques.  I find myself saying “My mother had one of those” or “My aunt had a lamp like that” and thinking how much I wish I had kept some of those old things!

Of course, I did keep many things.  A great grandmother’s dishes, another great grandmother’s tea-pot, a grandmother’s cookie jar, a grandpa’s coin collection, another grandpa’s childhood toys.  Every item has a story and memories attached to it.

As I walked through several antique shops this weekend, I wondered what memories might have been attached to the many items that I saw.  Surely, like any family heirlooms, they were hard to part with and ended up in the stores for any number of reasons.  I wonder what walls the painting might have hung on.  I wonder what faces have seen their reflections in the mirrors.  I think about the people who wore the clothes and the children that played with the toys and I wonder.

We bought a couple of pieces of art.  I’m excited to display them in my home.  They have histories and stories that come with them.  I don’t necessarily know the details but I can use my imagination and enjoy them all the more.  I figure anyone can buy a print at the mall, but art from an antique store can be a completely original addition to any home.

Copyright © 2012

From → Ovations

  1. Anonymous permalink

    Years ago, after watching Johnny Cash’s Ride This Train segment of his show, I had the idea to drive the countryside, find old buildings, and ask “what would those walls tell me if they could talk”.


  2. I’m not a big antique guy, but I like finding obscure pieces of art, or a knick-knack or something.


  3. wcdameron permalink

    I used to love going to antique stores, but Paul is more into contemporary and clean lines….The compromises we make….


  4. Still living with the folks… so I don’t really buy anything that decorates. But when our new place gets completed next year, I think I might drop into a few antique places and buy me a suit of armor!


  5. Sunny permalink

    Diatribes, That is such a nice essay. I forgot about those aluminum egg beaters and the flour sifter. I don’t like the electric mixter much now that you bring it up. Don’t they use the sifters today? What do they use?

    I also am interested in antiques. I started when I was very young in my early 20s and picked up figurines, dishes, and glass art for my mom on different occasions. I had purchased a set of Lenox china for her that I have presently. It feels strange to have it since it was a time when I saved every penny to get it for her, and I was so happy to give it to her. She always said to me kiddingly that she would only use it when the King and Queen came for dinner. Of course, she did use it. We would shop for artwork together for the family home. I inherited the art, so I am lucky. I really take care of these things so that they can be passed on to others. You become a care taker of a sort for I these precious pieces.

    I have been collecting presently because I love what’s out there, plus there is a huge market, and it’s fun. These pieces are too special to part with.

    Ebay makes an excellent place to pick up some items.

    I wonder too where these pieces have traveled on the journey from one owner to another. The important thing is that they survive with our loving care.

    I have a pair of Fenton candlesticks which I picked up in a market place. The candlesticks were a light lavender in color. I had them in my house for over 3 years, and I shockingly noticed they changed color to a sparkling deep clear blue. They are beautiful. I paid about 20.00 at the time. I inquired about it and found out that the glass contains a mineral in it that changes the color of the glass. Now it is on my shelf and is purple. If I bring it into another room with different lighting, it turns a beautiful blue.

    Well, good luck in your collecting. Thanks for the story. It pays off. Sunny

    (Comment from


  6. Ha! Well, you know how I love my local thrift store. But I also love browsing the antique mini malls. So fascinating and fun. And it is like going back in time a little bit. 🙂


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