***Stuff in My Yard Note: Last night there were two skunks rooting around the bases of the bird feeders. This morning, there are a few grub holes and one pile o’ skunk scat. I’ve been told that it’s rude to poop in someone’s yard.
I have spent the last two days antiquing with my mom. I was not under duress or inspired by guilt, I like it. It’s upscale thrifting. I like seeing the trends in items vendor to vendor, noticing their variations and trying to figure what makes the
same Pyrex set of bowls worth anywhere from $55 to $90. Plus going with my mom means that at some point in her life she has owned, used or has a story about many of these inexplicable items. For example, I would have willingly believed that an oddly shaped Jadite bowl with a funnel was some type of fancy schmancy bedpan (there was a regular run of the mill bedpan a couple of inches away)but she said it was an extractor that went on top of a mixer and was used to add cream to the recipe. Two booths later she was able to show me an example of the whole contraption.
There’s a certain “thrill of the hunt” in antiquing as there is in discovering a treasure anywhere. With antiques there are just more rules to consider: color, quality, identifying markers. Of course, personal taste and level of weird definitely plays into the appeal. The Austrian moose creamer that may be worth $60 to the person collecting that specific brand and type of pottery, is only worth about $14.99 to me mostly because I think it’s funny and enjoyed yelling “Moose creamer!” every time I saw one which was about every third booth.
After day one, we came home exhausted only having covered four of the seven warehouses which is about 67,000 of the promised 116,000 square feet. Our purchases were minimal but the amount of things we had seen and had questions about were large. We went to sleep with the intention of spending the next morning in town before my mom went back home. Our mistake was getting up the next morning, turning on “The Google,” and over breakfast, learning about many of the items we had seen like Weller pottery, the photographer Wallace Nutting and my bird wall pockets with the “Made in Czechoslovakia” marking on back. Suddenly the scent of the hunt – it smells like dust and Grandma’s basement– was in the air; my mom yelled, “Get dressed! We’ve got more to see!”
This is why our planned one day visit to an antique mall boasting 116,000 square feet and 700 vendors turned in to two days of “we are on a mission here!”
*Have crackers in your purse to eat when you are out of view of the security camera.
*Write down locations. We spent too much time on Day 2 trying to locate items we had seen the day before. I could visualize the collection of three Wallace Nutting photographs, but once we found them again, they were nowhere near where I thought they had been.
Someone else’s treasure could be your nightmare. Holy shit! What was Fenton Glass thinking when they made this thing and why would anyone pay $125 for it! I know it’s supposed to be a cat but I’m pretty sure that it’s actually the thing that lives in the back of children’s closets in Stephen King novels. Holy Fuckety Fuck! I can hardly even look at it for the creepiness. I sent my sister a picture of it saying we were buying this for her. She never responded.
*Look up, people hang crazy stuff up high in their booths. Look down. I found my birds under a shelf mostly because my lower back was locked up and it felt better to squat than it did to stand.
*Some treasures are just too exciting for coherent verbiage. When I turned the corner and saw this booth filled with furry glassy-eyed critters, I squealed! Unfortunately, Buttons the wolf was out of my price range. I am jealous of The Bloggess’` constant tweets and posts about the dead things she finds while at flea markets and antique stores. I guess I need to go to Texas.
*Try to ignore that I am building on some kind of stereotype. I’m a single middle-aged woman, antiquing for ceramic Czechoslovakian birds with her mother and I am owned by four cats. Tennessee Williams is my new boyfriend.
*Never pass up the chance to compliment a beaver. Loudly.