One of our main forms of entertainment over the years has been antiquing. My husband Bruce and I have traveled many miles to attend antique shows and have visited many small towns with main street antique malls. We attended Friday night auctions when we lived at Sweetwater Farm in Ohio and visited favorite shops regularly wherever we lived.
The result is a lot of stuff! Now, of course, we have downsized and are slowly but surely dispersing our stuff. Not an easy task, as many of you know who are also eager to lighten the load. This is a normal part of being at this stage of life, it seems.
I have no regrets about the collecting. Such fun we have had, and what pleasure we have derived from using what we have collected, and I admit I still love changing vignettes on tabletops, but I am no longer changing slipcovers and curtains and rugs and pictures --everything--when the seasons change. This is a time of editing, of using my time and energy for other pursuits, of being more content with less. I hasten to add that no one coming into our home, however, would say we have achieved a spare look!
So why then did we go to an antique market recently and why did I buy a bowl? I told myself I was going to rein in my husband who still has the collecting bug more than I do, but he came home with nothing, and I bought a bowl. I went for the eye candy and the pure pleasure of seeing interesting and pretty things and maybe even to see prices of things we have as we mark for our spring garage sales. I went because I could and because I wanted to go.
As we approached the first booth, I could feel myself becoming eager. What will I find? What will attract us? But I also felt reluctant, hesitant, and even a bit disinterested. This felt like a "been there, done that" moment.
Then I saw this darling bowl. English, painted with small forget-me-nots, and it said spring to me. Besides, I love bowls. Just look in my cupboards! It wasn't expensive and Bruce liked it, too, and it will look cute with a houseplant in it, and it won't take up much room, anyway.
As we continued through the show, me with the bowl in my hands, we both spotted other things that in another time, another place would have come home with us. We were especially tempted by a vintage wood sign painted a baby pink with the words Cottages for Rent. (We have also collected signs over the years.) Darling. Bruce asked me if there was a spot in my garret where I could hang it and believe me, I thought long and hard about that, but there isn't, and as I paused, I realized even if I did have room for it, I don't have to have it. This is now and that sign was then.
I did enjoy seeing what a younger generation is attracted to now and love that people are recycling, upcycling objects from the past and being creative in their decor, but I came home thinking more about what else I can do to simplify the look in our home, instead of making room for more stuff.
Now what about that bowl? I did buy it. In one regard I wish I hadn't, but I have decided it will be a reminder to me of another time, another place. I don't promise to cease and desist from attending any future antique shows, and I know I will find just the perfect thing yet again. I am comfortable with that, but I hope when temptation presents itself, I will respond as the person I am today and with mindful attention to the time and place I live in now.
What tempts you these days? Are your temptations reminiscent of another time and place in your life? I would love to know.