Vanilla Crate

This past weekend, I was supposed to be glued to my desk, chair and computer to get my taxes done.   I told myself that the only “shopping” I was allowed to do was to pick up an item, that I bought the weekend before, that was too big to fit in my car at the time.  The plan was to swing by one of my very favorite junk shops to  (a.) pick up that one item (b.)  leave without buying anything else (c.) and go straight home and back to my taxes.  It reminds me of my college days when I could and would find any excuse to not study.

The plan was shot as soon as I pulled into the parking lot of the junk shop.  Of course there were other treasures that I bought and of course there was a conversation with the shop owner concerning other junk shops in town.  This particular junk shop owner is always too pleased to pass on all kinds of good insider information.  So for the sake of this blog post, let’s blame him for completely derailing my day of tackling my taxes.  It’s all his fault, right?  I knew y’all were on my side…

architectural salvage

Armed with the top secret insider information of a really good sale (and an address), I drove like a mad woman to the second junk shop.  I made my turn into the parking lot and screeched to a halt in a prime parking spot in front of the store.  I hopped out with my purse barely hanging by my fingertips and ran through the front doors.

industrial cart, metal

Two distinguished looking gentlemen were sitting behind the front counter and perked up with interest when I rushed in.  They made the normal “if you need any help, just holler” offer and I said a cheery “thank you” as I skipped on past, feeling the first surge of Junk Drunkenness, and tripped over a wrinkle in the indoor/outdoor carpeting.  I caught myself before I could reenact the opening credits for Little House on the Prairie (where the poor little girl was forever remembered as being the one who did the epic belly flop) and looked around to see if there were any witnesses.   Only the two little old men who had now set aside their book and crossword puzzle because they knew live entertainment when they saw it.

Vanilla Wooden Crate3

This shop was set up like an antique mall, but on a much smaller scale.  It was a little co-op antique store where each of the vendors was a delightful elderly person that I just wanted to grab up and give a big ‘ole southern hug.  These are the kinds of people I could talk to for hours- each of them has had a journey through life that is filled with adventure.  They watched me as I slowly shopped the store.  They outright stared when I would bring yet another item to the counter only to wander off again for more.  I found an old metal bread box, a metal mustard spice box, a wooden vanilla spice box that a past owner used as a tackle box (love!), an industrial metal cart and the most beautiful Fairbanks Scale.

Metal Spice Box

At one point, the pair decided that one of them should ask what I was doing. They were suspicious and thought they had me figured out.  They had clued in that I wasn’t a “normal” shopper and they just couldn’t contain their curiosity any longer.  “Why are you buying all of this?”  It’s a valid and a cut-to the-chase kind of question from one experienced antique collector/seller to a “young one.”

Vanilla Wooden Crate 2

“I sell at different flea markets in the area and I’m opening an online shop, too!”   I didn’t realize how excited I was at my website makeover and new shop until just then and completely missed the change in the two little old men sitting in front of me.  They sprung to life and started talking animatedly about their own collections and the huge stash they have in their own homes.   One of the little old men pointed to my pile of treasures and told me, with pride, that all of it came out of his own booth space within the store.  The other one grumbled and said something about being a show off and ambled away.

Bread Box

The little old man, who recognized a kindred spirit, grinned at me and handed me a business card.  It was a homemade card that was a throwback to times when a business card only contained the necessary information- a name and a phone number.  Nothing else.  I looked the card and then at the little old man.  He gestured to my pile of his carefully curated items that I was buying and extended the ultimate invitation.

Full Fairbanks

Fairbanks Scale Details1

“If you love this kind of stuff- metal, old wood, rust- you should see my collection at my house.  My wife and I would love to have you.”

Fairbanks Scale 2

Fairbanks Scale

Fairbanks Scale Details2

Fairbanks Details

I eagerly took his card and thank him profusely for the very special invite.  The other little old man ambled back over and grumbled something about hogging all the pretty girls.  He grabbed an arm load of my stuff and gruffly asked if he could help me carry my purchases to my car.  The other little old man snapped to attention and grabbed what was left and both followed me to my car.  They each deposited my purchases into my car and began to visually inspect all of the other things I had in my car.  They thanked me and walked away as they got into a lively back and forth, with hands gesturing wildly, about if it was a sin to reheat a hamburger in a microwave.

I agree, it really is a sin to reheat a hamburger in a microwave.

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