Tag Archives: vintage

Mi Destino

Every week I’m more and more convinced that Cristina and I were made for each other. She seems to have the same philosophies and views to the world. I know our coordinator, Gloria, spends time trying to match the tutor to the student. I cannot thank her enough for that investment in us and getting it right.

Each session with Cristina now starts with one hug, two smiles and recaps of our week.  At this point in our journey, I don’t always remember what we cover because the conversations are so effortless. We ease into new topics like we are at the local coffee house and have known each other for years.

I do recall Cristina talking about ‘time’ at the beginning of our session.  It stands out in my mind because I collapsed into my easy chair and absorbed her thoughts in near disbelief.  She discussed not rushing and being present in the moment. She talked about the value and preciousness of time. She sounded so wise for someone so young. Many things she said I’ve only recently learned. I only added that I don’t wear a watch for many of the reasons she mentioned.  I also admitted that our library time, being at a set hour each week, is a routine I love but I am not a person of routine.

Our time discussion led to talking about retaining the playfulness of a child.  She used ‘puddles’ for an example and I admitted that I still like to jump in them.  I told her of a time my parents babysat. When we got home, my mother apologized for the girls messy clothes because my father had played in the storm puddles with them. I told my Mom it was okay. I thanked my Dad. I wanted that for them.

We  discussed a coming of age movie that we had both seen.

Cristina had a book with her and told me she liked reading about Medeival times – books like Ex-caliber.

We had to wait for our reserved room but before we walked in, Cristina told me about the number seven. It has a lot of significance for her, especially recently. Seven gifts. July 7. Seven colors in the rainbow. 4-2-1, the address in the movie she’d watched too! I should have told her that whenever I pump gas, I make sure the total sums to seven.

We spent our remaining time looking at a map and giving each other directions: down, first right, second left, follow, next to, points of reference. We learned from the streets of our paper city.

To summarize our session in a different way:

– I don’t mind if our time together goes well over the planned hour.

– Cristina makes me feel younger and happy.

– She pulls me in the right direction in this world.

– We are together at 7:00 on Thursday night’s.



Wise Cristina’s blog includes music, movie reviews and some of her views on life.

It’s worth translating if you don’t read Spanish:


Preview starts 5:30

In response to this daily challenge:


“Haven’t they ever seen a unicorn before?”

We had arrived for the start of auction preview but several dealers were already there.  As they migrated to the next display, we evaluated the table and the Cybis collectible they were inspecting.  We wondered what their confusion had been?

Mark continued, “I know his head is turned sideways but this rendition still looks like a unicorn.”

I agreed with his auction 101, “Of course it does.  It has a horn sticking out of its forehead!”

We laughed as we looked at the other animals.  I was drawn to the owl.  Mark  seemed to have nostalgia for his aunt’s collectibles.

“Their house had some gorgeous Cybis in their living room.  Many pieces were a LOT larger than what is displayed here.”  He had a personal history or in-depth knowledge about many items that went on the block.

We both learned even more each week and tonight there was a large variety of items.  Seeing the habits, personalities and rivalries of the dealers was an added bonus.  For me, the fundraiser kitchen was the icing on the sometimes served cake.  This was all my coveted hobby even if it was just a local town auction.

I looked over at Hank, our auctioneer and realized this was just a job for him.  He does this week-after-week and has to move a lot of breakables and not-so-valuable shit to get to this point.  He looked sickly and lethargic.  I thought he’d better get his game on if he wanted to get some healthy bids.

I told Mark that the statues weren’t really my thing and moved over to the vintage toys.  I started to look at the Fisher Price and he inspected the Hess items for our 10-year-old-nephew.  He still needed the 2001 helicopter truck to complete his “collection of the century” as he called it.

The vintage clothes were next so we could inspect them for any expensive buttons.  That’s when I noticed ruddy little Rudy inspecting his billfold.  We all come here with cash but every week he seems to open his billfold extra wide at some point during the night.

To me showing your wad is just stupid ass.  It’s like showing your hand at poker, is unprofessional and says something about his insecurities.  There’s an expression for little man complex;  he adds to it by revealing his wad too.

As the room filled up, I noticed several textile dealers had shown up.  That meant there was something good here.  I keep promising myself I’ll learn more about 40’s hand towels, samplers and hand-stitched quilts.

Regardless, the auctioneer woke up, decided he needed early money and started at the table with the vintage clothes.  His runners are hams.  When the lot of period hats went up, Tom fashioned a pillbox hat for the crowd.  Not to be outdone, his counterpart modeled the hula skirt and medicine mask.  They did keep the night lively.  Modern day Abbott & Costello meets sluggish boss and cheapskates.

The myth of the evening ended and I don’t recall the unicorn’s high bid.  I did get the 1963 Fisher Price Huffy Puffy.  Even though its caboose was turned just so, I still knew it was a train.



Trash to Treasure

A few things that have moved from the trash to my recycle bin:

1. Vintage glass doorknobs
2. Mattel jack-in-the-box
3. 1950’s elementary school desk and chair (one piece)
4. Griswold fry pans
5. Vintage metal party horns
6. Victorian house fold-out book
7. Ahooga Model T horn
8. Antique Christmas ornaments
9. Brumberger play phones
10. WWII tank helmet (yes, really)

I still don’t understand why things like this get tossed but I’m more than happy to redistribute the wealth. Thanks to all my friends and family that help me find all these treasures for pennies (okay, quarters)!

Cents and Senses


the feel of rain on my brow and vintage books in my hand – they shouldn’t be so close to one another

the sounds of wheeling and dealing in the fields and stopping and going on Route 20 – it’s a fight for the tide

the sight of the buyers and sellers and food trucks and lemonade tents – where to spend my money is the problem

the smell of damp cellars and wet hay and bursting kettle corn and pulled pork – its an overcrowded nasal landscape

the taste of galumpkis and Italian sausage and raspberry lemonade and frozen chocolate bananas – lips to hips cannot be stomached

Brimfield, MA
May 16, 2014

Vintage Vintage



I don’t think of myself as old.  Until I go thrifting.  The first time I felt vintage, like most other women, was when I saw my childhood toys in an antique mall.  The most recent time I felt old was today.  As with many other girls of the eighties,  I made an emotional connection when I saw a  Pac-Man game.  A vintage Pac-Man card game that  I, of course, had to have.  Especially when I saw that it was $1.99.  That was less quarters than I had spent on the arcade game in 1982, when we bought pizza in the local house of yumm.  

I was shopping by myself – just killing some time on my way from somewhere else.  So, I also found the next item on my own.  Opposite from the dot-eating-furry little runners from my high school days was a Fisher-Price toy from my even earlier childhood.  It was the big yellow bus – number 192.  I already have that particular model in my own collection but that’s why it was an easy purchase.  I spot those toys like other women notice shoes. Then I buy them faster than a guy buying beer at a baseball game.  

Speaking of which, any real man would have also bought the cast iron bacon press I found for 99 cents. 

The forty-nine cent FaLaLaLaLa frame was just something to set aside for my holiday booth.  

I realized the last time I had a good day at this store, was with my niece.  She likes vintage clothes.  I subconsciously walked toward the bathrobes and dresses on my way out.  I don’t usually look at clothes in these thrifts.  I’m strictly a housewares kind-a-gal.  As I approached, I remembered that she knew vintage labels and fabric types.  I wouldn’t even know what to look for on the racks.  

That’s when I had another blast-from-the-past recognition moment.  Staring out at me was a gorgeous polyester floral with eyelet trim that Marsha Brady would have been proud to wear on the day of her cheerleading try-outs.  Oh-Oh.  I’m old.  Then I thought about buying it and if I had any white patten leather shoes at home.  That was the sign of a thrifter.  It was also a signal to rationalize another unplanned purchase.  My niece loves wearing vintage clothes and is soon to be married.  Surely I could find an occasion with her in these upcoming months to wear my $7.99 – nope, only half price – my $4.98 (thank  you very much, as she would say) groovy new-to-me dress.  Yup, it went into my carriage.  

When I looked back up, its friend seemed to be sparkling at me.  How do you separate the best of friends that have been hanging around, literally, together for days at a time?  I rationalized again.  You don’t.  I placed green emerald bell-bottom pant suit, Marge, right next to Marsha.  

We had ourselves a time checking out and realized our discounted afternoon together cost less than $20. It suddenly didn’t matter if I was vintage because I was having fun with my vintage BFFs. We were, like, having a tubular time but had to be on our way.  Before I could take them home to our plaid couch and formica kitchen booth though, we needed to buy some Andy Capps and Tab for the big card game.  



DIVA guilt

My niece often reaches out to me to admit things.  I think she is subconsciously looking for validation of her actions.  I feel terrible that she finds the need for these types of confessions, mainly because I know that I have genetically added to her struggles with adoption thrifting.  

A recent example relates to the silver and bright-red maxi dress.  You see, it wasn’t her size but that didn’t keep it from still being vintage GORGE! hanging on the rack.  I’m the one that realizes what she is seeing in front of her is a piece of history hung by a noose.  Watching that dress on its lonely display was enough but thinking about walking away is the struggle.  She sees that noose hanger as strangling the dress.  If she walks away, it is sure to go to a premature death.

I know that time, between trying to pretend she never saw it and turning her back, is torment for her.  I also know that’s when she starts to rationalize with her current economies.  I know because this time challenge is also hereditary.  She’s most likely talking to herself in the middle of a bargain outlet:

– I’m already shopping thrift, not retail.

– It costs less than it did in 1973.

– I don’t spend our money on smokes or alcohol.

– I can resell it, someday, if I can find it a good home.

– I can start a second vintage wardrobe for when I’m older and have put on a few more pounds (the fact that it may also be 6″ too long for her small frame is a later battle).

That’s all how her adoptions happen.  That’s how the financial guilt needlessly eats away at her.  Again, it is hereditary.  We need to account for our dimes and nickels, even if it seems irrational.  Issues of adoption and finances are difficult for any married couple.  However, she’s not married yet.  She does have a ring and a date though, so that’s where this mindset has become an obligation.  

While I am her vintage aunt, I think she needs more vintage-appreciating girlfriends.  She needs them as an additional resource to know how to address  the other loves of her life.  The problem is bigger than me or any closet space I can provide.

Perhaps a group that she can call in times of need?  Accompany her for a shopping high?  Reach out to when she is in a fix?  There must be others than can help her rationalize her inexpensive needs?  

I love that she reaches out to me and her stories become my stories.  Rather than enabling her and continuing to absolve her of her confessions, I too need to focus on the hereditary science of it all and address the root of the problem.   She’s not a DIVA but this has helped me realize that is exactly what she needs – other DIVAS.  I will form the club for her.  I know at least two dealers that will be willing to co-founder with her.  They could meet once a week and embrace their namesake – Daughters of Insane Vintage Adoptions.  It has to happen sooner, rather than later.  We must bond together, know we are not alone and stop the public hangings!