So, this week we were straightening up the house for visitors--not uncommon, right? But then reality came knocking at the door, and we realized just how massive the junk addiction has become. If you do a little soul-searching, you would have to admit that at least once in your life you have opened a drawer, noticed an object, and thought Where did that come from?
Imagine this happening over and over again for an entire afternoon.
It started with a flat, rectangular object wrapped in newspaper. I broke the tape with my fingernail and allowed the paper to fall away, and in my hands was a vintage 1940s pinup in a beautiful frame. a year ago, in an antique shop in Raleigh. It was love at first sight, and when I brought it home, I couldn't find the hammer to hang it. So I put it in a safe place, and then I forgot about it entirely. [*Cue music...Reunited, and it feels so good....]
After a moment of reflection, I remembered buying it--last summer, at a shop in Raleigh.
With my pinup placed in her proper home, I continued to clean. The next thing I found, also wrapped in newspaper, was a vintage Georges Briard tidbit dish. I collect vintage Briard, and I had a vague memory of picking this one up in a shop last summer. Again, I wanted to hang it with a wire plate hanger, but the hammer was missing, so....
I put the dish in the kitchen and resumed my original task. My house is the Land of Dust Bunnies, so it's a constant battle to keep those fluffy boogers in check. And since I have so much stuff in my house, there are things that don't get moved very often, and I imagine that little Utopian colonies of dust bunnies are living in harmony behind stacked suitcases or underneath the piano. I decided to sweep the No Man's Land beneath a corner display, and in addition to the softness of dust bunnies, my fingers encountered stiff paper. It was a brown shopping bag, and in it were four things--you guessed it: wrapped in newspaper. And this is where I lost my mind just a little bit.
Two mid-century cast iron and chrome candlesticks, one tall and one short. One set of pristine turquoise and white printed linen napkins. A white 1940s pottery planter. And I would swear that I have never seen any of it before in my life. The smudged receipt in the bottom of the bag was no help--a yellow carbon copy that showed only one-word descriptions of the items. No city or state or shop name. My only other clue was a small quantity of mail stuffed between the candlesticks, dated July of 2013.
Well, I remember going to Ohio in July two years ago. It was a big Blackbird trip, during which the car was packed to the headliner. But is that where these things came from? I definitely felt love for these items that tumbled out of newspaper onto my white bedspread. But I have no memory whatsoever of buying them. And neither does the other Blackbird girl.
Until two hours later, when I found not one, but four bowling balls stashed in the living room. We stood over them with our hands on our hips, blinking in confusion. How did we end up with four giant balls? We don't even bowl. And how did two of them come to live in the wicker basket beneath our knitting yarn? How did one end up under a chair, behind a box of records? And where in the world did the one behind the sofa come from?
We looked at one another and shrugged. Bowling balls are cool. And if they look like they're supposed to be a part of the scenery, then no one will be the wiser. So we dusted them off and tucked them in, and now they're here to stay. And when one of our guests exclaimed, "That is so neat! I'd never think to collect old bowling balls," we just smiled and poured the lemonade.
The moral of this story is: If you clean your house, you get presents!