A friend and I went antiquing today and spent several hours wandering through sunlit rooms filled with interesting objects.
There was some wonderful furniture, of course, like this dentist's cabinet with all its drawers fitted for specific tools and functions
and a perfect, half-size roll top desk built for a fortunate child in 1911.
We saw lots of spring and Easter themed items
and many, many dishes, both pretty
There were even dishes that teach you how to set the table!
There were beautifully made tools
and instruments, intricate and advanced in their day, that have been rendered obsolete by the march of new technologies.
Look at this beautiful brass barometer with its curved mercury thermometer!
There were some gorgeous scales, in working order
and, for the housewife who values all the "mod cons," there was a mayonnaise mixer
and this early mix master.
(Don't you love how the china dog is looking at it?)
There were items every household needs
and if you've lost your marbles, I know where to find them!
I even found some space age toys I remember from my childhood.
It's kind of sobering to think that stuff I remember from childhood is now considered "antique." It gave me pause. I realized that all these things, these objects that I'd been examining, handling, picking up, and walking away from had once been purchased new. Someone had worked hard to earn the money to buy these things, and had probably saved up for quite some time to get many of them. Yet here they were, in shops owned by strangers, no longer needed by those who had originally valued them so much.
Makes you think, doesn't it? In our increasingly consumerist society we place tremendous stock in "things," in acquisition, in ownership. Do we really need the things we covet so? How much do we miss in order to buy them? Will that iPhone or tablet or KitchenAid mixer end up in an antique store one day? Or will it just become trash?
It's easier to ask these questions when you're broke and have little choice but to resist the temptation to buy things. Even so, they're still worth asking.
It's wonderful to admire all the beautiful things I see out there, but I don't necessarily need to own all the things I admire. It's sufficient to appreciate them for what they are and then to put them back for someone else to enjoy. Besides, there's less dusting that way!