Whatever the reason, I’ve always been drawn to things with the patina of age, whether people or things. In this throwaway society, it is to these rare gems that I am drawn.
I am a collector.
The best ones are always found by chance, with hints of the spirit of their history, well used, perhaps well-loved, with scuffs here and there defining their vintage. They tell stories. They have been weathered by time, use, and love, and I am enchanted by the stories they tell.
Perhaps my attraction comes from growing up in an old house, with creaky wide plank floors, grooved and worn by generations of my own family.
Here are some of my menagerie.
It was a hot summer day, basking in the shade of that old Cedar, laughter and splashing ringed almost our entire side of the lake, as we passed the “pálinkas” (which I never learned how to say correctly, apparently), just brought back from his homeland. With his dark Hungarian eyes sparkling from the boozy afternoon, enchanting us all with his Great Aunts beloved fruit brandy, just brought back from his homeland.
In the morning I found the bottle where we had left it, sprawled out on the grass, the blanket ruffled and ringed with beer bottles. So I went up to the Hungarian side of the lake, tucked back in the woods, up the gravel hollow way, and there they all where, round the fire, making Breakfast.
And so I spied him amongst the group, lounging back in his rickety lawn chair, coffee cup in hand, laughing at something his cousin had said, and when he turned his head my way, I said: “excuse me, do you mind if I keep this“?
He hesitated, and smiled, gave me this look that gave nothing away and answered: “of course, but why“?
“Because,” I said, “I collect things that tell stories, and this bottle tells many“.
The memories of my time at the lake have faded somewhat, but whenever I look up and see it there I always smile and remember that wonderful summer day, and the gawdawful hangover the next day.
Given my Mom grew up in the 50’s, with the likes of James Dean, I was not allowed to own a black leather jacket, as she thought I would look like a “hoodlum”.
a person who engages in crime and violence; a hooligan or gangster.
This old jacket I acquired through a friend this last fall, and so have not had a chance to wear it out. In the meantime it graces my entranceway, to add its rustic charm.
I believe I’m well past my hoodlum years and think I could perhaps pull off the chic old broad look this spring.
Remnants Of The Old Vic
I thought I had known this place, with its haunted hallways, but I was wrong. Down behind the Old Victoria Hospital lay a path we found that ran along the river, down the ravine, and underneath the branches of the Black Willows, draping their heavy boughs over the water of the Thames as it flowed past us. Hidden in a clump of debris that had washed up, probably the spring before, is where he found it, hidden where I never would have looked.
Yet Tim had a nose for these things, and so we dragged it back up with us to the residence we were staying at while he received his chemo/radiation treatment. This was February of 2012.
The hospital itself at the time had become quite weathered and worn, with only a few specialists left in the core, the coffee shop, and a pair of Canadian Geese nesting on the top floor, coming in and out of the broken windows. His treatments took place at the New Vic.
The place has been gone now these last couple years, demolished to make way for some new condo complex, to turn the neighbourhood from decay to SoHo (south of Horton). This piece then has more stories then I care to imagine, so now it holds my herbs and spices instead of other medicines of a bygone era.