We spent last Wednesday roaming the aisles of some of Pensacola's antique stores. We're not into antiques but our friends Tom and Durlene are so we were happy to tag along. Hitting some of the local places during their visit has been a plan for several years but we never got it done until this year, in part because they're staying two months instead of one. More time for fun that way. And to add to that fun, they brought along some snowbird friends of theirs, Bridget and David.
I may not be into antiques but I knew just who to contact for recommendations (thanks, Victoria!) and despite the rain, we had a great time seeing treasures from days gone by in a half dozen stores. Durlene and Bridget found a few things that called their names but my sole purchase was a small terra cotta angel that is more Christmas decoration than antique.
Part of the fun of a day out like this is having lunch together which, in this case, was Newk's. There were plenty of bowls of soup consumed to help fight off the weather's chill. And as we ate, Durlene was telling Bridget and David about how many meals the four of us had shared over the years. There is no treasure quite like that of old friends.
While I didn't buy much on our antique tour, I am the proud owner of new treasures. My dad sent me these two books.
The top one is an old autograph book that belonged to my grandfather. It's filled with sweet little poems written mostly by his school friends in 1908 and 1909. It reminds me of all the messages we wrote to classmates in the pages of our annual our senior year only there are no photos in this book.
Tucked among the pages, however, is a single blue bootie that Dad believes was probably his. And there's a note from my grandmother identifying some scraps of paper folded inside as an art project Dad brought home to her when he was in the first grade. I asked Dad what those scraps were supposed to be and he said he had no idea. We both got a good laugh out of his art talent or lack thereof but Grandma treasured it just the same.
The second book has photos. The note taped to the inside cover identifies the assortment of family pictures as having been assembled by Grandma for Dad in the winter of 1974, not long before her death. Some of the photos I've seen but there are lots of new ones too.
Like this one of Grandpa at age 16. Even Dad didn't remember having seen it before. The primary conversation about this picture is that he has hair...lots of it, too! That's remarkable because he was bald by his early twenties so almost every photo of him is sans hair. I can look at photos of my grandmother as a young woman and know it's her. Finding Grandpa in this face is harder but I love it.
And here's another one I've never seen. This ringlet-coiffed munchkin would be me although I have never seen my hair styled in that way in any other photo. Nor do I remember ever wearing it that way. It was always curly when I was little but never fell into ringlets like this. Someone had to put some time and effort into getting this result. It makes me wonder how long it lasted.
My final new treasure is this pretty headband made by my niece Dianne. It's hand-knitted, perfect for keeping my ears toasty on my walk with the cold wind we've had lately. It's special not only because she crafted this just for me but she took it a step further. It's hard to tell from the picture but those two shiny objects on both sides of the big white button are cufflinks. My grandfather's cufflinks to be exact. The same grandfather who is pictured above. I love that she thought to do that; it's a double keepsake.
All these treasures mean I'm going to have to get busy. Busy scanning the photos to share with other family members and busy documenting the who and what behind these items so my kids will know the stories when I'm gone. Without the stories, these treasures are just things.