Time Doesn’t Let You Catch Your Breath

“Time has this way of slowing down and speeding up, depending on how it feels.”

– Carol Lynch Williams, Waiting


8:00 am, March 5:  I took this picture standing at the back of the building in the doorway a few moments ago. Just what we needed, a little more snow. The town hasn’t taken the Christmas garland down and it still looks cute. See the wooden bridge?

Yesterday, I painted another wall in the shop. (There is only enough time to paint one wall a week.) And then I actually looked at, and realized, that I have not polished the vault door in a couple of years. Awwhh – come on!


This door installed during the 1929 remodeling of the bank is stainless steel. They should have named it something a bit lighter on the stainless and a little heavier on the steel. Everyone touches it and every fingerprint rusts. I met a man who told me he came in once a month and polish this door when the bank was open. Oh, where is he now? I polished it for a couple of hours yesterday and then decided to ask if anyone knows if there is a heavy-duty commercial product or homemade concoction that works. Anyone?

This is a job that is pretty hard to get excited about. Then, I closed the door and looked at the other side.


Awhhhh, come on!

Whatever you are doing today…I’m glad you don’t have this project ahead of you. On the upside, it makes everything else I have to do this week look like a birthday party.

As I was running all the things I have to do through my mind like a silent film, I picked up this old photograph from a pile near the vault door. I was thinking about time and never having enough of it.


Can you even imagine how long it took this young woman to get dressed the morning of this photograph session? Her collar, starched and then ruffled with a special iron, would take a lot of time in upkeep. The little curls framing her face were pressed with a curling iron heated over a kerosene lamp. And she had to go out and pick those daisies.

I’m wearing blue jeans, my hair is in a ponytail and I didn’t take the time to put make-up on. I just didn’t have the time. I’d better get to polishing.

Taking a Little Vacation Back to the Summer of 1965

The paint samples I ordered arrived today VIA UPS. They were frozen solid! The UPS man said the electronics in the trucks are all going hay-wire. Engine, oil and all other kinds of lights are flashing on and off or burning steadily. The Big Boss back at the shop advised the fleet drivers to ignore the lights and just keep driving which caused more problems with some trucks. Ask your UPS driver if he wants to warm up if you know him/her; it’s rough out there!

Let’s leave the Winter of 2014 for a moment and visit the Summer of 1965.


I was 13 that summer. Last night, I found a stack of vintage Simplicity and McCall sewing pattern booklets at the bottom of a box of old sewing patterns.I remember all of these styles and how much I wanted them.


Words like smock, shift, and pettipants were everywhere that summer.

Fashion News 6

We thought pettipants were incredibly modern.

Fashion News4

Cotton triangular-shaped head scarves and headbands were the latest accessory. It was fun being a girl that summer and to be moving into a new phase of life where I fully expected to find all my dreams mysteriously fulfilled. Most of the time my mind was filled with lace-legged pettipants, pink gingham, and the annoying fact that even though I slept in bristly hair curlers all night, my hair just would not flip at the ends.

Hope you are all enjoying thick soup and bread warmed in the oven today!

Christmas in Black and White

1950 christmas            1950 christmas black and white I dream in color, but many of my memories of the 1950’s are in black and white. Some of what I think of as memories are probably remembering the black and white photographs we all had and looked at when we were kids.

You can click on these photographs to make them larger. The angelic smile on the little girl shows her delight in her new chair and doll. The boy in another photo received a huge peppermint stick. That must have lasted for a very long time.

Looking at these Christmas trees reminds us that full, lush trees weren’t in every home. One could see the ornaments better on thinner trees, anyway. It was all about Shiny Brites and lead tinsel.

It was always fun to see relatives who we didn’t see everyday. Especially, the really interesting ones.

We went to church at 10 or 11:00 am  and then, at Grandma’s house, we sat down for dinner at noon. We ate Christmas dinner leftovers again in the early evening. No one left; we stayed all day. So much work went into making these big dinners, Grandma wouldn’t have liked it if we ate and ran. No one wanted to leave or ever thought about leaving until after the second supper.

The car was so cold and we were so tired at the end of the day. But the drive was short and we had to get back to our Christmas presents…no matter what they were.

Thank you for following my new blog and I wish you all:

christmas end



Imagining Her Life

Vintage Ball Canning Jars used as Picture Frames
Vintage Ball Canning Jars used as Picture Frames

With a large family present at an auction today on an old farm in southwestern Wisconsin, bids ran high as the immediate family and nieces and nephews tried to win an item tied to their memory of the 97-year-old woman who enriched their lives. The woman and her Swedish husband bought the farm in 1944. They raised eight children in the house. But, she spent the last 18 years living on the farm alone.

A neat white house sat in a circle of barns, sheds and out-buildings, all empty now. There were vintage tractors, implements, fencing, and thousands of parts and tools left on trailers and in the beds of pick-up trucks. Old members of the woman’s flower garden wave slightly in the breeze on this off and on blue day.

I am, being a woman,  mostly interested in the life of the woman of the farm. A granddaughter shows me the site of her kitchen garden. I can see the grey poles that once held up the clothesline.

There are four apple trees, two grape arbors, a large cherry tree, a stand of raspberry bushes and, I am sure, there were rhubarb plants at one time. A granddaughter tells me that her grandmother made apple butter, apple sauce and apple pies, but she rarely used the cherries. Hundreds of blue canning jars with zinc lids sold. A Victorian cherry pitter comes up for bids. It is a big black cast iron affair and I wonder if the work involved merited cherry jam.

The heirs got most of the treasures they wanted and that is right. I heard a young woman with a baby say to her husband, “Don’t let your emotions make you lose your head.” The weathered, but sturdy, outhouse sold for 215.00.

People who come to my shop often tell me that the shop has a good energy or good feeling inside. I think that comes from all the things inside the shop that were part of some wonderful person’s life. Each piece has its own story; its own interesting past.

My winnings of the blue glass jars will, no doubt, be upcycled into candle holders, light fixtures, snow globes or something else an imaginative person creates.  I will keep one just because I like the sparkly blue glass and each time I look at it, I will remember the sweet, old-fashioned smell of hundreds of heirloom apples lying beneath the mother tree.