I spent this weekend visiting several vintage, thrift, and consignment boutiques. I have always loved vintage shops; from the intricate details of fabrics to the faded logos; the scent of old books and their yellowing papers to the big bands records and gold rimmed glassware. Everything in sight came from a time when goods were made to last as well as for aesthetics. Each shelf filled with nicknacks and trinkets from someone else’s life. I’m taken back to a distant time that I wish I could have experienced first hand, but I’ll take these momentary time travels anyway I can.
While visiting Trove, (which celebrated its one year anniversary recently) I found a corner of the shop that reminded me of my maternal grandmother, Betty Jo. The delicate fabrics like lace and tulle, white slender vases, and the gentle color pallet brought forward the soft and sophisticated memory that I have of her. I imagined that this was a corner of her room as a young woman; going to socials with her sisters and being called for dinner as she lay on her bed writing love letters to my grandpa while he was away in the Navy.
Feeling touched to have stumbled upon a reminder of Gramma, I made my way back through the shop towards the front. In the center of the store next to an extended pink patterned couch, were fur collars, knitted purses, and brocade spike stilettos. My dad’s mother, Alma, passed away when I was nearly three, but I have grown up learning about her through my family’s stories and by discovering relics of hers in boxes in the basement while playing hide and seek. Over the years I have been told of Nana’s bold style, sassy personality, and fiery fashion sense. And while i pictured Gramma as a young girl, I envisioned Nana as she would have appeared when my dad was a child. I could see her standing in pointed heels in their living room with her a beehive hairstyle and chunky jewelry, surrounded by flower-pattered lampshades and thick shag carpet – entertaining friends with cocktails, or sitting with my grandfather on the interwoven couch as my dad sits inches from the tv watching Leave It To Beaver.
To be unexpectedly hit with reminders of lost family members can be strangely exhilarating and profoundly heart wrenching simultaneously. A scent, an item, a song, the taste of a recipe, or even a seemingly insignificant moment like mine can take you back to somewhere unvisited or unknowingly hidden deep in the folds of your memory. It’s almost as if for a fraction of a split second, your mind forgets that the person is gone. This particular instance made me proud to feel that I had a strong sense of who Nana was, but I also felt saddened that she is someone who I will never truly know; it made me long for Gramma and the sound of her voice, but filled me with a thankfulness for the time she and I were given.
When it comes to vintage and antiques, there has always been a connection for me; I’ve had more of an appreciation for the past than the present, possibly to a fault, but some things never change – and that could be why I’m so in love and can’t get enough ♥