You never know what story will begin with the end of an old one. That is the magic of this "vintage world" that I make a business and a life in.
I haven't stopped at many yard and estate sales much this Summer because I am in such a hurry these days, but today I couldn't pass one up in Bonner's Ferry. I was out putting up poster's for my Antique show, Funky Junk when I saw a sign that caught my eye...ESTATE SALE.
I followed the arrows to a small house on a dead end street. Tables lined the yard full of knickknacks and dishware. I passed up the board games and perused the books and movies. Then I saw a pile of vintage baby clothes. I'm not sure why I'm so drawn to these, maybe because the tiny detail that was once used to create such timeless pieces, or the history of the babe that once took his first steps in the Corduroy booties. I was instantly taken by an old woolen dress, with wooden buttons and pink satin lining.
A small moth hole was nothing to affect the beauty of this darling piece, and for a price tag of $3 I couldn't pass it up! I added an old thimble and a wooden cheese box to my stack and went to pay my total. As I was checking out, an elderly man on the porch said to me "that was Charlotte's Dress". I looked at him with a smile as he went on, " I have a picture of her wearing that dress as a little girl". I said how I would love to see that picture sometime. He told me Charlotte was his wife, and she had passed away. These were her things...this was her story.
I payed for my items and thanked the man again for sharing with me. I told him I did not know what my plan was for Charlotte's dress, but it had a forever home with me and I would cherish it always. Then I went to leave. Another shopper caught up with me, overhearing our conversation and asked if she could see the dress. I proudly showed her my treasure, I could tell his story had touched her too.
As I went to drive away I changed my mind and went back down the road. I grabbed the dress and went back and asked the man his name, "Paul". I said to him with a cracked voice, "Paul, may I please take a picture of you and your Charlotte's Dress?" At that moment we both began to cry, he said "of course".
A human moment, when no words need to be said, just shared energy. His hands holding the dress that first clothed his bride years ago, and a promise that she will continue to have a story. This has become something very important to me, preserving history, sharing stories, and saving them for generations to come.
I'm so glad I followed that sign today, I found much more than a treasure. Thank you, Paul. Thank you, Charlotte.