We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, December 13. 2008
I tend to avoid the f-word in polite company, but that is what this celebratory season of the birth of our Savior can bring out in anybody if we aren't careful. Shopping, when one should be hunting.
I journeyed forth out into the cold with the puppy in the front seat (dog driving, natch) to fetch a special antique item, finally found after 5 years of searching. A 5' long, shallow-depth gen-u-ine Queen Anne hunt table. A Christmas season addition to the Farm pile of heirlooms.
They sold the thing yesterday. I thought times were tough. Maybe not. Wasn't cheap but not expensive either: $1450. A fine but phony-looking repro could cost triple the real deal.
Got a nice happy tree on the way back, but I am still still f-ing right now, which I do not wish to be doing today.
I tried to teach my kids that life's opportunities are an endless, but non-repeating, conveyor belt of chances. Life keeps reminding me of that fact. To tell the truth, I really did like that table, dings, sags, cracks and all, but not quite worn-out yet. It contained many stories of Olde England.
Of course, it's not really important...just a bunch of black 1690 oak which some barbarian might start a fire with. But perfect for the open spot, and perfect for pre-hunt rows of sherry glasses and a hearty toast to our huntsman, the stalwart Col. Reggie Smythe.
Lady at the antique consignment store said biz is great. But why the f- didn't Mrs. BD take the plunge and just buy it when she first saw it?
She must know by now that I like anything Queen Anne. F-.
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BD ... This is a bit Off-Topic, but it's a quiet day somewhat, and I recalled a wonderful term introduced by Major Chuck Zeigenfuss, and thought it might cheer everyone up. Google "What is a retrosexual, you ask???" and read in full the retrosexual's code of behavior. It is quite similar to that of maggiesfarmers and their commenters, especially the item about guns, and "dealing with it." I giggle every time I read it, since the Code is in sync with my beliefs about what masculinity should be. And it is a great take-down of that feminist creation, the "metrosexual," a creation which is quite disturbing to me.
The language is somewhat naughty, but so are maggiesfarmers, sometimes. In a good way, of course.
"...life's opportunities are an endless, but non-repeating, conveyor belt of chances."
What a great line, BD. My sympathies are with you today and generated by my father who was as dedicated to the north country's and Canadian antiques as you. Over our years of living in the north, my father 'antiqued' every weekend, and visited old barns and shops and endless auctions. I went with him often and noted a very different man from the somewhat stern Colonel I lived with every day. In an old barn loaded with what looked like junk to me, he would find something and rub his hands over it with a reverence that rendered me quiet in awe of his joy and appreciation at having found another treasure. I learned much from him and am glad of it as he managed to collect enough antiques to furnish his three children's houses. Most are primitives and he refurbished them so that they became works of primitive art unique to the old farmer who made them. He'd call us down into the basement where he worked on them and show us his labor with great pride that never excluded the hands that made the piece. During this time he also collected duck decoys and is still known for having one of the best collections on the east coast. I have several in my house, one the slat goose that graced the cover of 'Decoy' magazine.
A few years ago, I had my antiques appraised by a specialist - a process that took twelve hours and then six weeks of research and was staggered by the total value. I don't say that to boast but rather to identify the pride those of you who value such. I often think of moving to a smaller house but I can't. I would have to give up my 'father' as he is the embodiment of the 'other' happy man I see around me in every room of my house. He breathes here.
Thank you for your story that allowed me to tell mine. Especially now that his gift and gifts will soon be the only thing left to touch of him.
I understand your frustration on losing such a fine object, and in sympathy I will swear a few for you.
It hurts to lose a great antique, as I know. This year most of my guns were sold, and just about all the fine old pieces I cherished have been sold as well. Since the most unexpected loss of my significant other left me with one income and a two income mortgage, cash has been tight. Now my very closest friend has a major medical problem that entailed going on long term disability from a very well-paying career, awaiting major and costly surgery. He fell behind on his mortgage on his modest house, and I can't bear to see him lose everything.
So the guns and fine old furniture are gone, and the Steinway will be sold by year end, so we each can hold onto our houses until better days come. Even the F-word seems so inadequate.
Robert ... My sympathies are with you. Hang in there. Our house was flooded during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. We saved some things but lost some precious ones too, and had to move out for five months until the house was restored to some semblance of normality. It's a tough time, my friend, and it sounds as if you have had the cosmos dump on you pretty badly. The F-word is inadequate. I know. But it's a good safety valve and I use it -- even though I'm an 80-year old "lady" who was brought up better than that.
It will get better. Possibly in strange ways, but it will.
Somebody told me once:
"some people get the good times up front--in the early years.
Others get them toward the end."
That bit of insight has helped me through some very difficult early years. In particular I remember coming home to a home that had been stripped bare in less than an hour by a team of professionals. Everything gone--child's doll house, family photo album, professional thesis slides, furniture, sheets,etc. NOTHING LEFT. The pros do it that way: pull a truck up front-unload about 6-8 guys each takes a room, they move everything out into the truck. They do not stand there and decide what to keep and what to leave--they take it all. The police told me that they then drive to a wharehouse where they can unload the truck in a large enclosed area. They sort everything according to where they will sell it. Some stuff goes to antique stores, some things get put in the pile for the Sunday farmer's market sale, some things get shipped to other states for resale in second hand stores, some things go to the collectors, etc.
But. But, what about the precious alabaster doll my dad brought home from the second world war? Where did they "unload" that ? My great grandma's bible--I suppose that went into the garbage bin.
The cops--useless of course. They knew about the gang; these guys had pulled this stunt about 5 other times before they came to our house! "Not enough men to go looking for your furniture. Got to chase the bad guys!"
But my heart keeps searching--looking for my doll. It's been 30 years now--maybe someday. However, we have our health, or at least most of it! Which reminds me--I think it would be a great service if Maggie's Farm could have an informed discussion about Medicare! What the h---- is it anyway? How does it work? Does it work? What are your reader's experiences?
My apologies-I sent my story as a way to say that I share your feelings--I too, know what it feels like to loose so many lovely, precious treasures. Please be proud of yourself: you preserved them well--and you are doing the noblest of acts--helping your friend in a time of great need. I cannot compare with that my friend! You are the Real Treasure!
I prayed once when in a frame of mind I imagine approximates yours today. By most standards it was an inarticulate prayer, something between a grunt and a scream really. I'll tell you, I may not be able to wrap my head around God, but I've always felt God heard that expression as fully and as clearly as we hear the ringing of a bell. Faith in this matter is neither here nor there, but rather I wish for you the feeling I felt that day I discovered a new dimension to prayer--that there is someone who understands what you feel you cannot fully express, and you are understood deeply and with great love.
Also, I would like to say that through life's ups and downs the F-bomb has always been one of my favorite words and I only abstain online to protect the sensibilities of those who read my words. But with the aid of an asterisk I protest our fates thusly: F*ck, man! What's up with that sh*t. I mean seriously.