Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ruth Homer

Today I had a blissful afternoon digging around antique shops in Mason, Michigan. My family does not enjoy this and was more than happy to let me enjoy it alone. It pleases me to see glassware and beautiful oak furniture, funny old signs and quirky figurines. I tend to gravitate towards books and postcards and jewelry, always on the watch for ancient Revell books since I work for that publisher. A surprise pops up every now and then that makes me laugh: an old orange Crockpot like my mom used for years with glass lid intact (hers broke), a pink metal trunk like the one that held my doll clothes, a Fisher Price plastic barn with the mooing door, pristine McDonalds and Burger King glasses with Star Wars or Strawberry Shortcake on them. I never buy these items, but they stir up the nostalgic heart in me.

One of the coolest items found this afternoon was a suede photo book with black construction paper pages on the inside. The cover was wrapped with a suede strap and had the name of the girl to whom it was given, Ruth Homer, burned on the front. The suede is a bit beat up and stained, but I had to have it. I have no idea whether this is an old prize or not, but it spoke to me.

I can imagine a young girl giggling with glee as she received this as a gift. Maybe her dad knew how to burn her name on it. Or maybe it was from a boy. Perhaps she learned how to do this as a craft project at camp, but yet it seems far too detailed for an inexperienced person to have completed. But wasn't it the best to have your name on something you owned? Since my name is highly unusual, I remember the pain of NOT having my name on something. HA.

I guess that's why Ruth Homer's little scrapbook spoke to me. She viewed it as too precious to mess up. It was difficult for her to paste pictures in this album because it would "ruin" it. I remember that feeling to well, being torn in your decision to keep something special because of your love for it. Today it was a great reminder to me to use the things that I love. They won't be ruined, only loved on. My friend recently hung a chandelier of her grandma's in her favorite place in her house, the sunroom. I use my antique tea cups to drink my tea or brew a pot in the Brown Betty that was Dan's grandma's. I wear Grandma Boydston's costume jewelry to work when I miss her.

We only have one life. Don't let that special scrapbook sit unused--fill it with the photos of your life. Drink tea from that cup. Use your grandpa's fishing pole. Write in the journal you were saving because it was pretty. Bring out your wedding china for your teenage son to eat on at dinner.

Use what you love. I think it will make your day.