Parker the dog woofed and woofed to let us know that our annual visit from the mallard ducks happened this morning. I opened the door to admire the ducks floating gracefully on the pond. He was still barking at the waters edge and I understood what he was trying to say so I called down, “I SEE THEM, Parker, THANK YOU!!” Caleb, coughing at the end of the couch, also understood, “It’s a sign of spring.” The ground is covered in snow and the pond has a thin sheet of ice over half of it but this faithful visit from our old friends cheered our hearts. It’s currently 31 degrees. I will be leaving in about an hour to go pick up Caleb’s school work so he can do it this weekend and not get too far behind. Thankfully, he is feeling much better.
As promised, this is a photo- blog- journal report on SUNDAY the 18th of March. Grace and I had slept together in a hotel the night before and Joanna picked us up for church at 9:45. At church, we enjoyed singing hymns, listening to Scripture, and hearing a sermon before heading out for lunch at a popular diner. Joanna treated us to a very filling meal and we sat by a big window, talking and laughing as we ate.
Grace had a steak. Joanna and I both had huge de-constructed gyro salads. (SO good) (could not finish)
With very full tummies we headed out for a few hours of shopping.
Olde Good Things was a huge warehouse full of architectural salvage. We walked through the door and immediately became inspired by the smells of dust, old wood, paint, rust, and metal, and invigorated by the cold temperatures of the warehouse. The building was stacked floor to ceiling with everything imaginable coming out of old hotels, buildings, churches, and museums of the past.
There was even a horse hanging from the ceiling.
We explored to our hearts content.
And as typical of her, Grace climbed into every upper level, no matter if the floors were uneven and stairs steep and deadly. I kept expecting her to fall or have things fall on her. 18 years old and she still awakens the “I must keep my child alive” nervousness in me. She has always loved climbing, so much so that one of her childhood nicknames (which she hated) was “Grace Goat”.
Some of Olde Good Things’ salvage jobs have been The Plaza Hotel in NYC, the JFK International airport, and Rialto Theatre, Times Square NYC. Check their website for all the interesting details. Joanna has been following them and visiting their warehouse for years. I was once again impressed by her design sense, she has great instincts and ideas.
a feast for the eyes
We were upstairs in a “door section” (the stuff was all very informally organized) I arranged Grace (in my favorite sweater) in front of a white wooden door, I imagine it must have been a back kitchen door as someone resourcefully covered it in blue linoleum.
This upstairs floor was loose sections of open iron grating, giving us a strange feeling of fear, we were up so high but knew we were safe enough because after all there were thousands of doors, wooden pillars and posts, and so on. But then to see, instead of “safe” steps, an unsecured little ladder leading up to yet another level and the words BE CAREFUL WATCH OUT. . . . .it was amazing.
Everything about this place was inspiring to all three of us.
a treasure trove of old metal
NEXT STOP WAS
in Scranton, PA.
This place was wonderful, not just because of the stuff they sold, but because the owners were so warm and cheerful and obviously liked each other, their shop, and their customers. They were due to close in five minutes but happily stayed open for us. (!)
Right away Joanna asked if they had fiestaware and the lady led us straight to a few displays. I wanted the vintage green covered casserole quite badly but sadly there was a big chip on the lid. It was 25 dollars. I did find two place-setting bowls in retired colors, Seamist and Chartreuse, still shiny and perfect.
We wondered why These Happy Golden Years wasn’t in the box. Laura Ingalls Wilder fans for life!
The combination of the chair and the quilt stopped Joanna in her tracks.
Lastly, Joanna took us to two local Indian grocery stores where we had a great time buying some snacks, drinks, and treats to take home with us.
We went back to Joanna’s house feeling full in every way; physically, mentally, and spiritually. . . . .
We had just an hour or so to do the one remaining thing on Joanna’s list of things she wanted to do with me during our visit.
She set to work painting pages in my book while I looked through her art book, and Chloe’s, too. Grace did her homework across the table. Steve and the older boys were in the living room and the littles came in and out to see what we were doing. It was cozy with beautiful music that Joanna turned on for us, filling the air with hymns and praise songs. . . .
She was on her mom’s shoulder like this for a long time. . . .so dear.
Joanna’s art supplies purchase recommendations for the next time I go to AC Moore.
Behind me was the wall she started recently for the little ones. . .tiny art in tiny frames, carefully arranged way down low, eye level for toddlers. Just right for the small ones in the family. Mini-art gallery perfection.
Grace and I had to leave at 7:ish so that we could get her things from the hotel and take her back to college before 8. I took her to the grocery store quickly for some healthy snacks and drinks and some cash so that her Grandma and I could have peace of mind that she had everything she needed. I took her to school and helped her get her things back into her dorm room, taking away her Christmas tree. We hugged outside the building in the dark and even after all day of me saying “don’t forget you have to change out of my sweater before I drop you off” she somehow still got away with it. In leaving my beloved, I forgot my sweater. We had a good laugh about that the next day.
Thank you again for a great weekend, Joanna! I was touched by the time and thoughtfulness you put into making plans for us. It was truly appreciated way down deep.
And God bless you, Grace, as you finish up your first year of college.