Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Years ago when we lived on the Oregon Coast
 I would drive our [now] teenagers to and from elementary school
  so they didn't have to stand in the wind and rain and wait for the bus. 
Everyday for years I drove the same route,
 past a large house on a hill with a bay window overlooking a park and the water.
Everyday I would look up to see
 a beautiful silver lamp sitting on a table in that bay window. 
One Monday morning as I drove the kids to school
 I turned up the hill to drive past the large house 
 and noticed the remnants of  a weekend estate sale.
"Darn" I thought, I'm always up for a good estate sale. 
Driving down the hill after dropping the kids off at school,
 I instinctively glanced up at the house as I always did
 and realized the silver lamp was gone!
That is about the most polite way to express my reaction for both missing the sale 
and not getting my hands on that lamp!
The days past and my disappointment grew,
 everyday I drove by the house on the hill and watched the cycle of changes
 as the house was emptied 
and the yard was cleaned up. 
Then a FOR SALE sign went up in the yard.
A couple of weeks later...
 I had few extra minutes and thought I would take a quick walk through
one of my favorite antique stores. 
I did this a couple times a month and often found treasures
 that I could take home and refinish and/or refurbish then in turn sell myself.
After parking and making my way down the sidewalk through the wind and rain 
I pushed open the door of the large warehouse like building. 
After shutting the door quickly behind me against the weather...
I shook off the rain,
Turned around,
  Took a step in and looked up,
And there it was!
 The silver lamp... 
sitting on a table!
Just sitting there!
I gasped and tried to control my inner scream of delight...
I calmly walked over,
picked up the lamp
 and made my way to the back of the building
 and asked in a calm and collected manner,
" Excuse me, what are you asking for this lamp?", "It doesn't have a tag."
The older man looked it over for a few moments 
and replied,
He said he bought it at an estate sale the other weekend
 at that big house below the elementary school
 and by the time he had arrived it was the only thing left!
What are the chances,
 the lamp I had been lusting after for years was in my hands!
Have you ever bought something and thought for sure that it had been mis-marked or that someone was going to stop you before you reached the door?
 I could not pay the man and get out of there fast enough...
You know, before the Vintage Mercury Glass Police stopped me
 and made me pay the real value of the lamp
 or just rip it from my hands! 
When I finally got into my car
 safely hidden behind tinted windows and the camouflage of the wind driven rain 
I'm pretty sure that I screamed! 
 I also think that I strapped it into an empty child's car seat!
The lamp was covered in dust, nicotine and cooking grease
 so I gently cleaned it up and brought the wonderful mirrored shine back.
We have made about eight moves since that day
 and the lamp always rides with me in a box
 surrounded by pillows or something of that nature.
It is by far one of my favorite finds,
 right up there with the antique solid oak Arts and Crafts style plant stand I got off Craigslist for $15...
but that's another story.

P.S. Other items in photo...
Shutters- Purchased from yard sale in Key West, Florida.
Conch Shells - Found  (Empty) snorkeling off Key West, Florida. 
Silver Bowl- Antique store Carbondale, Colorado.
Glass Float Balls- Found on various beaches in Alaska and Oregon.
 Vase- Estate Sale find $5.00 Port Townsend, Washington.