I admit it. I have a lot of stuff. While some people pride themselves in their minimal, stark sensibilities with bare walls and barren surfaces, I like my things around me, not because they have some kind of monetary value, but they do remind me of people and places I love.
Take, for instance, my crowded china cabinet -- the one that came with a dining room set that my sister bought me for $140 at a garage sale in Independence, Missouri. Oh, yes, it's pretty full with objects, but each one has a story that I will remember forever. I found the Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar on the top and the Old MacDonald pitcher below it at a pair of Santa Monica garage sales; the bright yellow tureen came from the Community Wide Garage Sale in Point Pleasant, New Jersey; there's a copy of my labor of love, The Find, on the bottom shelf right next to a handmade, ceramic bowl from Croatia; and there are two identical bean pots. Two, you might ask. Isn't that excessive? Maybe, but I'll tell you how that happened.
|Photograph from The Find by Jim Franco|
A few years ago, my mom mailed me the bean pot that she and my dad received on their wedding day more than 50 years ago. Wrapped in a couple of paper towels and packed in a flimsy box, it's a miracle that ceramic pot made it to my door without being smashed to bits. I have treasured that bean pot over the years, so much so that it appeared on the pages of The Find in a tablescape created by Michael Quinn and Heather Kerr. I kept the bean pot in my kitchen underneath a kitchen shelf overburdened with stuff, which, cause it to come loose from the wall and smash into my beloved bean pot, breaking its lid.
I was crushed. I collected the pieces of my broken pot then immediately went to Etsy where I quickly found a pot with the same markings. The plan was to take the lid from the new one to replace the broken one, which I would glue back together and place on the one I found on Etsy. After a few days, my package arrived and when I picked it up, I heard the heart-sinking sound of broken pottery. I held my breath as I carefully opened the package, only to reveal a pot that was cleanly broken in three pieces. Rats! But the good news? The lid only suffered a tiny nick, and the seller felt so bad about the damage that she refused to let me pay for it.
I put my new lid on Mom and Dad's bean pot and glued all the broken pieces together to "Frankenstein" another entire pot, leaving me with two identical bean pots that hold in them a memorable story.
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
The Elegant Thrifter