Sunday, July 28, 2013


She came into my shop about 3 or 4 times a year.
She put a smile on my face.
One of these clients you do not forget.
I can see her now walking in the door .
"hello my dear Mrs. K. how are you?"
"terrific now that you are here to cheer me up"
"You may not know it but I jist celebrated my 96th birthday and I do need
to give myself a gift, so I will browse in your lovely shop!

I could never get over the fact that here she stood almost 100 years old and
she wanted to buy herself something.

I see her in her navy blue suit , a sort of shantung worn by much younger people and it had a little white border. Her blouse was pure white silk with a little bow and an exquisite brooch (broche to me)
her shoes ,of course, navy with white trim and a tiny heel.
Her hat was a fine straw hat with a white rose which reflected her snow white hair.

A long time ago she told me that she was a preacher';s wife, a real Southern Belle.
She had lived most of her life in South Carolina. Her husband had joined the Lord, she said and she smiled.
She would add that he went "home" too soon for he was a gentle man.
She was petite and rather thin, one would wonder if her legs could keep her up but she walked at a steady pace.

I would help her look for what was on her mind and often she would find the right item, mostly jewelry or if I had vintage gloves she would try them on. She was what the French call "une coquette", she came out of a box and one had to look at her , you just could not help yourself.

The majority of my clients would come in with china ware, cut glass, old pearls , martini glasses, Hummels and Lladro. They would all have the same sing song :"I am too old to use this, I no longer entertain, I no longer can keep up with the dust, my children do not want this, my daughter does not even talk to me, my granddaughter just wants what fits in the dish washer. My maid no longer comes and I can't polish the silver, can you please sell it for me."
The majority looked very unhappy, the end of the road bothering them, the memories to be buried.

The Floridians who come here in the summer to cool off (try that this year!) would always have these
different color suits ready to go jogging or not....bright colors, bracelets by the dozens and bright lipstick.They stood out but as widows they had to sell the NC property so more "stuff" . I almost always told them to go for auctions, I knew that I could never pay enough so that helped in the long run.
Buying? are you kidding? they would walk around the shop and say :"I have this and have that but better quality, of course. "

I would observe the older women and started to think what road I was going to take when I would turn 80.
Would I wear all these colors still? I sure do! Would I wear the jog suits and the hoodies? Never.
I look like always a gypsy antique dealer with long skirts ,jewelry and much color.
It's my style but at 5.7" I can carry it a bit. Did I say 5 '7" ? I am lying I shrunk 1/2 inch.

I have given a lot of my "goodies" to the girls because they wanted them and appreciate them.
So that helped me. I was not a Hummel fan and could not afford Lladro so I am safe here.
I did like sterling silver and must admit that I no longer like to polish it and never had a maid to do it, well, I am lying again, Brie used to polish for me until she grew this brute force and one day twisted one of my candle sticks into a pretzel. That was her last polishing job.

 Surely one who grew up without a touch of silver anywhere not even silverplate , a mother who prided herself if she could buy stainless steel forks that had to be 18/8!  Why the silver longing? I did not learn about 925 sterling till my Bob came into my life and had all these different gorgeous patterns of teaspoons for his coffee. He taught us all to look for the 925 never mind 18/8.

Rhonda was quick to go to the church bazars and find the spoons she liked (she was not into sets yet) if it was sterling it was going to be hers. She'd go to the cashier and say things like :"I like this so much do not know if I have enough pennies...(sad face) usually she got them for free from old unsuspecting sweet church ladies. Especially the Episcopalians, Rhonda 's testimony, she said they had the best silver.
Then she'd come to the shop we had and tried to sell them to us.

So as I watched the elderly in my business I decided I wanted to be 94 dressed like a gypsy and still go shopping.

Well, I did it in a big way. Since my bead shop was closed unexpectedly I have been brooding about my office/workplace. It's not as orderly as I would like it to look at it every day and slow down on beading. I am blue about the subject, I miss it  and yet I do not have the courage to start again in another place. I need too much help for setting up a new shop and then keeping it up. Brie needs a rest and Rhonda is hardly home as her hours are brutal at work.

So on a whim  I decided to make the room again a dining room, nothing fancy, nothing expensive I did all that during the younger years. I wanted something very European and country looking nothing modern and I told the kids that Christmas eve was on me with the new room!!!!They love it!!!!!!!!

Just like I decided within minutes to give up my dining room I decided to have it come back.
I had put my solid mahogany table on the side of the street with a sign "FREE" ten minutes later it was gone. My chairs were from my grandfather so the girls each got 3. That took care of it.
Entered the beads and plastic drawers piled on plastic wheels who could not keep up with the weight.
The white plastic turned yellow like over night. As long as I was working in there I had no problems but with the changes also came the nostalgia of again having the kids here for Christmas.
So at 81 1/2 I went to the consignment shop and bought a Bavarian kitchen table strong enough to hide under if a tornado comes and four high back chairs just like I had in my house in California.
Who buys furniture at my age? Who cares? I am old enough to know better and old enough not to give a damn.

I think my preacher';s wife is "home" and smiling at me.

No comments: