Yesterday, DD1 and I went to one of the antique markets in the area. There are several within a twenty minute drive, yet we have very rarely gone to any of them. After yesterday, that is about to change!
We had gone solely because I knew that the lady I buy honey from at the local farmers' market in the summer time also has a booth at this particular antique market. And I am out of honey. No honey means no granola. So, I needed to go to the antique market!
Well, I picked a very good day to do so. I got the honey I needed, and so much more! Not that I spent very much money, just for the honey and for a lovely teacup and matching saucer that I will stash away for DD2's birthday (she collects old teacups). It was the things I didn't spend money on that I most took away from my trip.
First of all, that particular market was having a special chocolate weekend. Many of the vendors had free chocolate delights for your palate's pleasure. Oh my! Free chocolate!! MMMMM!!! So DD1 and I pretty much had chocolate for lunch, and I came away with some new dessert creations to try at home (recipes not provided, but several of them I could figure how to make just from the tasting).
The second thing I came away with was ideas of how to put to use some of the antique and otherwise slightly kitschy items I have at this little place here. Those blue canning jars inherited from DH's grandmother that I haven't dared actually can with because they are so old and valuable? No longer do they need to hide, protected, in my cellar. Nope, they have been moved to the kitchen, where I can enjoy them in an aesthetic manner.
Likewise some of my baskets that I use a lot during the gardening and farmers' market season, yet just take up space in my basement during the rest of the year. Now the ones that fit above my kitchen cabinets dress up the room along with the blue Ball jars. And a few chicken decorations that have recently made their way into my possession (50% off--decorating is not a high priority in our budget).
The third thing I got from my visit to the antique market was an enjoyable several hours with DD1. We decided that we should make a monthly date to visit antique markets in the area. We could probably get through six months of dates (at which time she will be moving to the west side of the state, transferring colleges) before we'd been to each of the other markets once.
The fourth thing I took home with me was the decision to take a list of items I've been wanting to acquire, and start looking for them at antique stores. For instance, a cedar chest for DD2 is going to be purchased sometime in the next year or so. DH and I had bought one for DD1 a few years ago, and been both overwhelmed at the cost, and underwhelmed at the quality of the brand new ones on the market. I think I can find a better quality, better craftsmanship cedar chest for the same price, or maybe even less, if I start searching the antique markets. After all, the cedar chest I have, that was given to me on my sixteenth birthday, had belonged to my great-grandmother before me. It is at least eighty years old at this point, and way more solid than the one we purchased in 2012.
While I was sprucing up the kitchen with DH's grandmother's old canning jars, I also remembered another item we had inherited from her: a silver and copper platter. It had sat on the top shelf of one of the cupboards since her death in 2005. Now it sits atop a cupboard where it can be seen.
Old Stuff. It shouldn't be underestimated. Just because it's old doesn't mean it's not useful.