Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Who Would Want This Stuff?

Good morning!  I am sitting here at the table this morning, enjoying the sun shining in the front window, and drinking my coffee, and noticing just how pretty it is shining on the white cabinet that I have in the dining area.  It's really bright, almost hurting my still sleepy eyes...but, it's so pretty, and it brings back fond memories of our time in Virginia.  Let me tell you the story of this treasured piece...

One afternoon, as I was scanning the classified ads in our local paper in Gloucester, Virginia, I ran across an ad that caught my eye...It said something like, "Dismantling old home on estate...bring hammer and tools if interested.  Will be on sight to sell whatever you want."...Oh my goodness!!  I must call now!  I spoke on the phone to a gentleman who told me a little bit about the house.  It had been a caretaker's cottage on a large estate and had fallen into a state of disrepair over the years.  The husband of the couple who owned the place had been an inventor of sorts, and had used the house to store bits and pieces of "stuff" for many years and had passed away a few years ago.  The wife wanted the place cleaned up, and they decided that the house needed so much work that it just needed to come down.  He told me to come on...we could take any part of the house that we wanted.  Well, I called my husband at work, because this is what I consider an "emergency"!  We needed to take the tools and truck and go now!  He came home shortly thereafter and we were on our way.

We arrived at this beautiful place alongside one of the many rivers in our area along the Chesapeake Bay, and the man met us to lead us back to the house, which turned out to be one of many on the property.  We were the first ones to respond to the ad!!!!  I almost screamed, I was so excited to get in there and see what we could find.  There were boxes and boxes of things, cool stuff.  He told us to just pick out what we wanted and he would make us a price on the whole bit.  We found many small interesting things, and then we found the huge rat skeleton...but, a silly old rat carcass is not enough to scare us away from these treasures. We took doors off of hinges, I think we got a total of six french doors...They had them hanging horizontally along a screened in porch so that they could be lowered down to close it in like windows.  Pretty neat idea to tuck away in my brain...Then we took down a couple of wonderful old light fixtures...and several "fragments", decorative pieces of wood that had come from other houses on the property...then I spotted the cabinet in the dining room.  It was a built-in piece, but with the help of the crowbar, we went to work pulling it out.  It was about this time when I heard a little elderly lady voice saying, "Yoo hoo", "Is anyone in here?"...I looked up to see her as she turned the corner into the room.  There stood this white haired tiny lady, with a fur coat and a little fluffy dog in her arms.  She had a look of pure disgust on her face as she looked at us...She said, "I just wanted to see what kind of people would want this stuff.".....Oh no.  Mrs. Estate Lady thinks we're trashy...You should have heard me trying to explain to her that we actually lived in a pretty nice house that was over 150 years old, had been totally renovated and that we were going to make this stuff look fabulous in our home.  My husband, John, was just laughing as he continued right along working.  Anyway, I don't think I convinced her of anything.  She turned and left, and we continued ripping out treasures.  When we finished and had our truck loaded, we asked what we owed...He said, "How about $200?"....Really? We're good with that.  And, with that wonderful deal, we drove away with a truck full of treasures..some I still enjoy today, in our "now" home, in Alabama.  I just could not have left these things in Virginia with the farmhouse, but I'll have to admit, I love the story almost as much as the treasures!  I figure the story alone is worth the $200...

Another picture of the cabinet...It holds part of my collection of vintage restaurant/hotel/railroad china that we use daily.  I have been collecting these pieces for going on twenty years now. That's another story for another day...but, I will include a couple of sneak peaks inside.

I absolutely love the old hardware and look at the chippy paint texture!

Sneak peak of china collection...

Now, I shall start a painting project...Will share in next post.
Have a great day friends!

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  1. I love your cabinet. What a great story to go with it! Love your collection of china too.

  2. Thank you Michelle! I have stories for some of the china too! Stay tuned...thanks for visiting and following along with my antics!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment! Would love to have you follow along...

  4. Came over from the Coastal Charm link up. This cabinet is beautiful - your whole kitchen set up is as well. I saw a beautiful old home being torn down earlier this week and all I could think about is that I hoped someone lovingly removed the wonderful parts first. (I think they did - it appeared to be a pretty orderly 'tear down'.)

    1. Hi Cheryl- Thank you for your sweet comment on my kitchen and the treasured cabinet. Oh my goodness, how I hate to hear of old homes being taken down, but like you said, maybe someone was able to recycle some of the bits and pieces that were still usable...and if so, I'm sure these pieces will be cherished. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it.