"One of these days I'm going in there to have a look." I have thought that so often when passing by this antique store, never knowing when - or even if - it was open. My mother, assuring me that it was indeed open, asked me if I'd like to go this afternoon. I decided right then that it was the perfect day for browsing through treasures.
I have always loved antiques and the shops where they are housed; beautiful, delicate china plates and tea cups set upon old, oak cabinets; sturdy, faded toys I'm beginning to recognize from my childhood; clusters of rings and brooches with secret stories from the past; haunting black and white photographs of smileless faces; enchanting, scripted postcards with heartwarming originality. When I enter such a place, the hands of time spin backwards, and somewhere some hidden pendulum is silently stopped.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this place bright and welcoming; beautiful, classical music playing softly in the background, light filtering through the windows, things displayed in parlor fashion in little nooks, and cider simmering in a silver pot atop an antique table.
My mother followed the clerk into a book-filled room as they searched through dusty covers for a familiar title. I found myself at the bottom of a narrow staircase, looking up into newspaper images of Ike and old war uniforms which were hung carefully against the railing. I slowly ascended the wooden stairs and found myself in a different era.
I felt as if I had turned the corner into my grandmother's attic. Beautiful, linen dresses with crocheted inlay were displayed against lace, their bodices sheer, delicate, lovely. Hats of all shapes and sizes were perched on stands like graceful, feathered birds in all the colors of the rainbow. Hat boxes from Houston and Chicago laid on closet shelves as if their owners would be needing the contents that very evening for some festive celebration.
The afternoon lighting and warm essence of autumn edged the lace curtains in gold and the room felt hushed as if in quiet remembering. I could have stayed up there the rest of the afternoon, trying on the hats and running my hands along the aged fabric and intricate lacework. It's times like these that make me wonder if I am of another generation and perhaps, born too late.
We get so busy with our lives that we don't always take the time for precious moments like these. And that's a shame.
I'm glad that on this lovely day, I stopped long enough to not just smell the roses, but to pick some for my memory's keeping. How comforting it will be to return to the warmth of this day in the midst of the winter that lies ahead. And how wonderful, knowing its reflection will remain when spring's caress gently comes again.