Waking to overcast skies after two days of house and yard chores provided the perfect motivation to put on a bit of lipstick and hit the road. The closer to town I drove, however, the overcast skies gave way to black clouds and impending downpours. I questioned the wisdom of my adventure as I waited for the traffic light to change to green.
Answering the call on the mobile phone provided the perfect alternative to the challenge of heading into a storm front. The closer to their home I drove, the more I anticipated a simple southern meal. The wisdom of my diversion proved to be satisfying not only with a full stomach but also with a power nap and quality time with loved ones.
Again I headed toward town, this time under different weather and from a different direction. An hour at the bank confirmed that the technical issues with the transfer of funds rested on the shoulders on someone else. Guilty I was not. Finally, I reached the destination of delight. A new antique mall and otherwise outlet for vintage home goods opened its doors for business recently. Today was the day for me to deliberately become lost within its maze of treasures.
The beauty of the former train depot staged the contents ideally. The open space and the rich wooden architecture created an atmosphere of whispered secrets of the past intertwined with declarations of hope and prosperity and skill that carries into the future. Within minutes, my traveling eyes rested on a park bench with cast iron sides and wooden slats for the back and seat. The size was small and the seating was low; it fit me perfectly. Surely this must have been a kiddie bench. Looking online just the night before revealed that even new kiddie benches retailed for more than I cared to invest. The marked price on this one was just $24. The folks working at the shop were ever so kind and gracious in getting this treasure loaded into my car. I would figure out how to get it out of my car later but at the moment I celebrated my find. I also was quite excited at finding a new place to explore and excited at making new friends with these shop attendants. Signing the bill of sale, I promised that they would see me again, probably every week; the shop attendant (owner?) responded that he hoped to see me every day. How does one respond to that, eh? Oh, both shop attendants informed me that this was certainly not a kiddie bench; the bench was of small size because people were generally shorter, smaller back in “those days”.
Feeling like I betrayed the antique mall I usually lurk about in, I drove the couple of blocks over to familiar territory. Often I go there for the social aspect of it as well as enjoying the contents of the many booths. I rarely buy anything but I certainly keep the employees entertained in one way or another. I entered the back door and noticed there were more folks about than typical for a weekday. Finally I made my way to the front area where the counter with the register is placed by the front doors. Oversized windows provide the ideal real estate for displays and for staging of prized pieces. The shop manager remained busy with other customers while I checked out my favorite booths. In the lull of traffic, she greeted me with a twinkle in her eye and with an outstretched hand. In the hand was a folded note. Inside the folded note, there was a ten dollar bill.
A few weeks ago during my last visit to this antique mall, I noticed a ten dollar bill on the glass counter by the jewelry beside a pair of earrings. It looked as if someone perhaps had intended on buying the earrings but for some unexplained reason had walked away, leaving the money and the earrings behind. I turned the money into the shop manager and explained where I had found it. Well, it seems whomever walked away and left the money behind didn’t return to claim it. The shop manager held onto the ten dollar bill for the “honey girl”. Local honey is sold at this shop and I often go there just to buy the honey. The shop manager knows me by name but some of the other shop workers know me by sight only or as the “honey girl”. I find the “honey girl” label rather amusing actually, particularly given that Debbie means Little Bee.
I returned home with the setting of the sun. The dark clouds were nowhere to be seen. In my rearview mirror, I could see my “new” Debbie-sized park bench which I could clearly envision the perfect resting spot by my “new” pond. In my pocket, I could feel the note for the “honey girl” and the crisp ten dollar bill. At this point, I no longer questioned the wisdom of my adventure as I rolled to a stop by my back door.