Funny motivational speaker
My parents were avid antique collectors. As kids we spent Saturdays at auctions, eating ham salad sandwiches while Mom and Dad bid on old cupboards and chairs that Mom would later refinish and reupholster. We spent weekends at flea markets where they’d eyeball unusual knickknacks for chips and cracks and china for manufacturing imprints and dates. They enjoyed sifting through other people’s trash to find treasures, so I caught the bug early.
On Saturday, I needed a another cupcake tin, so I high tailed it to the second hand store for a slightly used but cheaper version. Any excuse is a good excuse to dig through other peoples’ stuff.
While strolling through the aisles of discarded tchotchkes and dishes
I imagined hearing a mother warning her teenager to “Be extra careful with the good dishes. You know grandpa bought that china in Europe and brought it home with him after the war”. I imagined a new husband, saving pennies for the vase he proudly bought for his young wife.
Aisle after aisle, lined with shelf after shelf. filled with stuff that at one time was precious or valuable for families I will never know. Used things, now disgarded and waiting to find a home with a new family.
Sweet, but it also reminds me that much of the stuff will someday end up in a second hand shop, with no memories to make it meaningful.
On Sunday I had a surprise visit with an old friend from Norway who was in town for a few days. We’d not seen each other for thirteen years. For two hours, we caught up on each other’s lives and reminisced about our past. The parties we’d organized for our kids, the cow costume I wore one Halloween, the evenings we’d share filled with wine and laughter. I am still smiling today.
Yesterday evening Steve and I went to friends’ home for dinner where we laughed, and talked for hours about writing, painting, trips, kids, and elderly parents. They told us about their son and daughter in law’s new chocolate shop and their two week trip to the west coast. We shared stories about our vacation to Kauai, and Steve told about his recent duck hunting trip. It was so much fun! I am still smiling today.
It was a perfect day filled with friendship, conversation and laughter.
I cannot tell you what my Norwegian friend Anne-Linda wore, I don’t recall the coffee shop decor or the pattern on my coffee cup. I just remember looking into the beautiful face of my dear friend.
I cannot tell you what Dave or Sue wore during our dinner. Their house was very nice, but the details elude me because we were so intent on each other. Remembering conversation and the laughter still warms my heart.
New clothes, furniture, painting, dishes, and decoration are all lots of fun. But yesterday was rich in friendship, laughter, and connection.
If you want to know how wealthy you are, think of the things you cannot buy. Remember that at your funeral, no one will stand up and say “She wore the nicest clothes and her China was gorgeous”. Connections, not stuff, enrich our lives.