Sunday, January 31, 2010

Photo-Free Post

Today was my birthday. What did I do? Did I sew? Nope. Did I spend time with those nearest and dearest? Sort of.

Did I get anything done?

Hell, yes!

Mario and I went out for dinner last night, and this morning we got up and took the train to my aunt's duplex, where I met with a realtor, got the place listed, and started the final clearing out.

Honestly, that house is like the history of the appliance industry in the last half of the 20th century. When something broke, it got replaced. But the broken item never left, so there are 4 washers in the basement, including one of those old behemoths with a wringer. There are non-electric carpet sweepers, old upright Hoovers, portable vacuums and Dust-Busters, all deceased. There are half a dozen irons, one actually meant to be heated on the stove (okay, that one came home as a curiosity). It's a museum of broken stuff.

There were pink snap-on curlers, metal wave clips, bobby pins, hair pins, hair nets, cake rouge in alarming shades of apricot and fuchsia, powder puffs and lots of dried perfume bottles. I made the mistake of putting a spot of the pink rouge on my cheek, and 6 hours later, I still can't get it off. No wonder they looked like dolls.

One of my best friends met us there in the afternoon and we brought a load of stuff home - vintage sheets, old cookware, two old metal watering cans that are way too cool for my garden, doilies, gloves, hankies and yet more linens.

I also found my great aunt Violet's mink coat buried in the back of a closet. I don't wear fur, but this is from the 1940s - complete with Joan Crawford shoulders - and I couldn't let it go in the thrift store pile. There's some dry rot, but overall the skins are in good condition; only the silk lining is in shreds. I'll hang it up for a while and consider what I could do with it, if anything.

I'm tired, and I could have found more fun ways to spend my birthday, but I feel better for having gotten this process under way. Fingers crossed that it sells quickly and I can stop thinking about it.


NancyDaQ said...

Good luck with your aunt's house. I hope you find some more goodies during the clean out. It doesn't make it any easier, but at least it's something.

Sheila said...

Happy Birthday!

Meg said...

Hey, happy birthday!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Happy birthday! An old mink coat? how about Mink pillows! A mink throw, lined with silk :) ?

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Happy birthday! I can only hope you are building up good karma with all you've done for your aunt (with no thanks, i am guessing). Your finds sound lovely!

meredithp said...

Can't get over the old appliance graveyard. How hard will that be to get cleaned out? Yikes! I'll be doing this with my mom in the near future, but she'll be helping. :-( The good part is that she moved about 14 years ago, so the "collection" won't be as old.

It must feel SO good to get that process started!

gwensews said...

Happy Birthday! Great that you found some treasures among the ruins and maybe will find more.

Christina said...

Happy birthday Karen!