Hopefully your spring was enjoyable, despite the weather, and all of your plans (antique shows, spring cleaning, gardening etc.) worked out just the way you wanted them to. Personally, it was one of the oddest seasons we’ve had to deal with lately. At this point I can’t recall how it arrived. I think it came in a bit on the lion side, turned into a lamb briefly, then became a raging bull (think mid-April) and then settled into a completely unsettled mix of cool, hot, warm, windy, sunny and cloudy. The only thing predictable about it was that the weather people were usually wrong. And now, here we are into summer 2018 wondering what we have to look forward to. If variety is the spice of life, we Canadians are spicy!
I hope you’re going to enjoy this summer issue of the WT. The articles in it have touched on some favourite things of mine…old barns, bees, flowers, and giving vintage items (in this case, televisions, as per Roderick Sergiades’ article) a second chance.
When Dr. John Carter (one of this issue’s writers) mentioned submitting an article on barns some time ago, I was very pleased. Our old barn structures are disappearing at a rapid rate and very few people seem to be concerned. I think at least some of them are worthy of preservation and our respect and care. I love re-purposed barn board just like most people, but I really would rather see the barn standing. I do realize that’s easier said than done… in fact, I know that first-hand, living on a property with a big old 114 year old barn on it. Whoever helped the Coveny family build it in the early 1900s did an excellent job. I wonder what they would say if they could see it still standing today. (I know they would point out a few things that really do need tending to… and they would likely approve of the fact that we took down all the grape vines that were determined to bury it alive once again.) Although I wish I could say the image of the old barn on the front page is my own, I can’t. I found it so striking when I saw it that I decided it was worthy of purchase for the front cover, especially with John’s article on barns.
Next is bees. An article on Honey Pails was also a great idea… a great opportunity to celebrate our history of apiculture and the sweet results, not to mention getting to see an incredible honey pail collection. But it’s also an opportunity to remind everyone that bees are in great peril and we need to pay attention to what’s going on with them and help, where and when we can. There are some wonderful things being done to assist these hard-working little critters, but is it all going to be too little, too late? A friend sent me a link on Facebook featuring a bakery in Toronto (Mabel’s Bakery & Specialty Foods) who have turned their rooftop into an apiary. I think this is more than amazing – cheers to Mabel’s Bakery! I wish them incredible success in their endeavours. I hope others follow their example.
Old books and flowers… two wonderful things to enjoy in the summer. I love leafing through an old book and finding the delicate remnants of a flower that someone has pressed between the pages – this is such kindling for an imagination. A little treasure found, but not explained.
I look about our property and think of all the things that we’ve added to the landscape and wonder how it all looked 100+ years ago. Something we’ve been doing for a few years now is leaving the patches of wild daisies alone when we first start cutting the grass with the lawn tractor. The result has been very rewarding and we now have huge patches of delightful daisies growing on our lawns. Ironically, I tried planting Shasta daisies in the past, but they wouldn’t take – these are every bit as lovely and just go on and on looking beautiful…. my kind of gardening! Another simple pleasure is the fragrance of the “Julia Child” mint when I cut the grass. It was given to me back in 2001 by a vendor who was set up when we hosted a show here, and I planted it in a little vegetable garden we had at the time. The garden is long gone, but the mint has spread. The fragrance is something I dream about in the winter and it makes the task of mowing something I look forward to.
Here in the northern hemisphere, we all have favourite things we plan to do in the summer. We don’t take our warm and sunny days for granted here; not a chance! The list is endless, but for most of us activities include outings on sunny days, boat or canoe/kayak trips, beaches, gardens, long walks, restaurants with outdoor patios, barbecues, cold drinks, good books … and of course, for readers of the WT, the obvious: antique hunting. How can you add to that? Well, although I am looking forward to at least some of those things there is something else that I am anticipating more than all of them put together. In fact, I am more excited about this than I was at Christmas when I was eight years old, and more excited than I ever was even when it was the last day of school before summer holidays. The reason? Peter and I are about to become grandparents. I am ecstatic!
Some time in late July we will welcome a baby girl into our family and we can’t wait to meet her, this brand new little person to add to our collection of our very favourite people.
This has made my “hunt” for things take an entirely different turn. Instead of antiques and decor, it has become a quest for all things baby… and it has been enormously fun.
Ah, Bunnykins, Beatrix Potter, and any thing cat and/or Volkswagen Beetle related… gotta buy it. Little Miss Grandbaby is going to be surrounded by vintage and collectible items from Day One. (Don’t worry… we’ll make sure everything is safe and meets every necessary standard, no matter what it is.)
I recently read an article bemoaning the loss of some things many children born in this day and age will never experience.
The article mentioned things like rolling down car windows with handles, telephones with cords, cassette tapes, floppy discs, 8-tracks… and many other things that we all thought would be around forever. Well, this might be true for most babies born today, but not for our little upcoming retro-child. Her parents are both collectors of the past, especially anything to do with vintage autos and technology. This child will be driving a pre-1970 VW Beetle by the time she’s 17, I suspect… or sooner, (much sooner) if she’s anything like her father. She will be able to identify a broad range of music coming from the vinyl records that are played on the JVC c1970 record player ( inherited from our son’s grandmother, my mom) in the living room. ( A perfect example of making use of vintage technology.)
Knowing how smart both her parents are, I think we might be in for quite an experience in trying to curtail any of the adventures this little girl might want to partake of. I can’t wait to find out.
(I’m also hoping that in a few years she’ll be able to explain some of the ever-changing technology on all my devices to me – ever notice how anyone over two and under thirty finds that about as difficult as eating pudding?)
At a recent baby shower for Zoe, I was amazed at the beautiful gifts she was given for the baby… many things were hand-made and absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t crochet a blanket or make a quilt if my life depended on it, so I was in awe of the artistry. They are the things that will be treasured, and – who knows – they could still be around in the next century, a few generations from now. All the gifts were so thoughtful and lovely, and the kindness and love behind each one makes me aware that we’re blessed with a wonderful family and amazing friends.
When the fall issue comes out, we will be slightly-experienced grandparents and I’m sure this will have a profound effect on our current perspectives. Events of this magnitude have a way of making us realize what is truly important in our lives. You will probably be subjected to an editorial that will be all about you-know-who. (You fall under that “captive audience” category… but at least you have the choice to read, or not to read.) A friend of ours, upon learning of the upcoming arrival of our grand-baby told me that Peter would be “gobsmacked!” I’m pretty sure we will all be.
Have a truly wonderful summer. Remember to take the time to enjoy the simple things, connect with family and friends and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
Thank you so much for reading the Wayback Times and for supporting our advertisers. Safe travels, and God bless.