Day 2 – California Pickin’

The West Wing

The title of today’s post can apply to so many situations. For the purpose of this day it serves only to remind me of fellowship around Aunt Katy’s table listening to life stories, laughing and loving. If it ever fits, you are welcome to quote Cora!

Again, a rainy, rainy day in the forest. At times, torrential, but still a soothing water bath cleansing the earth and soaking us to the gills! Not letting Mother Nature ruin our dig, we set off to the Enchanted Acres to explore the indoor modern day California gold mines!

The Door

Donning gloves, face masks and a headlamp I enter the first room that I have been offered to explore. Even the sight of the closed door is inviting and exciting!

The Room

Shelves laden with previously organized boxes lined the walls. A curious pairing of bottles makes me smile.

What picker would not be drawn first to the a box labeled, “May Be Valuable?” I sift through the totes of Christmas items on my way to that box calling out to me. The Christmas items I mentally catagorize as “great garage sale inventory.” I set aside a couple of books, an old 45 record and a some smaller tskchockis before I crack the lid on “the valuables.” Stacked inside were some labeless dishes, which may be valuable, didn’t want to spend time looking them up, more books; and “the hand!” Now that’s one I’m bringing home! Picture to follow. In my tunnel vision I didn’t take time to snap a photo!

An interesting combination!

The call for food snapped me from my world of bliss to the kitchen table where a yummy breakfast was waiting and served over another round of more of Cora’s amazing life stories…Thank you Father, but I think Jesus knows! Conversation then turned to The West Wing! “Oh, I must take you now to the West Wing. And off we go to forget for awhile the yet undiscovered treasures in “the room.”

Boots on, jackets zipped, gloves protecting our hands from whatever nature may have left lying on surfaces, and masks back in place, we head outside. Wow, more pots! They are so beautiful. Up the outdoor wet and slippery wooden staircase, around to the back of the house we ascend into the caverns of The West Wing.

Mother Nature, the best dish washer.

With eyes darting everywhere I struggle with the decision of where to start. Again, nooks and crannies packed with untold stories. This must be where the former professional photographer owner did much of his studio work. Cameras, film, reels, empty film cannisters, paper supplies, uncategorized photos and postcards litter the spanse of the entire upper room. I am drawn to two distinct areas, a workbence area and a desk area.

My organizational penchance controlling me, I begin grouping like items: pottery (yes, more and more pottery of every size, shape and composition), glass, ephemera, old money, jewelry, all have their own display in the “departments” of my virtual thrift store. I add a few things to my “must have” basket; an amazing sterling silver bracelet, old photos and several collectible “smalls.” I salvage a beautiful old Scandenavian metal candle holder likely once used to celebrate Saint Lucia at Christmas time.

I feel a strong pull to move onto the workbench. Stored safely in vintage glass refrigerator keeper boxes I find enough glass beads to fill many of the pots that are stacked in the yard. Tucked behind, forgotten years ago, a true treasure trove of cool stuff layered in boxes-in-boxes! Into the “keep” basket goes a pair of antique knives, old silver coins, old fishing lures, more ephemera, old marbles of every size and category and some cool old bottle glass things that look like old medicine bottle stoppers. I’ve got to look those up. No time to do that now!

I discover an amazing old, but still wrapped in plastic and “new with tags” huge bursting with colors ceramic serving bowl from Poland. Cora loves this one and is pulling it aside for personal use and to honor her Polish heritage. Cora comes and goes to check on my welfare. I am still in my blissful state of euphoria!

We sadly pitch many old books that would likely have been of some value were it not for the mold from having lived in the outdoor elements of the humid forest.

About three hours later we decide to call it quits in the West Wing and bring our treasures in for further inspection and a rest. We defy the weather gods and safely make our way back down the wet slippery stairs, protecting our treasures from the elements. It’s only at this time that I realize that I left the first room without grabbing my finds. Back in for one last glance I retrieve my goodies and add them to the “keep” pile. I return the shelves to their original organized state and close the door on another amazing memory.

This day has brought me through so many emotions. Anticipation for the unknown adventure and treasures, at some point turned to solitude and reflection on all of the lives that each item may have touched on their way to these resting spots. Each, I’m sure, has a story to tell., All at the same time, overwhelming gratitude for this experience. Again, the value of things that may find their way for resale on the internet far overshadowed by the bursting love in my heart getting to spend precious time and share more with my extended family.

How will I ever say thank you?

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