Goodbye Miami

It’s time for us to pack up the car and make our way to Titusville where Alan’s family lives. I keep asking him how much I can take, he keeps saying, “take whatever you want,” and of course, I want to take everything. Fortunately, Alan has excellent packing skills and it all fits but… Where are all of the items his brother has been storing for us from their mom’s estate going to go? Rosco is so worried that we are leaving without him that he won’t calm down until we let him sit in the car while we’re packing. Maybe he thinks there won’t be any room for him, lol. He’ll be sitting on my lap just as he did the whole way down even though he could have stretched out in the backseat. I don’t know what it is about road trips but in about 10 minutes I’m asleep, when I wake up DH asks if I want to look for a thrift store in route to Titusville. Ummm, let me think… I use the GPS again and find a little store not far from the highway – Treasure Coast Hospice Thrift. Vowing to buy only very small items (unless it’s something really cool) I focus on the jewelry counter. Often this is a mistake for two reasons; first, I know almost nothing about jewelry and secondly I tend to keep all the jewelry for myself :) I do find an Ann Klein necklace which I buy even though it’s a little pricey and two sterling bracelets that are so cheap I almost feel guilty for not paying more. I have to pass on a set of iridescent tumblers – no room and not enough of a steal to justify shipping. I head back out with my tiny treasurers where Alan has managed to pass his time productively by adding some more photos to the Rexo series. He knows how long it takes me to visit the smallest thrift shop so he knew there was plenty of time to set up some shots.

On to Titusville, an hour later than we thought but totally worth it!


A Dog Day at the Beach

Finally, I’m ready for a little beach time and we take Rosco, our King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, with us to one of the few beaches that allows dogs. Rosco takes to the water right away – must be the spaniel blood – and soon he’s a mass of wet sandy hair with touches of seaweed here and there and a big smile on his little face. While Rosco and I spend our time walking up and down the shoreline Alan, the DH, takes some photos for a series he has been working on. These photographs are made using old REXO darkroom plates to reflect images outside of the camera's frame. The first one has a reflection of Rosco and me.
The second photograph is currently in a show in Colorado where they only accepted 50 prints out of the hundreds submitted! To see more of this cool series please visit Alan's website http://www.alanmpillar.com/

On the way home Alan suggests that I use the GPS to look for an antique store. I find a promising one, however when we arrive there is a new condo at that location. Phooey. But isn't he a sweetheart for suggesting it?


Attic treasurers

If you've ever lived in the south, you know that attics are furnaces in the summer, so we're happy that the weather is a little cooler - 60's rather than 80's. Mom has been wondering what is up there and wants to get it all cleaned out so my DH gets the tallest ladder and prepares to climb through a small hole in the ceiling. If I had been thinking I would have taken a photo - it's not at all like a northern attic - the entrance is seriously a framed out square in the very high, I'm guessing 12', ceiling. DH climbs up and stands on the top of the ladder, making me very nervous, and still has to hoist himself up through the opening. In the attic which is about 5' high at the tallest part of the pitched roof, there's no floor, only a few boards that Dad placed across the cross beams, so you have to be careful not to step through the ceiling! No light either so DH is up there crawling around on these makeshift catwalks with Mom's tiny flashlight trying to drag boxes, trunks and suitcases over to the opening and pass them down to me without anything crashing through the plaster ceiling. What a sweetie! One of the suitcases has this fabulous silver Christmas tree with turquoise and silver ornaments that we had in the living room in the 60's.

There's also a full size green tree that we bought at about the same time whose box has fallen apart but the tree is in great shape.

Other Christmas items included this sweet tin garland, the Styrofoam snowman, one of my favorites growing up, some bows and paper and these cool flocked roses that my Aunt used as package decorations.

As we passed down box after box, my Mom kept saying, “Why would he keep all this stuff?” And I kept saying “Oh COOL!” :) There are the cardboard suitcases that my parents used on their honeymoon and on their trip back to the USA from Australia via India and England including passage on the White Star Line's Queen Mary I and the trunk that my Dad used when he went back to Australia to marry Mom. See http://abridefromdownunder.blogspot.com/ for this truly romantic story! Speaking of romance, inside the trunk are all the letters my parents wrote to each other during their WWII courtship plus one or two that Mom had saved from other American servicemen! Also in the trunk are my Dads Navy uniforms in pristine condition. Unfortunately, some things have to go back into the attic because instead of renting a van we drove down in a Civic and we still need to pick up some things from DH’s brothers house.


At last the doors open ...

Since I spent about an hour drooling over things I can’t have at Miami Twice by the time we leave there Dietel's Antiques is open! Fred, the gentleman who runs this store comes across as a little gruff to say the least. Once when Mom visited his old shop which was very jam packed with glass and china he growled at her to watch her purse. In his defense, she does carry a large purse. ;) Since I’m a prior customer he greets me in a friendly way remembering me from my last trip, although I think I was a major annoyance on my first few visits to his stores by asking about a ton of prices and coming back 4 or 5 times before buying anything! This was because the first time I visited there were so many things I had only seen in books that my knees were weak – I swear they were shaking! The second time I still had to catch my breath, the third time I was able to find some things to research and the fourth and fifth times I finally made some purchases! During my absence he has moved into a new much larger building and also hired an assistant who followed me around the store wanting to put everything that I ooohed and aaahed over on the counter until I suspect she was told to leave me be and let me look at everything. Fred understands how I operate now, lol. I finally made my way to the back room of the store where ‘the cheap stuff’ is located. Jadite, Fostoria, Carnival glass, pink Heisey, cobalt Moderntone and vintage Fiesta – realistically, although I love to look at the front room antiques, this vintage glass is why I’m here. I ask about a few prices and Fred offers me a special price on all of the Jadite if I buy it right now, I guess he does remember me, lol! I purchase the Jadite and a stick handle Fiesta creamer and make some notes about a few other items. Fred packs up my glass and carries it out to the car where my mom, who has had enough of antique stores and is reading one of the books she bought at GW, is waiting. He tells her what a good deal he is giving me and I promise to come back later for more things.

Back at Moms house, I go online to do some research and immediately realize that I should have snapped up the Delphite blue set. I also decide on a number of other items from Dietels. I return that same day and buy 12 Fostoria American dinner plates, 4 matching lunch plates, the cobalt Moderntone creamer and sugar set, some EAPG salts, a Hazel Atlas Ritz blue shaker and the pink Heisey bowl. Now that Fred is pretty happy with me, we chat a bit and he gives me some good business advice.

The next day, Wednesday, I return to Miami Twice for the Cherry Blossom set. I was even so cheeky as to ask if she could do any better on the price – well, you never know. Really though, I was thrilled to get it for the price she had told me the first day. A quick check of GW because I’m right there and you-never-know, but there’s nothing of any interest again.

Next up: Lookie what I found in the attic!


Treasure Hunting Begins!

We arrive late Sunday evening so bright and early the next morning I’m ready to go treasure hunting! Mom, apparently forgetting that I can spend literally hours looking through the tiniest antique store decides to ignore my warnings and come with me. Monday is not the best day to visit an antique store as many are closed and my favorite is no exception. I flag down a postal cart and asked if the store’s closed on Monday and find that it should be open by noon. Yay!
There’s a Goodwill Store nearby so I decide to see if the nationwide decline of Goodwill as a place to find vintage items has effected Miami. Sadly there is a plethora of items from Target, but nothing of any interest to a vintage collector. Mom finds a couple of Romance novels so it’s not a total waste of time. A quick stop at the walk up window for some Cafe Cubano - a tiny expresso with about a quarter cup of sugar - talk about your caffine and sugar rush!

Next stop is a store called ‘Miami Twice’. That's Mom in the front with the large purse. This shop is a combination of antique, vintage, Hot Topic and a hip teen & twenty-something resale store such as Rag-O-Rama here in Columbus. Lots of eye-candy but nothing priced for resale and the owners are not open to negotiation. I’m looking at the Fiesta where there is a stick handle creamer for $48 and kicking myself for not buying one I saw at a GW years ago, when I see a Jeannette Cherry Blossom Delphite Blue child’s set! I look at the first 3 or 4 pieces and I don’t see a price so I ask - $75, hmmm. I can’t remember if that’s a good price so I decided to check online first.

Coming up next - my fav antique store


A Treasure Hunters Vacation

Last week we put an out of town message on the shops and headed down to Florida to visit my mom and one of my favorite antique stores.

We drove down because the last time I was there I bought too many things to bring back on the plane so Mom had been storing them for me. Two items – a fabulous cobalt demitasse set and another cobalt set of 6 cups and saucers in Duncan’s Radiance pattern were even packed and ready to mail from Miami in case they sold before I could get them back to Ohio. I'm always optimistic about sales, lol.

I was going to be bringing back the Radiance set, as it still hadn’t sold. However the demitasse set had sold a few months earlier and I have to confess that the timing for this trip was totally determined by the last payment on the lay-away sale of that set. Not that I hadn't been planning to see my mom regardless – really!

And since I had my DH with me this was the perfect opportunity for us - and by ‘us’ of course I mean my DH – to get up in the attic where who-knew-what treasure was waiting!
I planned on scrounging around in dusty old antique stores and going through the old 'junk' dragged out of the attic for most of my time in Miami. Wow, what a great Florida vacation! No, really. I'm dead serious. I'll get to the beach but treasure hunting is the real fun!


A True WWII Love Story

The final chapter of my parents courtship can be found on my new blog "A Bride from Down Under" at http://abridefromdownunder.blogspot.com/

Thanks for following this story!