I had a wonderful day yesterday. To be honest it actually began the day before. My daughters and I usually have tea on Friday afternoons, and we love it when others join us. But on this particular Friday everyone was busy except the oldest and myself. The two of us have spent quite a bit of time together of late helping my mother get through her recovery from surgery. My mother, at 91 years old, can often have her own ideas of how things should be.
On this particular Friday I thought it would be nice if I took the oldest to a tea shop where someone else would make it all, and serve us. On the way home we passed an antique store that we have passed many times over the years. The few times we have thought to stop, they were closed. But there was a big sign out front that said “OPEN”, so this time we did.
Both the oldest and I are very sensitive to the energy of a person, place, or thing. We love to go to antique stores because we find ourselves drawn to some beautiful things that have such wonderful energy. But on the flip-side of that, there are also things that are not so nice. It is hard to imagine what the life of the owner was like. This particular store had a very strange energy. It reminded me of the old story of the toys that nobody wanted. There were so many things that looked like they had been there for so very long, unwanted, unloved. It was a very sad place.
I found myself drawn to a display cabinet, and in it I saw some sugar tongs, quite tarnished. The tongs I currently use for tea are stainless steel ones we got for the oldest wedding. They are nice, but don’t really fit. I walked around the store a bit more, but found myself drawn back to the tongs. I read the tag, “Chinese silver sugar tongs $8.” The owner was sitting playing with her phone, so I went over to speak with her. She never took her eyes off her phone while answering my questions. She then begrudgingly got up and unlocked the cabinet. I almost didn’t take the tongs just because of her attitude, and the energy of the place. But after seeing how she was, I decided to give them a new home.
The oldest was drawn to some glass icicles. But as soon as she touched them, she turned away. I remembered I had some that my mother had given me years ago. They used to hang on our Christmas tree when I was a child. I told the oldest about them, and that I would look for them when I got home. Now we move on to the next day.
It was Saturday, and Hubby was getting ready to take a load of yard waste to the dump. The wild child stopped by, and mentioned she needed to go to the garden center. I told her about another antique store that had recently opened across the street, so we went together to check it out. We loved it, and purchased some lovely things. But the story continues when we got home.
I went to dig out the icicles as I thought there were three and I wanted to give one to the wild child as well. As I did I discovered a small box that I had forgotten about. A set of teaspoons my Aunt and Uncle had given my mother the Christmas I was born. Oddly enough, they seemed to have the same design as the sugar tongs. I cleaned the tongs with some silver polish to discover they were not Chinese, but made in Sheffield England with the apostle design. They were actually called apostle sugar nips, as the ends are spoon shape.
They aren’t necessarily worth a lot of money, and that wasn’t the point. The connection, the history, that is what brings it all together. Because then we have the story of the teaspoons I so lovingly brought back from my trip to England, it all ties together so beautifully.
While the youngest and I were in England one of the things I wanted to do was bring back some teaspoons. I had a few odd ones, but when I had people over for tea, I just didn’t have enough. We never really found what I wanted over the month we were there. But our last stop was to visit my cousins; the son and family of the Aunt and Uncle who gave the teaspoons to my mother. I was telling his wife of my hunt when their son arrived. After a few minutes he realized he had a whole box of teaspoons that his Gran (my Aunt) had from when she ran a pub. He ran home and brought back the box with dozens of teaspoons. So you see, eventually it does all tie together – with love.