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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Temporary

Attending the Home and Garden Show at the Tacoma Dome last weekend, I was especially drawn to the excellent Vintage market.  So many things that I remember using - the same kind of electric typewriter (really uptown for sure) that a college housemate let me use to type papers, a set of mugs identical to one I once received in new condition as a gift, etc.  Sometimes when looking at antiques and vintage items, the fact that they have a story and past makes me smile and other times, the realization that everything we own will someday be either garbage or floating around in places like this makes me a little sad.

 A dear departed friend once said as part of a memorable sermon that everything we love, a house, a person, possessions, even life itself, will eventually be taken from us.   These items are reminders both of simpler and in some ways happier times and of the temporal nature of life.  Like a beautiful piece of music, a life vibrates in time/dances upon a stage for a moment and is gone.

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
Any fool can do it, there ain't nothing to it.
Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill.
But since we're on our way down, we might as well enjoy the ride.

 - James Taylor   "Secret O' Life"

"Temporary" by John Bucchino

Honey come here I have something to tell you
It won't make things perfect 
And it may not make sense 
But someday you'll see it as clear as my smile
 Do you know the word temporary ?
 It means only for a little while.      
And everything is temporary
A friend moves, a tooth aches
A pet dies, a toy breaks 
The detours a life takes
Temporary
Everything is temporary
A storm clears, a tear dries
A wing heals, a bird flies
The trust lighting your eyes
Temporary 
I know you want things to stay the same 
I know it's hard to watch a childhood
Going up in smoke
It's hard for me to watch a child 
Who's growing up
And choke back all the warnings
I could scream
To protect you from the things
That aren't as solid as they seem
But then, I'm only temporary 
Everything is temporary 
A child leaves, a heart breaks
A love dies, a world shakes 
The difference one life makes
Temporary 

The trick is:
Hold it now as tightly as you can
Whether it's your favorite toy
Or a sad little boy who's trying hard
To be a brave little man 
Hold it tighter 'cause you know 
You'll have to let it go 

If you learn this, though
You won't feel so sad: 
A playmete, a tearstain 
A Christmas, a dad 
The best times 
The worst pain 
All temporary


Looking at all of this stuff is like going through someone else's attic except that everything isn't wrapped in newspaper, stuffed away in boxes, covered with dust.  How fun is that?
 Although I admire the weathered boards and peeling paint look of shabby chic, I can't pull it off very well.  Probably because there's too much dark wood in our house or something.

This lady was a serious temptation and would have made an interesting addition to the greenhouse but she stayed.

She's obviously learned to enjoy the moment.  As a page of the Ziggy calendar in my college dorm room read, "We should enjoy here because there's no here there."
 The bank in my hometown had a scale like this on display that had been used there to weigh gold.
Aren't we an interesting species?  Some shiny rocks have value and are used as currency...hmmm.

Speaking of the temporary nature of things, did you know that the timbers used to frame the roof of the dome were harvested from trees blown down as a result of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens? At the time of construction, the Tacoma Dome was the world's  largest wooden dome and the aluminum super grid is still one of the world's largest.
May you  enjoy each moment of our temporary time in this life as fully as possible!  Happy weekend and happy gardening (and junking) all!

29 comments:

  1. Your Home and Garden shows have much more character than ours does. Ours seems to be primarily focused on "new" -- nothing like this. Of course we have oodles of "antique malls" around so maybe there's no point?

    Love the Ziggy quote!

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    1. The shows are mostly focused on "new" but have been including the vintage markets for a while now. Celebrating different parts of the circle of life?

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  2. Love your shots of the Vintage market, always my favorite part of the Tacoma Show. I would have been very tempted by that laughing lady with the red lips.

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    1. There was also screaming red hair under that hat.

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  3. This is good, Peter, I'll read it a few more times. It speaks the truth. There are some things we (I) just have to give up like that 1930s green gas stove with the curvy legs and, even trying to grow some Bay Area plants in the LA Basin.

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    1. Oh no, Jane, a 1930's green gas stove with curvy legs sounds dreamy. As long as you enjoy it, you should keep it! As for growing plants that aren't suited to our climates, that's just part of the fun and challenge of gardening.

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  4. You know? I like the molded plywood lounge chair and the rustic bench in the next photo. I wonder if that vendor will be at the NWFGS? That could be reason for me to visit...

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    1. I know that at least some of these vendors do both shows. Best time to avoid crowds is early in the morning during the week except Wednesday.

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  5. I'm in love with that bird figurine in your first photo. Rather than temporary, I like to think of things as recycled for new and different purposes. Even memories of people loved and lost have value in the present.

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    1. I like the way you think! These are the things of which fond memories are made.

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  6. What a fun post a mix of philosophy and fun vintage objects. It made for a wonderful read. My favorite tag line is "Life's a trip, travel light!"

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    1. It's a good tag line but I love having junque around that remind me of the past. My heart warms a bit each time I pass dish, touched by generations of my family, to a young one who will only know these people through faded pictures and family lore. Perhaps another generation will cherish these things because of their own memories of them being used each year.

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  7. We bought our tickets to the NWFG Show today. i imagine we'll see much the same display there. Love this post!

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  8. Nostalgia becomes you, my friend.

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    1. Oh, this old thing? I just threw it on.

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  9. Winter relection--grey days? I want that lady with the happy face. How could you leave that behind?

    I have those baby shoes--one of the things my Mom kept. Now I have the shoes, but no Mom. Time does the strangest things.

    I hope your weekend is a lovely one.

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    1. reflection, not relection. No one needs lecting more than once.

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    2. The gray winter days spent too much inside invite reflection. A bit of time outside, some more regular moving of the body will help clear away these cobwebs as the days grow longer and warmer. Do you remember when they used to bronze these first walking shoes? Time does do strange things for sure!

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  10. Reading you words I couldn't help but hear something Andrew has said, more than once. "These are the good times, right now, we are blessed." Meaning that with the exception of his stepdad we still have our parents alive and in health, our siblings, and our dog. Our health, each other, a house, a good income. I don't know if I should be happy, or afraid.

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    1. Beautiful thought and a golden time of life! I vote for happy. Fear only drains energy and joy from the moment.

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  11. I see too many things in your photos that I have the same or similar like rusty vintage metal furniture, milk glass hanging lamp, wheelbarrow, Italian glass grapes. Mine do not have the surroundings nor do I have the flair to make them chic; they're just clutter.

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    1. I bet those glass grapes would catch light beautifully in your greenhouse! We should start a new movement - Clutter Chic: Life in a three dimensional collage.

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  12. A thought-provoking post, Peter. To me, seeing all those old things makes an excellent argument for recycling, re-using, and owning less. I used to be a pack rat, but several years of frequent moves have led me to trim down my possessions. Still, that sale would have tempted me to at least pick through and look at things.

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    1. When I was younger, I moved more but always had stuff at my parents' place. In the last 30 years, we've moved into progressively larger homes and all a short drive so it was easy to keep everything.

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  13. Very nostalgic and contemplative post. I like repurposing, giving old stuff a new life, if possible. My eye caught a glimpse of a suitcase under the rustic chair in the first picture. I packed many suitcases and wondered of the miles this one covered and the stories it could tell.

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    1. I also like repurposing old stuff and thinking about the former lives of older things.

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  14. Looks like a fun place! I could have wandered in there for quite a while. I like taking older things and doing something cool with them. :o)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.