Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

6.19.2012

Treasure Trove

I heaved the old door open and stepped in, shaking the rain droplets from my hair, grateful for the shelter.  My eyes roved around the uninspiring, cold expanse of concrete-floored room, and came up with one common denominator: junk.  “But who knows,”  I thought.  “Perhaps a treasure is buried here somewhere.” 

I read the story of a life in the trinkets lined up on those tables.  Those teacups missing their partner saucers—did a three year old boy accidentally jostle the china cabinet?  Perhaps he was consoled by a heartbroken Mama with the words, “It’s alright, sweetie, Mama knows you didn’t do it on purpose.” 
 
That ghastly avocado green Kitchen Aid mixer—probably the pride of this woman’s life, perhaps a gift from a husband who knew just how much she wanted one and in exactly which trendy shade. 

There were sweet trinkets and odd ones, but my hands were still empty.  Unfinished crochet and a host of filled sewing bobbins filled a table.  The movies, they told a tale, and I found myself disappointed in a few of them.  “Did she really watch that?”  I wondered. 

My shoulders were inching towards a shrug of defeat—no treasures to be found—when I saw them. 


Books.

And these told a tale between the lines well worth telling. 

There was a vintage Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and a well-worn Green Eggs and Ham.  I would have loved coming to this Grandma’s house! 

A stack of beautiful hardbacks caught my eye.  The top one, Through the Gate, bore a faded but precious painting of a little girl and boy on the front.  I flipped through it, and my heart began to race as that old book smell wafted to my nose and the yellowed pages yielded up their whimsicality.


Hailing from 1937, with tales such as “Cinderella,” “The Nutcracker and Sugardolly Stories,” “The Selfish Giant,” and “Snow-White and Rose-Red,” I knew I had found my treasure.  The only difficulty: How to pick between that one and Through Fairy Halls, Halls of Fame,  From the Tower Window, and oh so many others in the same series, "My Book House"?



 Some were filled with innocent folk legends, others with ancient tales, and still others with selections from literature and childhood biographies of authors, all designed to entice the wee ones. 
My delight could not be contained.  I instantly noticed the striking resemblance to books I grew up with and that my father had grown up with, books that we somehow managed to get rid of in a fit of purging.  I began to pile my arms high.



And then I spotted another treasure.

My Book About God’s World, the front cover read, and the only text in this darling picture book is selections from the King James Bible.   
Well, almost.  Inside the cover, scripted in blue ink, was written, "Merry Christmas, Bridget.  1962."





The watercolor paintings are dear, and the words even more endearing.  I really didn’t have a choice—it was calling to come home with me, and I could already imagine reading it to my own children someday. 

And so I stacked my treasures in my arms and surveyed the room strewn with the collections of a lifetime.  Some of the possessions purveyed revealed the well-lived life of a busy, industrious woman.  Others revealed human foibles and sadness, but these well-loved books, they told a tale worth telling.  I made my move towards the cash register. 
   

“I’ll take these, please,” I said.  They will receive a place of honor on my bookshelf, and someday I hope they’ll tell the kind of tales I want told about me after I die. 




7 comments:

  1. I am so jealous!!! How beautiful and wonderful!!!

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  2. Sarah--They are so sweet! I'll have to show them to you. But you found a pretty nice treasure trove yourself at that antique store we went to together!

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  3. That certainly is quite the treasure! I love the watercolor paintings in the book about God's world. Isn't a strange feeling when we see what remains of someone's life in a house full of the things that they left behind?

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  4. Oh, how delicious! This post made me smile big, thanks for sharing, Lauren! I l.o.v.e old books too! =D
    So happy that the LORD led you to your little "treasure trove"! That last ones watercolors look preciously fabulous!
    <3 <3 <3

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  5. I love love love finding old books! Their covers feel so wonderful, and they seem as if they have more than one story inside of them.

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  6. Oh, those are such beautiful old books! One can never have too many.

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  7. Victoria--I love those dear watercolor paintings, too! Estate sales are a strange feeling, indeed, but at the same time I hope that the person who owned the books before would be excited to know they've gone to someone who will treasure them!
    Mallory--It really doesn't get much better than old books, does it?! God certainly blessed me--it was a spur-of-the-moment stop!
    Junaluska--More than one story inside them--I love how you put that, because it is so true!
    Tarissa--I'll second that! What are some of your favorite old ones?

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