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Friday, August 22, 2014

Auction Stuff and Wisdom


I filled my Jeep yesterday with auction boxes like this one.
The auction was out of town on a little farm.
I overheard one of the family saying it was 90 years of a
life in that house and in those boxes.  It's always a little
sobering when you look around and see everything cleared
out and out for sale.  You can tell a lot about who used
to live there.  The lady of the house loved to collect pretty
dishes and tea pots.  They chose quality oak furniture
that stood the test of time and children for decades.
They didn't get rid of things just to buy the newest fad.





At the bottom of one of the boxes was a bunch of candles.
 Some were melted.
I immediately thought of Erma Bombeck's wisdom
she shared when she found out she was dying from cancer.

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER ~

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth
would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted
in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was
stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried
must less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the
fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about
his youth. 

I would have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day
because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and
more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical,
wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished
every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."  There would have been more "I love you's"  More "I'm sorry's.".

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it...live it...and never give it back.  Stop sweating the
small stuff.

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, who's doing
what.

Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do 
love us

Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with.  And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally.

~~~~~

One thing I realized about the lady of the house at the auction~
she didn't just collect teapots.  She used them!
There were tea rings and tea leaves in all of them!
That made me smile.  They didn't just sit lonely on shelves 
looking pretty.  They weren't too good to use and they
weren't saved for a rainy day.
 I imagine her serving tea and chatting with
friends around her kitchen table.  
Lovely.

75 comments:

  1. One of Erma's comments reminded me of my mother who would never allow a fire in the fireplaces of any homes we lived in, because she didn't want them dirtied with the smoke soot. Good for that lady using her teapots. She knew she couldn't take them with her. Lynne in NC

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    1. We rarely had a fire, too, growing up...for that very reason. And we were never allowed to sit on the living room furniture, much less eat in that room. Car windows up...house windows never open. So much of this reminded me of growing up...lol... Yes, I loved that she used her teapots and I imagine her friends missing her. Wonderful. :)

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    2. We weren't allowed to have pets either...they were dirty! I guess I'm making up for that now, don't you think? haha.

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    3. My mother quit her job as soon as she married. That's how it was in the '40's. After that, her "job" was literally cleaning the house like a maniac. That seemed so sad to me after she died. What did she have to show for all that effort? She would be appalled if she could see the amount of dust in my home right now. Like you, I had almost no pets growing up. Dogs, especially, were off limits because they stunk. Lynne

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    4. Maybe your mother and my mother were sisters. haha. I'm always saying my mother would be appalled...at a lot of things.

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  2. What nice thoughts to have about this woman's belongings. I've always loved that Erma Bombeck poem -- it is so true, Betsy!

    This reminded me of when my husband and I had to go through my Mother's house after she passed, to prepare it for sale. She lived there for over 62 years -- from the early 50's-- and she was a "saver" She grew up the last of 6 children during the depression in PA. Her Dad was killed in the mines when she was only three months old. My mother found it hard to part with things as she said they were hard to come by, so her entire life was in her home and it was very hard for me to sort it out and decide what to do with much of it. I took a few pieces as remembrance, but because I was going to move cross country soon I could not take more and my siblings did not want much of anything. Fortunately I found a couple charities that took the rest! I was happy other families would continue to use the things that made my Mom happy.

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    1. I have found that the real 'savers' were those that grew up during The Depression. It was instilled in them not to throw out or waste anything!

      I love her poem, too....one of my favorites....I really need to read it more often!

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  3. I don't use everything every day, but I do use good stuff, the wineglasses, the good china we use every day because it is the only china that we have, I put things in the dishwasher, they might not last, but I use them, I wear my jewellery and burn my candles! Otherwise what are you saving things for. It is good that these teapots were used and loved, but a shame about the candles. Perhaps you can melt the back straight again! xx

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    1. I use all of my stuff, too. You can't save things....use them and have the memory of using and enjoying...I've always thought that. I totally agree! Not saving the candles, though...haha...

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  4. How utterly moving, Erma Bombeck's wisdom. All so true and what a tragedy people do not live by this code.
    Interesting to see the teapots were in use and the lady did not just store them. Beautiful post, Betsy. . . :)

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    1. I can get thoughtful sometimes. ha. :)

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    2. Oh yes I know . . . . and philosophical . . . . :)

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    3. And wise beyond my years! lol.

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    4. Oh! . . .listen to her!! . . . in other words a smart er _ _ _ ! . . . . lol

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    5. Self praise is no recommendation. ha.

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    6. It's impossible to get a big head with you two around to knock me down to size. :)

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    7. Time marches on, so I'm going to my room to clean the chocolate off the door handle.

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    8. hahaha! What would you do without us Betsy?
      Do you think all Brits are like us? . . . . . lol

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    9. And here I thought you two were nice chaps. This is just not cricket, you sorry sods. lol...

      How was that? Sound British? I'm sure the accent is all wrong. ha.

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    10. Oh Jolly Hockey Sticks - we love you really . . . . . sorry sods!! . . . .normally silly sods!! lol

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  5. I use all lol.only I have some things I use in Christmas:)
    But I love use the china, the glasses, some teapots, but I would to use more all:)
    Love the poem Betsy, just lovely and the post too:)

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    Replies
    1. yes, and burn your candles because they will fade and melt! haha.

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  6. I think she would have smiled just knowing you noticed all these things about her. :)

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  7. I enjoyed this post, Betsy. Nice that the lady used her tea pots. Good advice for all of us to live each day to its fullest and not worry about the small stuff.

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  8. This was such a bittersweet reminder . I remember reading this before and thinking how wise Erma was to write this down. I, too, use my best dishes, towels, etc. I am sure part of the reason is from remembering this essay. I certainly don't live in the moment or enjoy and appreciate life as much as I mean to. This came at a good time for me to remember to embrace life and not always be so perfectionistic. Thanks for the post and showing some of your new treasures.

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    1. I think it's a good reminder to all of us. Gravitate to those you really love you and accept you exactly how you are. Don't worry about trying to please others. Enjoy every day. :)

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  9. What a beautiful blog post! Love those words and the finds.

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    1. The finds were amazing...small crowd and they must not have liked the things I liked. haha.
      Erma was a funny, wise woman....I love her stuff.

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  10. Not buying the newest fad
    Is sure a way to be at ones pad
    I'll let things stay as along as they may
    Except when they break, then they go in the garbage bay

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    1. Yep, that's where the candles went.
      Into the trash since they are bent.

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  11. I love it when you add stories to your finds. It gets me day-dreaming about so many things.
    I have a sentimental heart and love it when someone, like you, appreciates, well loved things.

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  12. Erma Bombeck was pretty wise! I think we learn a lot as parents that we apply as grandparents. I don't worry at all about fingerprints, smears on windows and toys all over my house when my granddaughter is here, Just wait till it happens to you!

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    1. So true....having 4 kids, 2 years old and under, cured me of that real quick. haha.

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  13. It's been quite a while since I read Erma's thoughts....in fact I'm now of an age to really be like the antiques in the box.
    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the here and now and not think so much about the maybe's in the future.
    I had to laugh at the section of Ermas' that says to invite people even if there is stains on the carpet...Ouch!!
    I have put off some company because I haven't got some bad marks and very visible out of the carpet yet...Gulp...wrong point of view...I'm working on it, really I am. (:0)

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    1. I think we all kind of do that. Nobody's house is perfect....not even the person you invite over. haha.

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  14. This is such a poignant post. It is sad and happy at the same time.
    A house that is fully lived in is a home. We always let everyone eat in the living room or even in bed. Messes can always be cleaned up. Life is messy but that makes it more fun : )

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    1. I totally agree with that. We live in all the rooms of our house, too!

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  15. We have a stack of boxes in the garage over at Mom's house. There isn't a lot to go through and I both look forward to and dread the job all at the same time. *sigh* Just when I think I can be persuaded to let it all go (the house itself, I mean), someone comes along to tell me he hasn't been consulted, that he has invested time and effort over there, and that he is hurt by my decision. I swear that house will be the death of me!

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    1. I guess that's where you apply the 'don't listen to who doesn't like what you're doing' and follow your heart and do what you need to do. You can't please everyone....and you shouldn't try to.

      I'm looking forward to hearing what's in the boxes. :)

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    2. What happens when that someone is your husband?

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    3. Ack! I thought it was your son. lol!!! Hmmm.......have him read this list and chill out. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter. And surely he doesn't want to take over and do it all, right? I feel for you there.... I'd say just be flexible and get the thing done as quickly as possible. I'm sure it feels like it's hanging over your head.

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    4. I feel a little like the first wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz. The house landed on top of her, right?
      Well, I've told my sisters we need to meet up for lunch. Maybe they will have some words of wisdom for me.
      We packed those boxes three years ago and I can't even remember what's inside. Garage sale kid of stuff, I think.
      If I had life to do over again... Nah, probably better not go there. Better to be thankful for what the Lord has blessed me with.

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  16. When we moved my mother in law into assisted living, she had a lot of unused candles too. Life is short, maybe we should burn them at both ends. Very nice post.

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    1. Yes, I think that's a great idea...eat PB&J by candle light, too....and breakfast...because the candles just collect dust and look kind of sad left in a drawer for a special occasion. And use your teapots....I'm really guilty of not doing this. I think I should start!

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  17. I loved Erma's humour... and her truth. These are such good things of which to be reminded. I sometimes tend to sweat the small stuff... even though I know it's pointless. As I get older I am trying not to. And I am sometimes successful! :-) I see some lovely treasures in those boxes. I am thinking your shop might get an infusion!

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    1. She really was one of a kind! And yes, I think some of that wisdom comes with age, but still, it's putting into practice what we know to be true...that's the hard part.

      Would you believe that box was left for the trash? Many more like that, too. Yes, lots of things to go in the shop. I spent yesterday washing 90 years of grime off of things. It was a weird auction in that the crowd was very small and they weren't bidding! Good for me and my coworkers, who had a ball, but strange that there wasn't any competition. Some auctions I can't afford a thing with the bigwigs there bidding things up. lol....

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  18. Very wise thoughts from Erma, indeed. Ya got me thinking on a Friday morning...

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  19. I love Erma Bombeck's writings..and her humour. Trash to treasures..who could throw that away??

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    1. That's what I kept thinking, as I 'rescued' things!

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  20. Hi Betsy - Erma Bombeck's words ring so true ... and I need to adjust! Wonderful to know that the lady of the house used all her teapots .. I bet she had lots of conversations about life and the goings on in the world ...

    Clutter - who needs it unless we use it regularly ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Using your teapots probably isn't that uncommon there in England, but here, I think people tend to collect them for their beauty and let them collect dust on a shelf. It was a surprised when I got them home and started cleaning them up!

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  21. I"m so grateful you shared this. I am really moved by it and affirmed in the way I try to live my life. Thank you!

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    1. I try to live that way, too....but there's always room for some improvement and reminders!

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  22. I can imagine she'd be glad you found them. It is easy to get our priorities wrong, good to be reminded.

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    1. yes, always good to have a check-up! :)

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  23. "I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day".
    Just remember that the cemeteries are full of indispensable people.

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    1. I think that is the one I'm most guilty of! You're being my shrink again, aren't you! ha.

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    2. Betsy, you need to relax more. Just set aside about half an hour every day, sit down, close your eyes and delete all the worries of the day, open a new folder (in your head) and just think about yourself and all the nice things that have happened during the day. Do this at a set time every day without fail. Give strict orders to everyone not to approach you or disturb you during your "ME-TIME". It does work, it's as refreshing as a few hours dreamless sleep.

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    3. During that half hour, YOU are the most important person in the world. Tell yourself that. Then when you come back to relativity afterwards carry on giving your time to the family, because they are important too.

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    4. sorry, typo. "reality" not relativity.

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    5. I'm the most important person in the world? For 30 minutes each day? Hmm....you're going to have to do more brainwashing on me than that....haha...that is not my normal line of thinking......

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    6. What I just described to you was a form of Yoga. If you can't make the effort, then there's no hope for you ! You're doomed!

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    7. I didn't say I would make the effort, but it's not natural for me to take a 30 minute break, much less tell myself to that long how important I am!

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  24. I use most of our "good" stuff all the time because it's pretty and what's the point in keeping it in the drawer or cupboard?
    And I remember years ago how angry my mother got when she read an article about Paul McCartney in some newspaper. I guess the article was trying to show that he wasn't all stuck up and posh just because he'd become a multi-millionaire. Apparently he refused to eat in people's dining rooms (too smart for him) and insisted on eating in the kitchen. And he wouldn't use silver knives and forks (again too posh) but would insist on stainless steel. Well, at the time we lived in a house with a dining room but a minuscule kitchen there was no room to eat in, and we had silver cutlery inherited from great-granny but could no way afford new stainless steel. My mother said he was welcome to stand in the kitchen and eat with his fingers if he wanted, but anyone else coming to eat had to make do with the dining room and the best (only) silver.
    And the moral of that story is, I suppose, use what you like where you like. Don't let silly anti-snobbery get to you. And don't leave your nice things to languish unused just because they're "good".

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    1. What a story....I love it! And I completely agree with you!

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  25. I have MISSED the auction scene the last month! BACK in September! LOVELY boxes of goodies.

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