Updated: Aug 20, 2019
I recently came across a post from one of my friends on Facebook about an old glider that had been taken from their grandparents' porch. The plea was to get the word out that it was taken and hopefully the person responsible would return it, no questions asked. The glider originally belonged to their grandmother's mother. Their grandmother grew up with it. The story apparently struck a chord with a lot of their Facebook friends and the word was spread, not only throughout their local town, but to surrounding areas as well, even making the local news. Days later the glider was returned (after being painted) and the word spread again with cheers of joy. A local shop owner who didn't know the owners offered to restore it for them free of charge (go small business!) and the glider would soon return to its rightful place on Grandma and Grandpa's front porch.
Video of the local news story.
It was amazing how many people reacted to this story and set out to do what they could to get this old glider back home. I mean, it is just an old inanimate piece of metal to sit on, right?
These pieces may start out to be an inanimate piece of furniture but they begin to grow stories and connections to the people that own them. Each one of these old pieces have "seen" families grow and times change. The old adage "if these walls could talk" apply to these pieces as well. Except a lot of these pieces have moved with families and their experiences are even deeper. The piece itself may not be able to tell the stories but the people that they have connected with can.
This glider has been through generations. Children and grandchildren identify this piece with their grandparents and it triggers memories and stories that may have otherwise been forgotten. I bet when the grandkids sit in this glider the memories can be so strong that they feel they are back in time when they were young and sitting with grandma on the porch. And grandma gets the same memories.
This glider represents what we love about vintage. Even if you don't have a piece that you can connect to directly, other pieces you come across may still spark a memory or trigger an emotion. I don't know how many times I have heard people say "oh my grandpa used to have one of these" or " my great aunt would have loved this!" The pieces remind us of our loved ones' character and preferences and personality and why we loved them. And we see parts of them in us. A piece that may have no connection to you personally still shows our history and how we used to build things and what the economy, building materials, trends, etc. were like in the years that the piece was made.
These pieces are invaluable. And I'm not talking about the value that the antique appraiser would give you. Although we love those perfect pieces too, the greatest value to me is in the pieces that show the scars of their past, the imperfections and what might have caused them. That liquid stain on the top of a dresser? Someone can still almost smell that perfume that was spilled many years ago. That old rusty nail and wire that was holding a chair together? That shows that grandpa fixed things instead of throwing them out. That chair is still holding up! The broken drawer? Kids playing. The scratch in the side? Moving to its new home as it was passed down from mother to daughter for her wedding. The stories are endless.
This is why we love vintage. The stories. The emotions and memories. The connection to an earlier place and time and people. They are reminders of where we came from. Not just personally, but historically.
They show us that no matter how different times may be now, the human character doesn't change much. We still wear perfume, we still fix things the best we know how, our kids are still breaking things, and the simple things still matter.
Take a walk through an antique store, head to a flea market, go through your grandmother's attic. Walk through history. Love vintage.
As always, thanks to everyone who can get through my blog posts :) Be sure to stop by and see us on Facebook! :)
Front Porch Fix-Ups