An old friend died recently. I went to her Estate Sale yesterday. It made me sad. Heaps of stuff. The bits and pieces of a life - metal, wood, plastic, paper, electronics, 1960's telephones, cassettes, records, 45's, 78's, awards, citations, tiny size 5 red leather sandals with 3" heels, knee-high leather riding boots, a huge oak roll top desk.
Cookbooks, mysteries, equestrian magazines, how to heal your heart disease - your krohns disease, your hearing . . . lead crystal candlesticks, relish dishes, sterling trays and platters, handcrafted bowls, leather topped card table, inlaid sewing table, ramekins, toasters, and boxes of rusty, greasy mystery tools. Stacks of christmas cards, birthday cards with lovely greetings, hankies, doilies, afghans, chairs, beds, stools, endless hats, boots, windbreakers and evening gowns . . .
THE STUFF OF A LIFETIME -
I bought her apricot velvet chair yesterday - for sentimental reasons. It was the chair I sat on while listening to her vivid stories of training and riding horses on her California ranch.
Is her STUFF all her life amounted to? I kept looking for clues . . .
WHO WAS THIS WOMAN?
I first saw her a decade ago planting flowers in her front yard. She was tiny, less than 5' tall, with a merry little face, bright blue eyes, short curly auburn hair, two bright apple cheeks and a crispy authoritative manner of speaking.
I knew right away that she was someone to be reckoned with - She did not suffer fools gladly - not workmen, not politicians, not even friends if they disagreed with her.
She was 87 when she died this spring. Survivor of two marriages, a debilitating disease, and a domineering mother who lived to be 105. She was wealthy in her old age but frugal. She kept everything - perhaps remembering harsher economic times.
In her youth she won dozens of awards for championship horse jumping . . . her home was full of engraved sterling silver bowls, trays, sculptures, cups, and trophies for championship jumps. She was fearless and tough.
You can see her wild spirit in this photograph.
She traveled around the world and saved little pins from here and there on an orange wooly hat.
I bought that old hat yesterday, too - for a dime!
She loved stamp collecting and was always delighted when I brought her old WWII or foreign stamps.
I didn't know her when she played poker, but I'll bet she was very tricky and tough.
All I know is that you can't tell who she was by her piles of STUFF.
SHE WAS MUCH MORE THAN THAT!
I'm glad I knew her.