My Childhood Can Now Be Found in an Antique Store

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So to start with, yes, you read that right.  This year on our trip to Texas, I realized that all the items I see in antique stores, are the items I remember in grandma and grandpa’s house, or even in ours, while growing up.  That was a pretty bitter pill to swallow.  Because I am, after all, only twenty-something.  Or was it thirty-something?  I can’t remember.
Anyhoo, I have also been meaning to share my blogging process.  It’s a long and lengthy one, but I’ll condense it here for your attention span’s sake…. I sit down and write.  I can truthfully tell you that most days I have absolutely no idea what I am going to blog about.  I guess that’s where the looking at life through my eyes comes in to play.  I mean I know there are certain things I want to blog about – traveling, coping with life’s changes, how I see life, etc.  But to actually sit down and have a plan?  Yeah, so not me.  As in real life, I jump in with both feet, not really thinking first about what may happen until it’s too late, and come here to share what’s rumbling around in this cavern I call a brain.  Some days I probably make more sense than others.  But it’s always honest and it’s always me – for better or worse!
So this week I am continuing to introduce you to the lovely little town of Smithville, Texas.  Smithville’s Chamber of Commerce website proudly describes their city as “full of history”, “eclectic”, “charming”, and centrally located between the three metropolises of Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.  I wholeheartedly agree with the eclectic, charming, and historical aspect.  From the moment we exited the car, I was in love.  I do not know what draws me in more – the wide main street, the brick buildings, the gazebo that sits at the end of Main Street or what – but there was just something that made me feel as if I were home.  It also made me want to come back – or even stay there to explore even more.
Before heading there, our host had proclaimed that there was not much in Smithville, however, I am not so sure that is accurate.  When you look at the business listing on the Chamber’s website, there is definitely a wide variety.  Downtown was fitting to their city description; from the General Store, to Honey’s Cafe, to the Olde World Bakery, the Theater, the City Park, to the Antique Stores and so much more – it was a beautiful collection of charm and simplicity.
Our first stop was meandering through several antique stores.  Oh the history within those stores.  Did you know that prostitutes use to have to pay for a license?  And that there was one who was named “Tea Cup Sally” whose bosom was so great that they took her photo with two tea cups – one on each bosom?  I mean seriously – the things you learn!
I’ve come to love shopping in antique stores – mainly because of the displays.  It is like walking in to someone’s home, and admiring all their valued items.  The care and precision that goes in to designing the displays in the Smithville antique stores was fantastic – incredible even one might say.  One store used to be an old lawyer’s office with a huge wooden staircase in the middle of the building.  The woodwork and attention to detail in how the wood was laid, was out of this world – and definitely not something you see as much these days.
Wandering through one store, I stumbled across a bookcase, with books haphazardly stacked, strewn, grouped, and organized – because of course the shelf I was looking at was all cookbooks and y’all know me and how I feel about food!  Well maybe you don’t, but that again is another post – no time to divulge just how much I love food in this post.  And yet again I digress!
This display of cookbooks all jumbled about on the bookshelf, was a little to close to home for comfort.  For some reason it reminded me of life where some days, there is no rhyme or reason, it’s all kiddy-whampus, and I have no idea what might drop when I take my next step.  Luckily, just around the corner are jars filled with marbles, all lined up in even, straight, level rows and I realized just like that, the rhyme and reason returns.
Hubby and I could have spent much more time wandering through those stores than we did.   It was without a doubt, the perfect way to start our tour of this quaint and charming town.
But wait!  Our tour wasn’t finished!  Check back next week when I introduce you to The Olde World Bakery.  I wanted to move in there – and if I had agreed to wash dishes they would have let me!
Until next time … capture life kreatively!
P.S.  Be sure to enter your email address so you can be in the know when new blog posts are published.  Your privacy is very important to me, and emails are never sold or given to anyone else.
P.P.S.  Have you ever gone on vacation and just fell in love the moment you arrived?  Tell me about it!  Where was it?  What made you fall in love?  Leave me a comment for who knows – it just might be my next vacation spot.
Smithville Chamber of Commerce – visit here

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Hope Does Float

Life has been chaotic and stressful around our house the last week or so.  As my husband is self-employed, transitioning from the winter, when work is not quite as abundant, to spring, when everybody wants to start their home improvement projects, can be exhausting (very similar to the weather in Minnesota – you know… if you don’t like the weather, or you don’t think you’ll be busy, wait five minutes and it’ll change).

Add on to that somebody drove over our small trailer (yes, you read that right), and the riding lawn mower decided now that we need to use it, it’s not going to work.  Of course, it could have conked out prior to us wanting to use it – how we would know?  And, I’ve been sick – spring and fall allergies always take me down; but add in allergies bringing on a cold and I’m out for the count.  Much to hubby’s dismay.

It is so easy when all of this starts happening to rush into a tizzy, and pretty much chase your tail, because as soon as you start one thing, seven other things blow up in your face.  Which when you think about it, life pretty much resembles the game of bowling.  Well, okay, with several modifications.

In life, we get up every morning which is rolling the ball down the lane.  If we’re lucky, we will get a gutter ball – the same-o, status quo, the usual, the ordinary, every day existence.  If we’re not so lucky, we strike a pin.

On the other hand, we can strike a pin.  We may only knock one pin down, or that one pin knocks in to another pin, knocking into another pin, and so on and so on and so on – until it feels as if the whole world is crushing in on us.

Now, I can actually hear some of you tapping your feet and drumming your fingers on the table in an effort to aid me in getting to my point faster, but if you ask anybody, that’s not how a conversation with me works.  But for the sake of your sanity, and keeping you interested, I’ll see what I can do here.

In those moments, when I’m knocking down all the pins, and I start doing my little crazy dance, which is never the same dance twice I might add, it helps me to stop.  For example, the other day we were late getting back from a trip to see our daughter, and I was rushing to get to work …. annnnndddd I got pulled over.  Not something that happens very often to me.

That whole incident is another story in of itself, but while I was sitting there with my window down waiting for the Trooper to come back to my car, I saw a hawk flying above me.  Then I noticed the chorus of the frogs in the swamp across the road.  And the sun became brighter, and I realized what a gorgeous day it was and by the time the Trooper came back, I actually thanked her for stopping me.  See now, that pause, that regrouping, is that moment in the game of bowling where you stare down the lane, just prior to taking your two and a half steps and letting go of the ball.

In order to be prepared for that next knock-down, or three-seven split, or strike; I need to pause and take a deep breath.  I am a firm believer, if I don’t take that pause, it will take longer to overcome those knock-downs because all I am doing is focusing on what is happening and not on what I can control.  It’s taken me some time, but I’ve realized I can’t stress about what has happened.  All I can do is figure out how I am going to recover.

Downtown Smithville, Texas

In the movie, ‘Hope Floats’, Birdie Pruitt (played by Sandra Bullock) quotes her mother as saying, “Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”

Downtown Smithville, Texas

Stress, bowling, getting pulled over, and childhood – I know if you just scanned this you may not be able to see how this is pulled together; but replace the word childhood with stress or cancer or unemployment or whatever you may be going through.  For many people their lives are spent scurrying about trying to overcome, or recover from those obstacles, when maybe, perhaps, the first step should be stopping.  Just like we do when we wait for the ball to come back to us via the automatic ball returner thing-a-ma-bob; we should stop and give that peace and hope a chance to float up.  I know it works for me.

Until next time…. capture life kreatively!


The home where the movie was filmed as it is today.

P.S. Be sure to sign up for email notifications regarding new blog posts.  Next week I am going to start sharing more about the little town where ‘Hope Floats’ was filmed.  I fell in love with it!

P.P.S. Stress makes us do some pretty strange things.  What’s the strangest thing you’ve done while stressed out?  (Like thanking an officer for a ticket? LOL) Leave a comment and let me know!