One of the things my mom loved to do when I was a kid was scour garage sales and antique shops, so we spent many a weekend driving around the Wisconsin countryside in search of...well, I don't really know what she was looking for, actually. We always seemed to come back with an old wooden chair for her to refinish, though. As a child Modernist, I could not at all see the appeal of dusty old junk -- rusty farm implements, listing kitchen tables, photographs of grim-faced, grimly-dressed Victorians. I liked brightly-colored inflatable bubble sofas, Mondrian-print paper dresses, and Pop Art. Which are now all...antiques. It happens.

These days, when I happen across an interesting-looking vintage/antique store, I have a whole different feeling, precisely because of the time that has passed since those station-wagon forays. Now I see not so much piles of junk as little bits of lives, memories of my grandparents, my parents, and me. I smile as I walk around and poke into boxes of stuff, thumb through old schoolbooks, every so often going, "Hey! We had that!" It's fun, and also a little bittersweet. All these things that once lived in someone's think about all the stuff that makes up a life, and how fast it all goes.

Last Saturday, I found myself in Bothell, which is an Eastside suburb of Seattle which also houses a campus of the University of Washington. We decided to visit the Country Village Shops, taking along MissEight and Mr13, get some lunch, and see what there was to see. It was rather pleasant and a nice surprise -- very low-key, pretty, with some interesting shops, and wandering birds. It had lots of stuff for little kids to do, so it gets my recommendation for families.

But where did I spend the bulk of my time there? You got it: the Town Hall Antiques Mall. It was really clean and nicely set up, with rather an artistic flair used in the displays. There was SO much to look at! I stayed there until my spawn dragged me out. Ah, the Circle of Life! I took a few pictures of some of the things that caught my eye.

I didn't really catch my own eye, but I liked how my colors matched my surroundings there.

Aha! Childhood stuff alert! My first instinct was to buy this, but my hard-won reason told me, "Settle down, Francie, you've got nowhere to put more nostalgia anyway." And that Barbie case would NEVER be from 1958; 1968 is it. Huh!

Someday, I'd like to buy old photos of bothered-looking strangers and have those be the only photos on display at my home. I could make up long-winded stories about them to visitors, which no one would question because I'd be old and crazy anyway. I can't wait.

These are a set of commemorative glasses from, I think, the '62 Seattle World's Fair. Way way way way cool, and probably worth the $125 price tag. They were in perfect condition.

Disturbing ceramic items.

Ooh!! Old cameras!!

Disturbing non-ceramic items. Or, "nun-ceramic" items. Sorry.

Aw! I had this Gramma Bunny! There was a Grandpa Bunny, too, as I recall. I guess he died.


Drinking Bears, Drunk cups, and Child Fairies oh my!

Ah, I had such a good time. I ended up buying a couple of '40s-era schoolbooks, which will in some humorous mutated form make it onto this blog in the future. Little did some kid know -- her reading primer would someday be some grown-up's digitized sarcasm well. HA HA, Laura Egan of Colton Public School, HA HA!