I went to an estate sale today (think mega yard sale). As I walked through the house looking at everything, I wondered what the story was, so I asked Penny, the girl running the sale. It was a familiar story: The man who lived there needed to go to an assisted living situation. "He took all he could, and this is what's left," I was told.
The more I walked through the house, the more I imagined his story. Many of the items were from other states and other countries. “They traveled quite a bit,” I thought. I noted the feminine touches throughout the bedrooms: porcelain dolls, ruffled curtains, flowered wall paper. I was sure that the man and his wife had lived in the house for most of their lives—they raised their children there, had family dinners, perhaps some arguments and of course some agreements. The grandchildren came over from time to time. As the years passed the wife eventually left the earth, and the man was left alone in the house. He loved his wife so much, and he found it too daunting to rid himself of her trinkets and decor.
My attention finally landed on the vintage jewelry. There were bracelets and pins, necklaces and some beautiful silver charms, most from other states and countries. They weren't attached to a charm bracelet or necklace, rather just lying about in a box. I collected as many as I could, and I took them to Penny. I also found a monkey puppet and a copper bracelet that needed a bit of repair. "How much?" I asked.
"How about $12 for all of it?" Penny replied.
"That works for me," I said, already deciding to put the charms on a single bracelet. I will wear it, and I'll think about the stories behind each of the little icons. I might even write a story that's inspired by those charms that were held for years in that box. They stayed there, silent, as life when on around them. Perhaps they were waiting for someone to come along and tell a story about them. Well, I can do that. And if the lady who collected these is watching from above, I want you to know that I will wear these charms knowing that you've added to my charmed life.