We drove from Boston to Northern Vermont during another pleasant-but-off-puttingly mild New England winter weekend. A few towns over the border in southern New Hampshire, we stopped to allow the younger legs to stretch and burn off early morning energy. An "OPEN" flag outside of an antiques shop looked like a good spot. We explored the five floors of estate acquisitions the owner had accumulated over several years, getting a sense of his eye and imagining the early morning cold-barn and basement auctions the proprietor had regularly endured to make his inventory possible.
I climbed to the fifth floor and found thousands of little owls of all materials, shapes, sizes, and delicacy. Thousands. They were packed from gable to gable and began to creep me out in the cold attic.
I asked the owner and he told me that they were all from a single estate he purchased (!!!) Deeply freaky.
Mrs. called me downstairs to the main floor where she had found a punch bowl with a full set of beautiful glasses. Small-town New Hampshire prices offered it at $15. Sold. Beautifully cut glass and a full regiment of matching glasses. We had been passively looking for one since 2002, and we were both happy. Keep reading.
Back into the car and we arrived at noon for a stop over with my Grandparents for lunch. The epitome of Old World Yankees, our lunch concluded with a fresh apple pie with sharp cheddar slices for a topping. Children are allowed a la mode, but not the adults.
We leafed through an old photo album from her childhood camp days, when summer camps were populated by groups of boys or girls from the same area, town, street, etc. Mrs. Kitt knew all of the families in Fairfield and they entrusted their little girls to her each summer.
|Mrs. "Kitt" and the dog they all hated.
Before we left, Dearest Nanna told me that she had a small gift for us.
"I've had this punch bowl for decades" she said.
Mrs. and I glanced at each other.
"I just know it will have a good home with you in Boston" she continued, carrying it into the room in both arms.
Another punch bowl. We had been waiting ten years for the right one to come along, and now we had two... in the same day.
She ground it in further:
"It has about 30 glasses with it, all individual in design, but nearly identical in size. I spent about thirty years collecting them here and there."
Mrs. and I glanced at each other again.
"To my taste, matching glasses seem a little boring. Variety is always more interesting."
I inspected them casually. She was right.
Then we were on to northern Vermont with two punch bowls, two silver ladles, and about 40 glasses in the trunk. I would later lay on my pillow in our spacious-but-inexpensive Vermont suite and see those thousands of owls staring at me when I closed my eyes.
Important Author's Note. Please Read.