I thought I’d show you some of the things around my house that have value to me. Most do not have great monetary value, but do have sentimental value, or I just have an affinity for these particular objects because they speak to me in some way. Each of them has a story.
1. The Impractical Purse.
A tiny green sequined purse I found at a garage sale. I never used this purse (it’s too small and I have no occasion to use it) but I just like it and use it for decorative purposes in my bedroom. I love the playfulness of the sequins and like touching the soft green satin inside the bag. I seem to have always had an affinity for the color green, especially bright grass green. My kitchen is painted the same color, with white trim to offset all the green.
I apologize for the blurry photograph.
2. The Mirror.
A beautiful art-deco style mirror made by a local artist. This was given to me when a friend of a friend was cleaning out their apartment. They no longer wanted it. I had been looking for exactly something like this, and when I saw it, I had to have it. I have it hanging on my bedroom wall and just love the way it looks there.
3. The Landscape Painting.
I used to love painting, and though I was never that talented, I love the somber mood conveyed in this interpretation of a river surrounded by mountains covered with boreal forest in the Pacific Northwest. I did not paint this from life, but it was actually done from a photograph that appeared in National Geographic. It’s hanging over the center of my mantel, and everyone who sees it always asks me which artist painted it and tells me what an amazing painting it is. They’re always surprised when I tell them I painted it.
4. The Handpainted Lamp.
I love this lamp. I found it for $3 at a garage sale. A small piece of the glass at the bottom has a chip in it, but it’s easily hidden. The lamp is handpainted from the inside and has a heavy metal base. I believe it may be an antique, possibly from the 1930s, but even if it isn’t, it’s an awesome lamp because it’s so unique and because of how beautiful the colors look when lit:
5. The Forgotten Sci-Fi Classic.
I love reading science fiction. This book, “Last and First Men” (this book contains its seuel, “Starmaker”) was written in 1937 by a forgotten science fiction writer, Olaf Stapledon. It’s a future history starting with the events of WW2 and continues millions of years into the distant future, as Man evolves through a great many new forms and begins to explore the planets. The book is interesting for the 4 fascinating timelines it contains, with each one covering a much greater expanse of time than the last. “Starmaker” is actually a sort of sequel, and follows a man who finds himself transported telepathically to other universes but still arrives home before dinner is served. He is a changed man for these experiences, for during his journey through space and time he discovers the true nature of God and the divine. Both books explore the metaphysical and the nature of God and the divine, especially the second. I’m the only person I know who has read both books several times. Most people find these books impossible to read (in fact, I’m the only one I know who was able to finish both), possibly because they seem dated today, but every time I read them I get more out of them.
If I was told I was being exiled to a remote island somewhere and was told I could keep only one book, this would be the one.
6. The Salt Lamp.
I bought this Salt Lamp at the mall a few years ago, and it’s in my living room. It’s made of pure sea salt, which has a beautiful, natural pink glow. It’s a very relaxing reading lamp and I admit I have used it as a salt lick on occasion too. Yeah, I know that’s weird.
Here it is all lit up at night:
7. The Flea Market Vase.
A handpainted rough-clay vase with gold leaf I picked up for $6 at Smiley’s flea market. It’s signed by the artist on the bottom so I know it isn’t mass produced. It’s big enough I use to put flowers in all the time. (The flowers currently in it are dead). I love the colors and the design, and it holds a place of honor on my mantel. It was a steal because I suspect it’s probably worth a lot more than 6 bucks.
8. My Lucky Bamboo Plant
Mr. Bamboo has a whole story which I wrote about here. He’s gotten much bigger since I finally transplanted him to a bigger home. I don’t know if the photo here of him sitting proudly in my kitchen window really does him justice or shows how much bigger he really is now, but he’s still happy and thriving. I may move him outside for awhile now.
9. Photo of the stairwell in my first apartment.
The building I first moved to was dirt cheap and in a dangerous neighborhood in Queens, NY (across the street from some projects), but the building was awesome and this stairwell does justice to that awesomeness. Since I took this photo in 1979 (looking down from the top floor), the colors in the photo have faded somewhat, giving it an almost sepia old school charm. I love the gradations of the various browns along the stairs. It still reminds me of an Escher drawing.
10. The Copper Ingot.
A customer gave me this 5 lb. solid copper Ingot. I’ve always loved the look of copper and I love turning this thing in my hands, feeling its weight and admiring its almost pinkish glow in the light.
By the way, did you know you can restore copper to its original beauty by slathering it with KETCHUP? Trufax. Leave the ketchup on for a half hour, then wipe clean. It will look as good as new.
If you like books, check out my bookshelves. 🙂