Sunday, April 25, 2010
I think I know now why people always have such a serious expression on their faces in old pictures. It's hard work to live out in the country! Along with that panicky feeling that whenever you pass a grocery store, you should stop and buy everything because it might be your last chance, there is a great sense of responsibility that comes with this land. There is just so much that needs to be done. Yesterday I spent the day trimming trees. Not with a little pruning shears but on top of a ladder with a chainsaw. When we stopped, there was a pile of brush 14 feet high and a chance for a bonfire with friends in the not so distant future I surmise. I think I had almost forgotten that sense of accomplishment combined with every muscle in my body aching that makes me feel alive again and happy to be living in the country. Once you experience country life, It can always draw you back with it's windy days and the smell of soil. I'm beginning to believe that I am a lifer.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Well, it's been a week since our lives were turned upside down. My life looks like the back of this pickup truck. We loaded for two days and when it was all over, we had filled two 26 foot trucks, a pickup, a mini-van and my Jeep. There was not even a square inch of room. With the dogs in one car and the cats in the other and a host of volunteer drivers we started the caravan. It was a clear and sunny Tennessee Sunday morning. It was still hazy but warm. I put my sunglasses on and drove out of Nashville hearing the words from the Civil Wars "I don't love you, I always will. I have no choice, I still chose you". As I pulled around the curve that gave me one last look at the skyline, I lost it. One cat meowing in my ear, the other sitting on my shoulder, I sobbed. Nashville was a wonderful, horrible, necessary, trying, rewarding experience for us. A lot of life happened. We lost our house in GR, we created a new home in Nashville. We lost our credit and we learned what it meant to humbly live within our means. We learned to love dinner around our table and how to buy day old bread (it's just as good but 77 cents!!!). We learned to thrift for clothes and things for the house and found that having a good eye transcends where you bought it. I started an antiquing business with $130.00 of Christmas money and that investment has made this new store a reality. We lost a lot and gained everything. So, a week later, as I look back on this tsunami of a week, I am grateful and humbled by the richness of our life. We have an amazing family who came in and helped us even though they are so sick of moving our crap. We have an overwhelmingly supportive network of friends. We have an opportunity of a lifetime. To the people and experiences that have made it all possible: I don't love you, I always will. -dann
Sunday, March 21, 2010
When we first moved to Tennessee, some friends told us about a little place with a cafe that we just had to try. A plate full of fried biscuits with honey and we were hooked. The other night we took one last trip to the Bell Buckle Cafe. There was a live band playing folk music, and a full crowd enjoying meat and three. I ordered the famous smoked pork chop with corn bread, tomato cucumber salad and fried red-skin potatoes. I will always crave this quaint little town and the way I feel when I stroll down the street in Bell Buckle.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I am so excited to show you all Old Blue. She is a 1970 Chevy C-10 pickup from Old Hickory, TN and soon you will see her driving the streets of Grand Rapids loaded with amazing treasures. When I sat in the driver's seat of this truck, I was transported back to the farm. It even smells like my grandpa's truck. After I remembered how to start a truck with a manual choke again, we headed out to Lieper's Fork and had barbeque one last time at our favorite little place, Puckett's Gro. On a sunny day in the 60's and the buds ready to bust on the trees, I can't think of a better way to say goodbye to the life we learned to live in Nashville. We are different people and our life will never be the same.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We are searching tirelessly for the new Rebel-mobile. I have always wanted to own a chevy truck. This is just like the truck that my grandpa used to drive to the farmer's market. We solved a lot of life's problems in that truck. It's also the truck that I learned to drive down the old farm roads. Dream#1:Own my own store. Dream#2:Drive an old Chevy C-10. Wish me luck. I'm going to see it on Thursday. Hopefully it will soon be parked in front of a charming little haunt on East Fulton.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
It's all been reclaimed. Every piece has spoken to me in one way or another. It might have been hiding in someone's basement or a thrift store cast-off. The beauty is in the collection. Each piece works together to create something that isn't ordinary. Something that doesn't look cataloged and tired. These are pictures of my current collection. My favorite piece is the be-dazzled owl art and a military trunk with a soldier's return address.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Here's just a sneak preview of things to come. I am a sucker for a broken down old chair. I just love to see a good form that has been unjustly covered in bad finishes. Take these chairs for instance. Once, they looked like they might have resided in Edith Bunker's dining room. A little elbow grease and some burlap which I might add, covers a multitude of sins, and they are ready for a new life in Michigan. That is, if I actually decide to sell them. Chip and I are still in talks about this.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
We are anxiously awaiting the 27th of March. That's the day we load an absolute ton of amazing vintage finds into two or maybe three 28 foot U-Haul trucks and drive them to Michigan. Chip and I have spent pretty much every Thursday and Friday for the past two years at every junk store and estate sale we can get our hands on. Last week, I got in a bitch fight with a lady over a mannequin decoupaged in a map of Nashville and dug through the basement of an eccentric old folk artist who did a series of paintings of dogs, eagles and women in American flag bikinis. I also found a map from 1953 of Greenwich, Connecticut that will look fabulous when it's framed. We love every piece that we find but we are kind of like those old ladies you hear about on the news that hoard cats. We need to find good homes for the the treasures that follow us home.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Oh to have this hair. You know, image is everything. So I am working through a very daunting list of classic movies. A couple years ago I made a goal to watch the classics. After asking around for suggestions from many friends who did have VCR's as children, I came up with a daunting list. There's the Hitchcock films, the 40's and 50's and the like millions of films starring Bette Davis, The Graduate, and then of course the movies of the 80's. Last fall I had to watch Pretty in Pink just because my friend, Kathryn says that the first day we met, I reminded her of Ducky. Tonight, I decided to finally watch the movie of my business namesake. Inspiring it is. If I could be so lucky to have the swagger of the original rebel. For now, I aspire to have his hair.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Maybe I'm feeling so optimistic because I'm just so darn excited to do something that I have up until now only dreamed about. Maybe it's because we are watching The Facts of Life off of Netflix tonight. Either way, I was so inspired by this image from www.absolutemichigan.com
Even amidst so many challenges in the state, I am so excited about the possibilities! Support your local businesses!!!!! Small is the new big!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I am not a camper. In fact, I, along with my mother, have a deep seeded fear of damp bedding and tents. This collection of campy stuff does make me question my fear. I think I could camp as long as I could have a lovely grouping of stylish accessories to camp with. This box of camp lights is my favorite. I found them in the basement at an estate sale last spring. They contained the original receipt and the instructions from 1969. You just have to love vintage JC Penney. The thing that I love the most is that these log dishes feel like they belong now. So organic. The perfect serving dish or place to stash your keys. Maybe I should revisit camping...No, I think I'll just collect thermoses.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
When we first started dreaming about Rebel, I found this flag. I can't think of a better motto for this addiction to fabulous old stuff. It's just that every piece has a story. Recently I found the Holy Grail while visiting a little backyard shed in Summit, Mississippi. Chip's Grandmother's shed. Shoved up in the rafters was a beat up old suitcase. I felt like there was nothing else I could possible do but open it. When I did I discovered a WWII t-shirt and jacket that belonged to the grandfather Chip never met. And buried under neath that was a wallet that contained a receipt detailing the flower order for a New Orleans wedding in 1942. Chip's grandmother, who recently went blind, recited line for line the order from her wedding. White sweet peas, white roses. The whole wedding for $10.93. Now that's the moment that every junker dreams about. Reclaiming some precious fragment that had been lost.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
So today was one of those days you read about in an article about crazy people. I quit my job. It was a steady respectable job but it was not my true love. Chip and I are going to move back to Michigan and open Rebel. We have been dreaming and planning for months but today starts the journey. All I can say is, here goes nothin.