If you are going to grow flowers
You’ll eventually need a vase
Somewhere over the last few decades
I developed the habit
Of finding old vases
At garage sales
And estate sales.
At first I wanted crystal vases.
That’s what my mother had
And now her vases grace my dining room china cabinet.
Mother loved crystal.
And so do I.
Then early in our marriage
John & I ventured to Europe.
Where we discovered pottery
And lugged a bit of it home.
But my vase collecting
Really kicked in after we settled in here
And began to make connections with people
Of all ages.
Many of these were women I knew from church.
It seems when you’re a Presbyterian in these parts.
You have a long
And interesting life.
So as these and other ladies around town died
I would go to their estate sale
And find a single thing
That would remind me of them.
The first was this vase
Gone now probably 30 years
I still remember her spunky nature.
Eventually I focused my purchases
On painted pottery from the 40’s and 50’s
McCoy is the best known brand
Thus you can find many knock offs
Of their soft color palette.
I’m partial to white, yellow, soft blue and lime green.
My mother in law’s blue pitcher is a favorite
Along with a yellow vase my friend Marilyn
Brought from her mother’s home in Louisiana.
Then there is this terrific lime green Claire Lerner
That I found at a neighbor’s garage sale
At a cost of $1.25!
I have two rules.
Don’t go crazy on price $10. – $15.
Is usually my max.
And you have to know where you are going to store it
Before you bring it home.
The second rule has forced me to slow down a bit
Since my garden house cupboards are filling up.
So it was this history
That followed me to the estate sale of
My friend, my neighbor, my fellow Presbyterian
And wise women extraordinaire
Maxine Sanford Austin.
Maxine died this year at the age of 102.
And her home
Were filled with treasures.
She was a poet
A teller of tales
A loyal friend
And fiercely opinionated.
I just loved her.
When she married in 1933
Her mother made her wedding veil.
Long and trailing
With lace flowers embroidered on it.
Her daughter Ann wore it in 1961
And Maxine wore it when she married again in 1993…
At the age of 80 something!
She was both traditional
And non traditional
All rolled into one.
It took me three trips of wondering through her home
To find my memory memento of Maxine.
I can’t tell you anything about this particular vase
I’m guessing it was from her mother’s travels.
She told me once that after her father died
Her mother began traveling around the world.
It’s very different from any other vase I own.
Doesn’t fit the mold.
Won’t have a shelf of similar stuff to join.
by Maxine Sanford Austin
In every day we have, dear Lord,
Let us truly see
The things we should:
The flight of bee.
The flash of bird,
Sun on a brilliant flower,
Then thunder heard
Before a sudden shower.
In all things, dear Lord,
Let us truly know
That this is Thy World
And in our actions show
That we truly know.