Sometimes things are just staring at me.
Oh, hello there little darling butterfly tray. I think I will put you in Alice's room on the painted table that belonged to my grandma, next to the ikea spice-rack bookshelf and the '70s phone on which we pretend to order sandwiches.
Other times? Things are hidden. Or, more accurately, buried.
And even though it is the easy-to-spot stuff that gives me adrenaline to press on, the little sparkling bits of treasure in the heap of junk keep me coming back.
This chair. This chair made my jaw drop. Still does. Seeing it for the first time felt like opening a birthday present. But someone else grabbed it first. We made eye contact, my heart sank, and I walked around the store trying to put it out of my mind. I was stomach-sick-disappointed and thinking in four letter words. "WHY didn't I just grab the chair? WHY? WHY AM I SO SLOW? DON'T THINK SO MUCH NEXT TIME, ERIN, JUST GRAB!" And on and on.
About an hour later I was going through the books and the man who got the chair? He gave it to me. He GAVE it to me! "I was just going to sell it anyway," he said, and handed it over. I know.
So now this chair reminds me of that one time that guy at the Goodwill Outlet was nice to me and gave me something he got first, fair and square, like a little gift. I hope it always does.
(Okay fine, it also reminds me to not think-- just grab. Ha.)
PS. That photo of Alice in the chair was taken on Hal's birthday -- her last day as a two year old. And she chose that book and sat down like that all on her own. No posing or anything. This is just what she was doing, being two years and 364 days old and cute as a button. I think I need to make a print.