What does it feel like to be a Lover of Vintage?

Feeling emotions is a response we experience 24-7.  Even if it’s the blahs but most times I would guess we all feel a wide range of emotions.  But what does it feel like to be in love with vintage and when does this feeling hit?

It has to be different for everyone.  Nostalgia is probably a big trigger whether it’s a vintage wall clock you see that your Grandma used to have in her kitchen or a paint-splattered brush that reminds you of your Grandpa’s workshop.  And when did this feeling start?  

It’s not like sadness or pain we feel from youth, this vintageness as I’m going to call it, is, I believe, an ingrained image imprinted in our mind that evokes the endorphin response.  In my first memory of wanting to buy something at a flea market I was about 11 or 12. It was a box of old black and white portraits. I recalled looking at old photo albums at my Grandparents of relatives I knew and some I didn’t and couldn’t help thinking of how sad it was that someone might be missing them, searching for them….that they belonged to someone else. 

Junk Makes The Soul Happy copyright Lora Bakalar
Sitting on the fender of the family’s 1927 Willys-Knight automobile, Ernie posed with his father and mother, Ernest and Clara, and sister, Ruthellen, in 1936 after driving through the Wawona Tree in Yosemite National Park.

I could name these characters, create their story and give them a home. It’s also the first time I haggled. The vendor asked me “Where did you learn to do that?” the simple answer was “My Dad”. He had a knack for getting a good deal but he could also walk away and call their bluff; it usually worked. But you have to know that walking away can also mean saying goodbye to something you might really want to own.  Regret.

Antique postcards © fleamarketinsiders.com
Antique photographs © fleamarketinsiders.com

Still to this day, I’m not sure why those photos caught my eye.  The artist in my today thinks of all the fun collages you could do with them and you will occasionally see vintage images on my FB page when I make my own memes.  Other than that, I just really still like them.

My new obsession is Pyrex.  Why you ask? It represents family to me.  Like the photo of my first birthday, the butter print bowl on the table, with my cousins at our Grandparents’ farm.  No, I don’t remember that day, but seeing that picture and that bowl all these years later, made me want that bowl. Was it a way to relive a memory I only have in a photo?  Maybe, probably. So for my birthday one year, my Mom got me that bowl. Obviously, it’s a treasured piece in my collection!  

Pyrex butterprint bowl
Pyrex butterprint bowl

Many years ago a friend was offered several snowflake pieces from a lady at her church.  She587 instantly thought of me, sent me pictures, I was swooning, of course. She accepted the gracious lady’s offer and then gave them to me.  Thoughtfulness and kindness spread like wildfire in this example. More treasures to cherish and a beautiful story to tell.

Then there is the pink daisy Pyrex oval casserole dish with a clear lid, given to me last year from my Mom = heartstopping!  It was a gift from her Mom, my Grandma Baker. That piece has survived four trips over the Rocky Mountains plus numerous other moves from state to state when I was younger.  Now it’s with pride that I have such a meaningful treasure, passed down from such strong, independent, creative, smart, funny, and loving women that I’m lucky enough to call family.

pink daisy Pyrex oval casserole
pink daisy Pyrex oval casserole

So right there, look at all those emotions.  Where do they come from? Family, friends, strangers.  Where do they start? Adolescence, pre-teen, and/or adulthood  Do they change over time, like our preferences? I think they do.  Just as memories evolve, fad, and emerge. While walking through a thrift store, have you ever seen something that, well, made you sad, or excited, reminded you of someone or a place you’ve been to or were you simply intrigued, like there was a spark with no known cause?  And you have no intention to start collecting that item that sparked your attention but it made you feel.

Antiquités Bolduc Quebec City Quebec Canada © fleamarketinsiders
Antiquités Bolduc Quebec City Quebec Canada © fleamarketinsiders

Think of how you feel when you see an old barn.  For a lot of us, it can bring memories of living on a farm or even if you didn’t live on a farm, you might feel melancholy for a long-forgotten piece of history being neglected.  All vintage things have a story whether we know it or imagine it. Vintageness is part of the process of being able to appreciate those treasures. It’s an interstate of highways and byways that pass through our lives, a map of where we’ve been, who we’ve had the privilege to know, things we have experienced, and a hint of where we’re going.