There are finds and then there are the finds you find all over again.
In 2006, I was invited by a Treasure Hunting reader to join her for a day of antiquing. I met her at Apple Annie Antique Gallery in Cashmere, Washington and joined Soap Lake Collector's Club for lunch at the diner there in the mall. After lunch we spent several hours looking around the mall. I bought two pieces of green Fiestaware and we were saying goodbye when I noticed a pile of items just inside the door. One of the dealers was just bringing in new merchandise and had dropped it off at the door while she moved her truck and got down to the business of tagging and displaying.
One item in particular caught my eye. It was a small round, weathered, wrought-iron table. The glass was missing but otherwise the shabby white table was in great shape. I could see it in my garden or sitting beside a favorite chair.
When the dealer walked up I asked her what she wanted for the table and she studied it a minute and said, "How about $18?"
I brought it home and put it in the garden shed until I could find a place for it. We sold the big house in the suburbs soon after and downsized to a cottage in the city, I got rid of a lot of things, but I brought the table with me. I knew it had potential.
For the last five years the table has been in the garden shed here in the city. Waiting until the time was right.
Maybe it was the unexpectedly bright sunshine on a February day, but I woke up this morning in a mood to do something different around the house. After my coffee, I moved a few things around. Declaring the end of the worst of winter, I put the white cotton slipcover on the sofa and replaced the heavier oriental rug with a lighter jute rug. I also moved the leather ottomans I've used for a coffee table since moving in.
Staring at the empty space in front of the sofa, wondering what would look good and still do the job, I remembered the iron table in the garden shed. A quick trip to Pier 1 for a new glass top and it was done. I've got a brand new look built around a fine old find.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org