Thursday, April 5, 2012

Driving a Bargain with Deb

It had been planned for weeks, a mid spring break day to get away from it all with my good friend, Deb.  We met at my house at 8:00, played with her ipad a few minutes, then headed toward McMinnville, Oregon, which used to be a great place for antiquing.  Along the way we got caught up as only face time truly allows, laughing and trading classroom stories of kids and drama and typical 5th grade teacher talk.

Traffic was light and we arrived at our first destination, called "Real Deals" where I found these birds about a month ago for Deb.
Aren't they just too cute??  I put them on the trunk, 
so I wouldn't forget to give them to Deb. 
They looked good with a jar of daffodils from my yard. 

I knew she was going to love this place!  They weren't open yet, so we found a coffee shop, then hurried back to get started on our shopping adventure.  But, wait, it was after 10:00 and there wasn't a single car in the parking lot!  As we drove close enough to read the sign we discovered it was only open on Thursday and Saturday.  Disappointed, and a little miffed, we meandered to the next place on our list, following the pulsing blue ball that represented my car on her ipad.  It was closed!  What????  Reading the sign, we discovered it would open at 11:00 and were just about to walk away when an older gentleman (older than us!) opened the door and let us in early. The shop wasn't much bigger than my living room (and my living room isn't very big!) but it was well stocked with great stuff.  Deb found a darling little shelf for a good deal and we happily wandered the room.  The owners were a friendly father and son team, easy to chat with.

Our next stop was supposedly an antique "mall" but it was mostly vintage thrift shop fare and we browsed quickly, laughing at our whispered comments on the quality and content. As I recall, we never did find the last shop that was supposed to be in that town, so we headed for Lafayette, where Rick's, one of our favorite antique furniture shops, is located.

On the way we passed a huge "barn sale" sign, and I followed the parking arrows to a well kept gravel area.  The sign said "Open", but after sloshing through a wide and wet lawn, we couldn't get the door to budge.  Just as we were heading back to the car we saw a rather scary looking guy, with a much scarier looking doberman pincher.  The guy could barely hold the dog, who was straining to get much closer to us than we cared for.  We looked at each other, and quickly jumped in the car.  I rolled the window down and the guy said something about being open, someone was in the house . . . whatever!  We weren't hanging around to let that dog take a bite out of our hide so I just called out, "Thank you!" and drove out of there! We laughed and decided that was too close for comfort.

We pulled into the parking lot at Rick's and it looked deserted!  About now we're thinking that maybe my husband has put a hex on us and we aren't going to find any good deals (Deb had found the shelf, but I was sadly bereft of treasures!) Fortunately, Lafayette School House Mall shared the same parking lot and it was open.  Sadly, the prices are still outrageous, (as they've always been . . . we were hoping for some recession deals) and even though it's huge, neither of us found a trinket we couldn't live without.  By then our stomachs were growling and it was time to look for nourishment!

As we had scoped out a couple of possibilites when we drove through Newberg earlier that day, we knew there were still delights to be found.  We pulled over to check out what the ipad could offer in the way of restaurants.  The first one sounded and looked great, but didn't open until 5 . . . not much help!  Then Deb found a coffee shop/cafe and we were off.  Having to drive around the block a couple times for a parking spot was a good sign, and soon we were attempting to narrow down our choice from an enticing board full of yummy sounding food.  The place was crowded, with one table left, just for us!  We had a satisfying lunch and chatted about more serious concerns, losing ourselves in that comfortable friendship space, where sad stories are spoken, eyes glisten with unshed tears,  and we're conscious of our shared history.  It would have been easy to spend the rest of the day in that mode, but we were out of tea and had places to go, so we did.

I had always found treasures at one place in Newberg, so that's where we headed.  I wasn't disappointed!

I found a darling little vintage table cloth, 
a treadle sewing machine drawer for putting stuff in, 
and some cute little kid cookie cutters. 

I have a slight obsession with toys from the 50's.  Over the years I've collected several toy kitchen items (most of them found with Deb).  I can get a little carried away with vintage toys.  These little gems would fit right in on my "waiting for grandchildren" toy shelves.

There's more . . . lots more!

We stumbled upon a cute little shop with a mix of vintage and new stuff and both found several items we liked, but only bought a couple.  I picked up a fun spelling book from the 40's that had rather dated stories in it. We got such a kick out of reading, I decided to buy it.  Deb discovered a fun dish towel for a mutual friend, though we had a good laugh over my thinking she meant someone else. (At one time there were two people at our school with the same first name.)

That silly girl.  As she handed this to me before we hugged good-bye, 
she said, "So you don't forget".

I had a great day with Deb, as always.  We laughed a lot, and talked seriously about our lives and how hard it is to accept that since we've crossed that threshold into the 60's, we're having to rethink a few things.  We talked little about the past, a lot about the present, and our wishes for the future.  We're travelers and we travel well together.  It is fun to entertain the possibility of traveling without our dear (but sometimes grumpy) husbands once we're truly retired. Our next antiquing trip will likely not take place until we're both back in the states after vacation, but we know it will need to be an overnighter!

While I've written before about how much I treasure our friendship, I can't help but repeat myself.  I think of all those years I took Deb for granted; it's easy to do when only a wall separated us 182 days a year. When suddenly she was gone, moved on when an opportunity availed itself, I mourned the loss of our daily chats, comforting hugs,  and laughter.  I mourned the loss of my soul sister, comrade in arms, sharer of secrets.

The years pass, but the friendship doesn't fade. Our parallel lives, interwoven with mutual grief, seasoned with shared struggles, and mingled tears, are braided together with strong bonds that will last for eternity.  I rest in the assurance that Deb is my forever friend, and I am hers.

Repeat photo! We forgot to take a new one this time! 


  1. This is a beautiful post. I can tell by the picture of the two of you that you had a wonderful day together!

  2. The greatest treasures we find in life are the friends we meet along the way.

  3. Lovely post Sandy! Enjoyed every word and seeing your finds.

  4. Happy friendship! I can see in the picture that you two will always be forever friends. I loved this post, and I'm so glad that you finally got a few treasures of your own, Sandi. :-)

  5. Oh, thank you so much, my sister friend. It was a gift in itself to read about our day together and to see in black and white the treasure that is our friendship. The pictures are wonderful. I love that our friendship has weathered some big storms and just gets stronger. It seems a God gift to me that our bond strengthened in our sharing of that terrible loss - one of the diamonds to be found in the sludge of grief. I love you.

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  7. What a great day. You two are great! I appreciate reading about your lives.

  8. Both grinning broadly like happy Cheshire cats. Lucky pair!

  9. I love it! What a lovely day. Nothing better than spending time with a friend who is easy to be with.

  10. This post made my eyes glisten with unshed tears. What a great friendship you have in each other.

  11. I love this post! I love both of you. I love the table cloth. I love that you had this time together. I love that you have each other.

  12. Sounds like you had a fabulous time. I love the vintage linen since that's what I collect! It's great to have a wonderful friendship that will last forever. I'm glad I found your blog through Deb's too! Have a great Easter weekend!

  13. Wish I had been with you at those antique stores! What great stuff you found! I love vintage linens.

  14. What a fabulous friendship day - glad you finally both found treasures, though the two of you together seem treasure enough! I'm looking forward to a Girlfriends' trip I'm taking end of April into May. Nothing like the comfort of spending time with forever friends.

  15. The day sounded like a perfect adventure Sandi. Even the barn sale with the Doberman! What would an adventure be without some mystery surprises!! And what great finds. I love your collection of toy kitchen items. I especially liked that little bowl. How cute. Great friend, great finds, great day!
    Love Di ♥

  16. Those are the best friendships to have. I'm so glad you had this time with her. It's funny when we have true friendships how we can just pick up where we left off the last time and all is well. :)

  17. What a sweet friendship post. I use the term "forever friend" as well. Some people are in your life for just a time, when you need them most, but some are forever. They are the best treasures!

  18. What a day. Glad you finally found some goodies. I love the same type of vintage items.

  19. What a wonderful friendship you have... you are both blessed! I hear ya about the antique shops, can't tell you how many time I was only passing some place once and it was Wednesday and they open on Thursday. wah.wah.wah. Thanks for your visit, always nice to meet other northwesterners!


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