“If you really love it, buy it”. My Aunt Penny would always say this. “You have to really love it”, she would add. Every year, once a year, typically around Christmas time, we would plan a trip to the antique store. She would plan where we would go, including a stop off for lunch. These were cherished times. Her pearls of wisdom, regarding buying anything, still guides me to this day. So when I saw this piece in an antique store this summer I gave it lots of thought. I had gone to the Cape by myself on a whim. I wanted some alone time. Being home all summer, with three kids and a husband, during the pandemic, was weighing on me. I crossed that “most beautiful steel bridge” into Cape Cod. I felt such freedom, like I was 18 again! I checked into my hotel and then strolled to the center of Falmouth, where they always have so many shops and restaurants. I sat at a table outside, all by myself, eating mussels and dipping the bread….. I had decided to ride deeper into the Cape the next day to visit some of my favorite shops. Masked up, I rode. It’s funny how much more one can appreciate when they are by themselves. I was savoring every bit of it.
I had read about Nantucket baskets in a Country Living magazine. In fact the one I had taken with me on this outing had a whole article about them, which I had read the night before in the quiet of my room. As I was walking and gazing in the glass enclosed shelves of a favored antique store, I spotted one. An authentic Nantucket basket. It was tiny and exquisite! I had never seen one up close and personal. In fact there were several on the glass shelf to admire. I had asked if I could hold one, like a newborn baby. I was in awe of the craftsmanship, not just of the basket itself, but also of the painted scrimshaw on the top, signed by the artist L. Layden. It had a mighty price attached to it, over $100.
I left without the basket. I was to leave the Cape the next day and go home to my family. But I never stopped thinking about the beauty of the basket. I thought of what my Aunt Penny always said, “If you love it, buy it.” As I was leaving the next day, I couldn’t get the basket out of my mind. I went back to the antique store. I haggled a price and got it exactly for $100.
When I arrived home I held the basket gently in my hands and thought about my Aunt Penny, my moments of freedom the excursion had provided, and the detailed artwork artists had created. I placed the basket on my shelf, with some shells from the beach inside.