The beauty of the basket

“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.

Published by kflockhart

I've enjoyed writing since the first grade, since my aunt gave me a journal so long ago to write in. Now I write to enjoy the moments. I write to stretch and share my thoughts. I write to connect and find calm. Raising three kids, three rabbits and two cats, with a school social work career, I need the daily refuge writing offers. The simple reflections allow for an abundance of memories to the hurried pace of life.

7 thoughts on “The beauty of the basket

  1. Good for you, both on finding some time for yourself, and buying something special to remind of it. I appreciate the reminder that sometimes we need to just “go for it”.

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  2. Your Aunt Penny was so right and I love this post! Every bit of it is so real and kind of raw. I felt what you were feeling when you just needed to get out and then all those memories coming back. culminating in a marvelous purchase.

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  3. You are so very smart to buy when something calls out to you. Ten years ago I left a beautifully fitting leather jacket in Italy. See – I’m still regretting it. I wish I had an Aunt Penny telling me to buy!

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    1. I left a wooden cross in Assisi, Italy. A year after an earthquake shook their village. I always wondered what happened to the hand carved cross. In my mind there is a room where I store all the things I never bought, and had wanted to at one time. Isn’t it funny how that leather jacket still calls your name? Perhaps one day you will meet it again. And you’ll understand why you didn’t buy it.

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  4. Oh alone time. It certainly is something to cherish. Since the pandemic, being in the house alone is a rare treat. Thankfully, I love the people in my space, but still a little quiet every now and then is a delight. I was with you on that road as you traveled feeling the freedom. It was bonus to manage a fun find that will remind you of that moment for years to come. I love your aunt’s advice, “If you love it, get it…but you really have to love it.” Wise words.

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