Having been raised by my grandparents, I grew up on a small mid-western farm with a love for things past. Grandpa was a traditional hired hand on the old farm and his income was remarkably small. Part of his pay was living in the century old clapboard farmhouse. In the yard, down by the dirt road, was a set of huge old carriage steps. With the loss of travel by carriage and the advent of the automobile, those steps became obsolete. As children, my brothers, sisters, cousins and I were thrilled the steps were left standing and ‘re-purposed’ them in my childhood play as schoolrooms, princess castles and scenes of iconic western TV series, “Bonanza”. (All the girls were in love with Little Joe and all the boys wanted to be him!) We would jump from the tall steps and roll down the hill behind them in all seasons. The thought of those old carriage steps invoke memories that I still cherish to this day!
Without much money, Grandma and Grandpa knew how to re-purpose things rather than throwing them away. Outgrown clothes became precious quilts, hollyhock flowers became dear dollies and an old upright piano became a beloved hope chest, which still sits in my home. Every Friday night our family would go to the local auction and come home with boxes just waiting to be dug through to discover wonderful treasures. Today one of my passions is still finding those hidden treasures, once cherished, and giving them new life with re-purposing. I absolutely love picking through antique stores and flea markets to find those fabulous discarded items that still hold loads of nostalgic charm. My specialty is re-purposing nostalgic children’s literature into memory albums and vintage cookbooks into family recipe heirlooms along with other finds that suit my fancy!
And you may be wondering about those old carriage steps. Well, when I was older, a wonderful man knelt and proposed marriage on those steps. A few months later, the huge old carriage steps became a wedding altar where that wonderful man became my even more wonderful husband. After having children, we would take them to play on them and I would tell of happy times as a child when I, too, played there. Although those old carriage steps now belong to someone else, we continue to visit them often and reminisce. They remain very special to our family.