What attracted me to Elizabeth was her red hair, which you can't see here, but it is meticulously braided around and around with a pearl crown woven in. I have a red-headed grandson and I find him quite wondrous. Did you know there are several websites for raising redheaded children? This one caught my fancy: Raising Redheads.
The estate sale was nearing the end last Saturday and I know the woman well who does these sales and she gives incredible bargains at the end. I did not need any dolls, but Elizabeth was perched in an old antique rocker and would undoubtedly go to a thrift shop as I was one of the last customers. I turned back and held her, fingered her be-jeweled taffeta dress and pearl necklace. Her beautiful red hair was covered with dust but how beautiful she would be nestled in with all the pillows on my bed.
Along with a few craft supplies and two generous lengths of lace for collage, I offered Elizabeth to Sandra. "That will be $4 for all, Fran," she said. Wow!
When I got home I did clean Elizabeth's red yarn hair and looked at her meticulously-made dress with all the hand stitching. She was made with love by someone and I visualized that it was the woman whose earthly goods had not sold after two days. I had a strong sense of who that woman had been. A lot of incredible hand-carved Asian antique chests remained, plus beautiful china and crystal, and many women's clothes in size 2X. She loved hats and gloves. Her left-behind jewelry was very much to my taste, but was very expensive--and I've never had a thing for jewelry. The wall had several oil paintings of the places she must have visited during her lifetime. She apparently used Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and there were a few mostly used bottles of Chanel No. 5. There were even four pairs of wooden clogs like they wear in Holland. She must have loved succulents and Martha Washington geraniums as there were multiple pots of them in the yard.
And that brings me to a personal ritual I have before entering an estate sale, although savvy folks often call their garage sales estate sales because customers know the most incredible treasures are found when a person has died and the family just wants to get rid of stuff. Before I go into an estate sale home I always quiet myself and breath deeply so that I feel a connection to the family who once lived there. Then I say a prayer of thanksgiving for that person's life. When I enter the home, I can usually pick up vibes quickly of those who had occupied the space and as I wrote above, there are clues galore by the goods left behind.
Can you believe that I even have Sandra's estate company card with my will? I'm hoping my own kids will use her when they have to dispose of all my stuff. Hmmm, besides being a pack rat, what would my home say about me? What would your home say about you?