Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vintage Beauty

I am old. And it's not only me. My husband is old, my house is old, my horses are old, and my kids are old (er). But the older I and everything else around me gets, the more I appreciate 'vintage.'

I rode for the first time since the summer heat killed my interest, and was glad to discover that Relish is too old to buck anymore. His half-hearted attempts to be bad didn't faze even my old muscles.  His buddy Belle is now twenty-two (It seems as if she just arrived for my then ten-year-old daughter.) and maturity has softened her anxiety (where is my friend going???) and mare-ishness. (is there such a word?)  Here she is sharing corn husks with Relish instead of pinning her ears and sending him off with a kick. She's even happy to follow him around the pasture instead of insisting on being lead bitc . . . I mean, mare.  Laura and others have commented on the joys of having aged horses, and I am glad that Belle, Relish and I have gotten older--and calmer--together.

Since I got old, looking in the mirror is not fun anymore. But the outside me with its sags, wrinkles and age spots doesn't match the inside me. I find incredible joy everywhere and still have great energy, almost more than when I was younger and juggling kids and a job. (I still don't know how I did it all.) I love puttering in the garden, which is a delight even if my back gets stiff  after too much bending and weeding.  I still teach with gusto even if it's only part-time, my latest novel is going (although slowly) well and I have added the richness of my new antiquing venture, which has challenged my brain with new things to learn. Life is full and brisk -- until age catches up with me around 10:00 when I have to be in bed or else.

As I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate vintage beauty,  my husband's grey hair and weathered skin included. Perhaps that's why I have thrown myself totally into auctions, flea markets, and yard sales, and get so excited about finding old treasures.  Friday at a yard sale, I plucked filthy and unloved keys, bottles, and pitchers from crowded, moldy boxes. I brought them home and spent the afternoon cleaning them until they gleamed. Not Walmart new for sure, but I love every piece.

What is your take on old things? Are you ready to trade your aged mare in for a spunky filly? Does the clunky pick-up not cut it anymore? Do you pine for the latest technological gadgets?

And what about you? Don't torture yourself by looking in the mirror for an answer. A better test is to look at the photo of the enamel pitcher and quilt. Do you see rust and torn fabric? Or do you see vintage beauty?












8 comments:

Laura Crum said...

Alison--I'm with you on the looking in the mirror is no fun any more. And I love my solid older horses. Most of my stuff has been with me awhile. It has some history to it. And no, I don't pine for new gadgets--they have to be forced upon me. I think you and I are on the same page (!)

Francesca Prescott said...

I loved this post, Alison. I quite like looking in the mirror until I put my glasses on...and then I see the wrinkles and the way my eyelids sag, and especially the way the skin on my body isn't nice and tight like it used to be. Oh well! I enjoy my life, I enjoy my garden and spending time with my husband and family, and don't really pine for new gadgets at all. Although I'd like a new i-pod as mine can only carry about three songs! As for the car, well I had to trade it in a few weeks ago after it packed it in and nearly killed me on the motorway: I'm getting my new black shiny wheels on Tuesday evening, which will be really nice!
Your garden looks magnificent, by the way, really romantic. Vintage is romantic. I guess we're horsey, romantic vintage ladies :) Which is quite nice, don't you think?

Alison said...

Yes, we are well-lived and happy ladies, Laura and Cesca! And I am with you on the new car, Cesca. Your experience on the crowded highway gave me a gray hair just reading about it!

Long live vintage (as long as we stay away from those mirrors!

Linda Benson said...

Pretty pictures, Alison, and I love the graniteware pitcher! I like old things, too. Old horses. Old dogs, and old antiques, too. But as for me - I prefer the adjective "vintage." Has a nice ring to it, don't ya think?

Christine said...

A lovely post :) I appreciate my gelding as he gets older too - a bit more laid back now.

Alison said...

Oh yeah, Linda, I agree - vintage sounds classy while old sounds, um, olllldddd.

Christine--I love Relish, my 'maturing' gelding, too. He's still got a little devil in him but mostly he's a sweetheart.

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