Sitting in the airport in Chicago, after months of packing and arranging, sea shipments, air shipments
and gargantuan shopping sprees to buy canned, dried, dehydrated
or any type of food with a long shelf life, I did think about the risk.
I thought long and hard about it, mostly for my children.
I knew the risk of diseases, kidnapping, bad food, lack of medical treatment,
and I was sick with fear and excitement at the same time.
I couldn't deny it, I wanted to go. The thought of the adventure of it all definitely outweighed the risk.
Little did I know then that the experience, as a whole, would profoundly enrich my life,
and that the adventure I had so longed for would set my path toward
a new and lasting career, for which I am grateful, every day.
During the long days without television, radio and, last but not least, any
edible food, the new friends I had made and I would have what we called "adventure" days.
We'd hop on an old canoe with two to three tribal people, journey into the
ocean and land on a deserted island off the coast of Africa,
to while away the day on the beach. Or search out all the markets, full of all
types of worldly treasures from far away places, where brightly colored fabrics
from Tunesia would provide just a touch of beauty and visual delight in the midst
of bleak surroundings and abject poverty.
It wasn't until I returned to the States that I realized how the beauty, patina and character
I had seen in antiques from around the world in my travels had saved me during those days. We were
able to travel out every three months and those trips were like water to a dying man. Old and haunting structures in
Rome, Florence, the Vatican and other places kept me sane and gave me a sense of home to take away with me.
I held onto them while I was in Nigeria and they helped me to face another day.
During that time I learned how important not only one's surrounding are, but how utterly important
it is to have been exposed to beautiful things and to be able to draw on those images, if only in
my mind. Much can be said about living with beautiful objects from the past, not necessarily
expensive things, but things of other lives and their pasts, a history and a soul. Things others have loved
and cared for and appreciated during their times as caretakers. I feel the same of old
houses and all the materials and architecture that make not just a dwelling to reside in, but a home.
In today's world, especially in today's world, these things are more important than ever.
How crucial it is to surround yourself with things that have meaning to you,
that make you think and ponder when you look upon them, that make you curious about
those before you. Antiques and objects are the insulators against the world outside and
the things that let us feel safe and reinforce our ability to appreciate them, both
for their beauty and for their contribution to all who have held them.
And so here I am today. My shop is filled with all things beautiful
and my hope is to share enthusiasm for home, antiques and wonderful objects with
all my clients. Whether a tiny room on the smallest of budgets or a grand place
where money is no object, the end result can be the same. A renewed appreciation
of home and family and all the objects, old and new, which make our surroundings
the best place in all the world...... home.