Rick and I go away one weekend a year, usually to celebrate our anniversary. This year, we went to the Mercersburg Inn, an amazing bed and breakfast in Mercersburg, PA.
The house is enormous -- you have NO idea how far I had to back up to get that photo. There's a basement in this place, too. And to give you an idea of how deep it is, here's the back of the house....
What's amazing to me is this house was a single family dwelling. In 1909, it was built on a six-acre property, and ended up as a 20,000 square foot home with 40 closets. The 40 closets is of note because back then, closets weren't really the norm, because they were taxed as ROOMS back then! So only the very wealthy could afford them. Jiminy Crickets.
|I tried a little PhotoShop texturizing with this photo.|
The house has three staircases (at least, three that I could find. I actually got lost in the house once.) Forgive the bad quality of the picture, but it was pretty dark when I took it and I didn't have a tripod. Plus I got a little vertigo looking down, down, down the stairwell!
And this was our room, which used to be the wife's room.
So! That's where we stayed.
Saturday dawned nice and crisp and Rick and I decided to go antique hunting. There's a wonderfully huge antique mall in Fayetteville, PA that covers four huge buildings, and this was our ultimate destination, but first, the siren call of Starbucks must be dealt with. I punched "Starbucks" into the GPS, and over the mountain we went.
However, Rick started doubting the GPS when it started looking like it ended in a state park. And as much as Starbucks has taken over the world, we were pretty sure it wasn't in a state park in Pennsylvania. So back over another mountain we went....
... and found the Turnpike and a Starbucks. Crisis (and headache) averted. On to Fayetteville!
(And yes, I'm sure some of you are amazed that we did all that for an over-priced mocha, but that's my addiction, and it keeps my headaches somewhat dialed down, AND it has chocolate in it, AND I hate regular coffee -- I need lots of milk, lots of chocolate -- so I'm saying we just took a scenic detour. Yeah. That's it.)
What did we see but not buy?
An enormous bin FULL of WWII newspapers.
And this -- one of the coolest things I've seen in ages. I probably should have bought it, but it was SO expensive, and I'm not sure what I would have done with it. I thought about framing but sunlight would eventually destroy it.
What is it? An indenture, or deed to property. It's from 1870. Holy smokes, but I love that dipped-in-an-inkwell writing. And check out the stamp!
Amazing, isn't it? When I see things like this, I think they should really be in a museum.
Now, what did I buy?
My favorite thing, and what made the searching through tons of stuff worthwhile, is this old camera.
I collect vintage cameras, and I snatched this one up so fast Rick actually thought something had bitten me or cut me and rushed over to see what had happened. I have two accordion-style cameras, but this one is tiny -- not even four inches tall. It came with its case, too. I'm in serious love with this camera.
I found another camera for $5 to add to my boxy-but-good collection:
Hit the jackpot on an entire box of keys and a few small padlocks....some of the keys are new, but plenty aren't.
I'm not sure why, but these two photographs spoke to me. Maybe it's their expressions? Most of the time when I run across old photos, the expressions are so dour or grim. But not these two. The couple on the left have smiles in their eyes, and it's hard to tell with the woman on the right, but she has a faraway expression in her eyes, like she's thinking about something really important, almost rising above being photographed. Plus, just look at the rucheing on her dress!
I have an ENORMOUS vintage button collection -- I mean, enormous. Before making jewelry, I made greeting cards for a number of shops, and I sewed vintage buttons to vintage cloth or vintage wallpaper as the decoration. I still have pounds upon pounds upon POUNDS of buttons I've been hoarding for years. So it's safe to say -- I don't need anymore buttons.
But when they come in a two-quart vintage Ball jar with a zinc top, and there's vintage thread and pin cushions inside, AND the entire shebang is only $8, you say, ok, I need buttons.
And honestly, that's the "unpretty" button side -- I took a picture of that side to show you the pin cushions and thread! The other side has the prettiest buttons showing through! I think I may just save this jar for a rainy day, and sort them then. For now, I'll use it as a pretty book stop in the bookshelf. Stay tuned for that rainy day -- I'll be sure to take pictures!
The second day, as we headed out of town, we passed a bead store. I didn't say a word, but my husband, dear that he is, pulled over and insisted I had to at least give it a look. I normally don't buy retail beads, but occasionally I'll find pairs of things that are affordable for earrings, so in I went.
|inside The Potomac Bead Company|
Ah, Czech glass. And the price was right for what I wanted to do with them (they are PERFECT for Bead Soup!). Belly up to the bar, and hand me a bead tray.
The weekend over, we headed to Rick's family's farm, where Zack had been staying.
|a view from the house|
The farm land houses several tenants, one of whom has a license to raise deer. He has gigantic pens -- they go up the mountain so far I didn't see the back of the fence. The babies are bottle fed and Rick's parents go up to make sure they're fed and watered. It's like a small deer preserve.
While there, I got a few photos, and lo and behold, one of the deer looked like he might be coaxed to us.
He's a small buck, and he broke off an antler, so it had to be sawed off to keep it from getting infected. See the does in the background, watching? They stayed there the entire time, but they were having none of it.
The photo below is right before he licked Rick's hand. I put down the camera at that point so I could hopefully have a turn. The deer was very, very slow, sidling up to the fence in a circuitous route, sniffing the air very hard, and then, he came to me. First, he sniffed my fist -- such a soft nose! And then, he licked me. Someone told me they do that to learn a scent. I didn't dare extend my fingers to stroke his head, but was content to just stand there, staring the deer in the eyes.
And then, just as quietly as he walked towards us, he turned and walked away.
The weekend done, we drove the long drive home. You guys weren't far from me, though! I had my BlackBerry with me, and I caught up on blog reading. Unfortunately, for some reason the phone wouldn't let me make comments on blogs, but rest assured, I did read them all!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too!