Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hidden Treasures

I love junk shops, antique stores, and garage sales.  Things that one person may call junk are someone else's gold.   There is a funky little antique/junk shop up the mountain about 10 minutes away that I love. The problem is she is never open. I have tried weekends, then she is on vacation.  I tried Wednesday or Thursday.  No luck.  It makes my heart start to beat fast just thinking of it.  Mind you, the shop does not have priceless heirlooms. That's not really my style.  But it is full of mismatches, chipped and used, odds and ends.  Her backyard is full of great rusty tools, patio stuff, buckets and just all-around crap.  I see them as garden art.  Joe shakes his head whenever I come home with some of my artist finds.  To me this shop is full of treasures and  when it is open it’s paradise for a junker like me.  

This Chinese restaurant was across the street from our hotel in Galway.
This one is for you, Tim. He is drinking Smithwick's.
Last night I watched an episode of Hoarders Nice segue, don’t you think?  Matt came home 4 weeks ago with his girlfriend and  took one look at the garage and said, ”Mom, are you a hoarder?”  His father shot me a glance then respond to his son “All that crap is yours!”  So I had to watch an episode just to make sure I was OK.
Park House Hotel, we circled it 8 times until we found where parking was.
I must say as I am still unpacking from our wonderful Ireland adventure and I found my bag of Irish treasure.  The second night after the Quilt Festival we drove to Galway on the west side of the country.  It’s a cool college town and you can feel the hip nature in the air. The hotel was to die for. 

First of all, we had our own beds. Always a plus. Don't get me wrong, I am passionate for my hot husband but my own bed and a pair of ear plugs and I am in heaven and so is Joe. The Park House Hotel was very elegant and reasonably priced. The next day we took a ferry ride over the Shannon River to our next stop, Dingle.  How can you not have a good time in a place called Dingle?   
Ferry Ride
Just like the roads in Ireland, the ferry was a little narrow, too.  Joe had to drive us up and onto the ferry next to a big gas tanker truck.  He got so close to the left side, not wanting to hit the truck that I couldn't get out of the car on my side. Do you think he did that on purpose
Just a few miles (30) from the ferry, in the tiny town of Kenvarra, we saw our first castle.  I yelled for Joe to pull the car over.  I think he thought I was yelling about his driving again.  He found a place to pull over which wasn't much but our sweet and sporty Ford Mondeo fit it nicely. We bundled up and walked around our first castle, Dunguaire Castle, circa 1520.  It was breathtaking.   

My first castle.
The best part about our first castle is that nobody was there but us and a Japanese couple that seemed to be taking the same tourist route as us that day as we saw them at several other sites, too.. There was moss  growing on the side of the 4 story stone walls.  It was so soft and green. I pulled a little off and put it in my pocket.  As we walked back to the car we closed the rusty iron gate and a chip of rusty paint fell off the gate.  I picked it up and put that in my pocket, too.  I asked Joe if I would have trouble getting through TSA with my rust and moss.  He rolled his eyes and said he thought I would be OK.  Ah, treasures!
I love rust.
Last night I looked all over the house for them, thinking that I had lost my treasures. But I found them this morning in the bag with  my other priceless finds. Yes, I bought a shirt and a beautiful handwoven scarf and some pretty earrings. 
Irish gold!
But the sea glass, broken pottery, shells, rust and moss mean more to me than gold.  Because they are Irish
moss and rust.

The good news is that I am not a hoarder.  I can proudly stand by that.  But a little weird ?  Absolutely.

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