Monday, August 18, 2014

Our 30s Grocery: Almost There

or. . "By George, I've almost got it. . ."

Here's a sneak preview of our vintage grocery store. . Still a little messy. . needs more organization. . and maybe a few items re-boxed. . general cleaning. . and dusting. .but it's getting there. .The boxes are empty and off the floor. . We haven't seen the floor for well over a year. . Way too many boxes of collections and family treasures and junkin' finds. . and then there were the numerous donations that I wanted to include, since it's part of our Delta heritage, too. . I thought I'd never get to the end of everything. . I would not give up when others did--as in 'John' who thought it unrealistic that I'd find room for everything. . I did pack up a lot for an estate sale or giant yard sale or something in the future. . that will come much later. . For now, tweaking is my goal so that all will be ready for the Fall tours. . So much to do elsewhere as well. . a total of six or seven buildings that will open. .but the grocery is 'the place to see' as far as I'm concerned. . I've loved this building ever since I was a little bitty girl and fought against its demise for years before it became totally mine. . I'll tell you more about it later. .When I get everything pretty much in order, I'll give you a short tour. . All kinds of photographic possibilities. .Til then you'll just have to be teased a little. .You don't mind, do you?

This is where the fun part comes in for me. .the tweaking. . I consider it  'play' more than work.

There's a lesson in this for us all. .  that in life we often have to work through the hard stuff--and don't give up--in order to get to the fun--when. . .
once again.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Apple of My Eye--BIG RED

What's a Big Red? . .He's my pride and joy. . .an old friend. . .turned 31 years old this year. . .considered an antique but still full of zoom and spirit. . .Has traveled the country and every nook and cranny in Arkansas. . .Always ready for a junkin' spree. . .Always ready for a good time but loves to work, too. . .

Meet Big Red. . .A 1983 Chevrolet Silverado. . .Isn't he a beauty? . .John was so sweet to us one day recently. . .gave Big Red a bath. . .He'd been in the barn all winter and part of the summer. . .Instead of red, he was more of a dusty, grayish burgundy. . .Birds had nested above him. . .Owls had taught their babies to fly around him. . .Winter winds blew dirt and leaves and snow and ice all over him. . .He was more than ready to get clean. . .and boy, did he shine. . .You can almost see his 'chest' puffed up with pride, can't you?

There are many reasons I love this truck, besides the obvious beauty of him. . .He was my Daddy's--bought new in '83. . .but he wasn't red then. . .He was a beautiful metallic silver with burgundy details. . .and he had a matching camper shell on the back. . .Daddy loved this truck. . .Mom hated it. . .So much so that she made Daddy park Big Red (I guess he'd be Big Silver at that time?) in the back lot of their home, hoping no one would see it. . .Didn't bother Daddy. . .He and that truck were a team. . .They hauled wood. . .pulled trailers. . .carried antiques for a certain daughter. . .even moved a cypress pump house 195 miles. . .Together they traveled to the Ozarks quite often. . .exploring every little back road they could find. . .They took photographs all along the way. . .Daddy always said Big Red had a knack for finding great photographic possibilities. . .When Big Red began to show some rust on the hood, no problem. . .Daddy bought several cans of 97 cent Walmart spray paint and fixed it. . .When the latch on the glove box broke, Daddy rigged up a latch to hold it shut from the outside. . .As the white-wall tires wore out, Daddy replaced them one by one with black. . .looking a little strange. . .but neither Big Red nor Daddy cared. . .They were on an adventure. . .Yep, adventure was their thing. . .And they had many. . .

Then the day came when this Farmer decided that the Farmer's Daughter (me) needed Big Red for her own adventure. . .A new business brought me the need for a truck. . .I designed and made little girl clothes and the doll clothes to match. . .Deliveries to boutiques, craft shows, and wholesale markets called for a truck or van. . .I'd been looking for a good used truck with a camper shell where I lived when one day Daddy showed up with his pride and joy. . .I was speechless when he handed me the keys, saying he didn't know the history behind the vehicles I was looking at. . .but. . .he knew Big Red would get me where I wanted to go and back. . .He was right. . .Big Red had to learn new things to brake for. . .No more photographic opportunities or wood to haul. . .Nope. . .It was antiques and craft shows. . .yard sales and estate sales. . .Big Red learned to enjoy them as much as I did. . .never failing to start when I was ready to go. . .It was during this time that his name stuck. . .I got him a new but cheap paint job--in 'Candy Apple Red'. . .Honest. . .That was the name of the paint they used. . . .Oh, and I bought him not one, but two sets of 'fuzzy dice'. . .

Big Red and I carried on a love affair for almost nine years. . .Then the day came when I had to make a hard decision. . .I was moving to Virginia to work and I couldn't take Big Red with me. . .My plan was to find a place to store him but something better came along. . .My cousin Magers wanted to buy Big Red and restore him. . .I decided Big Red would be much happier staying in the family. . .So, I sold him to Magers with the stipulation that if he ever sold him, I got first chance. . .And, so I said 'Good-bye to my Baby' and scooted off to Virginia for yet another adventure. . .This time alone.

In the meantime, Magers set to work. . .and turned Big Red into the beauty he is today. . .

How did I get him back? . .How did Big Red come full circle? . .Another life change. . .a sudden and unexpected one this time. . .I returned home to care for Daddy after Mom passed away. . .While here, John fell in love with the farmstead and I saw with him the actual possibility of my life-long dream for the farm just might come true. . .We began work on it in 2005. . .About the same time, my sweetie of a cousin emailed and asked if I'd like to have Big Red back. . .because. . .'every farm needs an old truck'. . .Bless his heart. . .He was my hero that day. . .The 'fuzzy dice' came out of storage. . .and Big Red returned Home. . .

And. . .every time I climb into the driver's seat, I feel hugged. . .by three of my favorite men. .
Daddy. . .Magers. . .and Big Red himself.