Saturday, March 2, 2024

Family and the Secretary ~

A Saturday morning memoir ~

Those days are gone. My life is different now. I miss much and managed to do much more in times gone by. I'm not a fan of aging. I wish I had more energy, that my legs and arms were stronger, my feet more sure and comfy where planted. My memory though still good doesn't always give me a word immediately. Names are sometimes forgotten. I look things up but I don't ask Siri. 

I sleep upstairs in my 'room with a view' and let my better half enjoy the master bedroom downstairs. I have to have the light on and read for a while in bed or I can't fall asleep. He falls asleep when his head hits the pillow, snores and changes position a lot. I never seem to move once I'm sleeping soundly. I wake up with hair flattened on the same side every morning. I like my bed and always say "goodnight" to my long gone, much missed Mum. I recall in her later years, long after my Dad died, when she told me snuggling into her bed was the best part of her day. She lived to be 91. She looks down on me from the photos on the wall, a child with her siblings in one, age 21 in another, and as a bridesmaid - and the dressmaker of all four gowns - at a sister's wedding in another. Sepia photos of children in lace up boots. Girls with hair bows, a boy in short trousers, grandmother holding her second set of twins. Five children in four years! The historic part of my maternal English family. I remember them all and feel their absence every day.

The antique secretary once belonged to a North Carolina country doctor. The piece is sturdy, weighs a ton, probably mahogany, the paint was done prior to my purchase from SuzAnna's Antiques. I love it and will never part with it. It's the first thing I see when I wake each morning. It holds my collection of favorite books and a mishmash of items. I change or move around things on the shelves and padded bulletin boards I made. I store paper goods, pieces of my life. . . .and secrets inside.

In earlier days, which really weren't that long ago, I so enjoyed what friends and I called 'treasure hunting' - mostly shopping and collecting vintage and some true antiques. Come Spring I was anxious to get going with gathering new pieces for my booth at SuzAnna's Antiques. I shared a fun space with my dear friend Vanessa. We loved those special days, buying, displaying and selling, and the camaraderie of the other dealers.  

~ SuzAnna's Booth 2011 ~
I still have several items shown here in my home 

Today I came across an old blog post about those days. It included this list I made in March 2011 -

SuzAnna's Antiques is really warming up now that Spring is here................soon I'll share more pics of the treasures available........meanwhile I'm off to a huge neighborhood yard sale this morning. 
My shopping hunting list for my booth includes ~
  • Chandeliers for glitter and glamour - French would be best
  • Small furniture items in need of love and new homes
  • Ironstone Platters, must be crazed, cracks add character
  • Antique silver flatware/trays - unpolished of course
  • Old beautiful linens for tables and beds 
  • Shells, coral, barnacles - for seaside decor
  • Old bound books - fun to read and play with
..............and whatever else catches my eye. 

This Saturday morning is dull. It rained in the night and there's no sun yet to dry things up. But no snow as in the northeast. That said, the sun has just popped out which always helps when life seems somewhat downhearted. Bob's eye surgery Tuesday went well however he does not have restored clear vision yet!  We are hoping this will improve with time. . . . . . .we are great believers in healing takes time.

~ Pieces of the past ~


  1. I remember the old posts featuring you, your partner and SuzAnna's Antiques ... quite fondly. Mary, you are a talented writer and photographer. I never tire of reading your blog posts ~~~~ The growing older, losing muscle mass, etc etc I feel as well. However, we keep going, don't we?

  2. Dear Mary,
    I can sense the feelings of nostalgia in your words. The past and those we love are always with us in our memories. Your cabinet holding some of your treasures is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it, and your memories, with us. Aging is difficult and I am often in denial about it. I read the words and thoughts of those a little further along the journey and am encouraged by words of resilience and hope, as you've written here.
    Healing does take time and I pray that Bob's eyesight will be restored. It's hard to be patient.
    Hugs to you both as the sun shines in through the window for a few hours before the rain today.

  3. I remember many of your posts about your time with the antiques, Mary. So much time passes, life changes, physical frailties arrive etc etc. You sound a little bit down today, sending you a hug over the miles.

  4. Dear Mary - I really enjoyed your Saturday morning memoir. Much of what you have voiced about ageing must ring true for many of us .
    You were so fortunate to have your mother with you for 91 years, I would have loved my own mother to have live far longer. I still have feelings of sadness for her as she died when she was 62. She missed out on all the joyous aspects of being a grandparent that I have enjoyed, and several of her grandchildren were born after she had died.

  5. Dearest Mary,
    You write you wished that: 'my feet were more sure and comfy where planted'.
    Yet you sleep upstairs... I would be avoiding the stairs when having issues with my feet.
    Both of us have always snuggled up together and don't sleep separately—why would we?!
    Hoping indeed that Bob's eye surgery will still heal up and improve with time.
    We too have dreary, rainy days again.

  6. Loved your post! How I enjoyed your post. I really liked what you wrote about aging and the way you wrote it.

  7. Dear Mary, how beautiful is your white Secretary furniture, and how you must enjoy it in your home. I know I would have loved your Antiques business, in fact I have a corner cupboard identical to the one in the picture - except that mine is not painted white. But it will be. Soonish. You have a wonderful eye for style. We too are feeling our age now, and things are changing around here. We hope to stay in our own home as long as possible. Take care, and all the best. xx

  8. You say "I am no fan of ageing" - who is, I wonder? Certainly not me, having witnessed my Dad's downwards spiral for years and now seeing O.K.'s Dad getting weaker by the day. From all I know, you and Bob are still doing remarkably well, managing most of the work in and around your house and garden yourselves. If things take longer than they used to, so be it!
    By the way, I love the padded bulletin boards you have made for the secretary. A creative and clever use of its doors!
    Our families will always be part of us, even after they are long gone. During a walk not long after my Dad had died, I thought of him and all the other family members who had died long before him, my grandparents and great-grandparents, uncles and aunts, and it occured to me how very fortunate and blessed I am, having such a long chain of people who loved me from the moment (or even before) I was born. That will stay with me forever.

  9. Dad was one of 6 siblings and mum was one of three. We lived close to all the first cousins and saw them often. But when everyone married and had children of their own, the old family ties seemed to weaken. Now I see my first cousins only at weddings and funerals. What a shame.

  10. Your antique secretary is a lovely piece. So nice how you have filled it with memories and photos of your family. A very nice sight to behold each morning, I'm sure.
    I remember reading your blog posts from the SuzAnna's days. I always thought if I'm ever in the area, I'm going to look it up. Hasn't happened yet though. It is so hard to believe how quickly the years fly by.
    I do hope that Bob's vision is getting clearer.

  11. What a wonderful cabinet. I love your memories too. Hoping Bob's eyes are getting better each day. Aging is not always a fun adventure, but what choice do we have. Sending you hugs!!!

  12. What a beautiful, nostalgic post! I love your antique secretary and how you have it styled. I hope that Bob's vision will clear in a short time. Concerning that he snores - has he been tested for sleep apnea? I'm like you - I have to read before bed. I can never "just go to bed". And even when I'm exhausted, it takes me awhile to fall asleep.

  13. A line said by Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey has stayed with me:" All life is a series of problems which we must try and solve, first one and then the next and then the next, until at last we die " !!! A little bit depressing but true. I'm not keen on the ageing part but, at least we are still ageing ..... the alternative is worse 🤣. I love all of your possession's Mary, collected over many years and every one tells a story. I think eyes take a while to heal so early days for Bob. Thinking of you both over here in soggy old England. XXXX

  14. Hi Mary. For some reason I got to wondering about Vanessa today and then I thought of you and here you are still blogging!! What a coincidence that you mentioned her in this blog post.Those early days of blogging were so special weren’t they? How are you and Bob? This getting older is challenging isn’t it? I’ll be 77 this year I post on IG and FB as Rhondimullins. Would love to connect again. ❤️

  15. Hi Mary am Mary too,my husband and I bought your corner hutch at suzannas in Raleigh Feb 14ish 2012 it was my last day of radiation of breast cancer,I love it 12 years later ,my husband added a light under each shelf.

  16. Hi Mary am Mary too.I bought your korner cabinet at suzannas Feb 14ish in was my last day of radiation for breast cancer,I was 50’s in my dinning room and love it as much the day my husband got it for me.

  17. My dearest Mary, oh how lovely it is to read these beautiful words from you. My hearts bursts with so much love for you. You have been such a wonderful friends throughout the years and mostly through the days, months and years when I thought some things were just hopeless. Raising a little one far away from my family, lonely really, you were always there! To encourage, offer a word of compassion and love. I love you friend! I really miss those days!!

  18. We are all getting older and it FEELS! I know! Lovely post and lovely words!
    Best wishes from a windy island & Titti

  19. Your white furniture is beautiful. I hope he gets clearer vision soon.


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