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You Never Know What You May Find Antiquing

When I was young, I hated antique stores.  Every one seemed to have piles of fancy dishes and pristine, dark wood furniture.  I found them to be boring places to shop and they just reminded me of a place for old people to visit.

In my teens, my mom and I started visiting a shop that had plenty of the things that I found boring, but there was one vendor who transformed the boring items into amazing things.  She cleaned them up, added some paint, and repurposed what no one else wanted.  The thing that sticks out in my mind was an old lantern she hung on a cupboard door and then decorated it for Christmas.  I remember that her corner of the shop was the place that I actually fell in love with antiques.  I saw that there were things in these shops that I could find beautiful.   Now I love scouting out shops where I know I'll find something great to repurpose or fix up and sell.

Sometimes I find things that are just for myself, and this past weekend I found what will probably always be the most interesting find ever.  My mom and I visited a shop in Punxsutawney, PA (yes, home to the famous groundhog) called Nomadic Trading Company.  It is only about an hour away from my house, but this was my first visit.  The store is in  a late 1800s silk mill building and is packed full of great furniture and vintage treasures.

In one vendor's area, there was a long counter top sitting on drawers that had belonged to a photographer.  A sign rested on the top saying that inside the drawers there were pictures of people from Brockway (where I live) and DuBois. They were arranged alphabetically, so I decided to have a look and see if I could find anyone I knew.

I get to my last name, and there is an envelope with my dad's name on it.  Inside the envelope are four negatives of his senior picture.  I have his senior picture that was printed in the year book, but there are three more here that were never printed.  There was even a card in the envelope that showed exactly how many pictures were ordered.

It is so weird to think that these sat in a drawer for about 50 years but still managed to find their way to me.  The woman who sold them to me said that I can take the negatives to Walmart and they will actually develop them into real pictures.  It will be so neat to have the set of four pictures.

Even though I spent many years walking around antique stores with a pout on my face, I finally saw the value in searching through other people's old belongings.  And now I realize more than ever, that you just never know what you might find on that search.

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