Can shopping be eclectic? I’m not sure this is the correct word but it is difficult to describe the kind of shopping day I had yesterday. I have known Diane since we bought this house in 2008. She has helped me in numerous ways and we often talk about garage sales, old things, new things, and unusual things. Almost weekly Diane has said that we should go to some of her favorite “antique” places and so finally we did on Friday — and then some! Now the word antique is in quotes because it is used very loosely here.
The first stop of the day was at Fields, an antique (read junk) store not too far from Lords Valley on secondary roads that I was not familiar with. Beautiful country and I wondered how people find this place. However, it was clear from the number of people there that this is only a problem for me! I happily purchased a small mahogany chair for Rachel’s new table and we moved on, Diane reminding me that we had a lot of stops to make! I spent my day happily as the passenger, learning about new places in the area and trying to maintain a sense of where I was. Onward!
Our second stop was an architectural salvage place in Scranton. Scranton is about 35 miles west of Lords Valley and it was a challenge finding the entrance to the Olde Things salvage warehouse. It is difficult to describe a place of such scale. It is massive and the amount of pieces small, large, and enormous, is difficult to describe. Inside and out floor to ceiling in the huge warehouse there were items old and new taken from homes and public buildings being demolished.
Prices were commensurate with the story that went with each piece. When I asked the owner about a pair of concrete decorations he said they typically would be about $45, but because they were from the Philadelphia Convention Center built in the 1800s and the provenance was clear, they were $325 each. Hmmmm. I think he saw us as easy targets with deep pockets looking for items with a story.
There were walls of pedestal sinks, chairs hanging from the ceiling, light fixtures old and new, gates, clawfoot bathtubs, claw feet alone, bits and pieces that I could only guess at. We left after climbing among the treasures.
After Scranton, we moved on to Dickson City (not far from Scranton) to Wegman’s which is a Whole Foods on steroids. Then to Sam’s for a few things that Diane needed desperately!! The stop for water turned into much much more, but isn’t that always the way with Sam’s or Costco? Then we restarted our antiquing and headed back east to Honesdale which is about 20 miles east of Lord’s Valley. We sure were covering a lot of miles. To the Alpine (a kitschy German restaurant and shop) then to another antique shop. Diane knows all the proprietors on a first name basis so my quest for chairs was an easy one. One more stop at a shop between Honesdale and Hawley. We were now heading back towards Lords Valley and home. The first thing I saw was several chairs. I had never seen anything like them and so of course purchased two for Rachel. I include a photo here because before the spoiler at the end of this paragraph, guess why the chairs have little shelves attached to the back. Chris, the owner, had just purchased an entire church in Honesdale and found 60 of these in the basement. They were used for church services and the shelves on the back were to hold the prayer books for the person behind! What a find.
I think you can see now why I called this an eclectic shopping day. It was all over the place from antiques, to junk, to food for later, to German potato salad. I have not calculated how many miles Diane drove yesterday but it was a lot. Hot, sweaty, and very satisfied with ourselves, we headed home and unloaded. I cannot wait to drive into Brooklyn next week with the three chairs I found. I’m just thankful I didn’t buy more stuff and think I exhibited a great deal of self-control!!