As I wait behind a woman in the long black petticoat, pulled tight at the waist, I cannot help but hear her conversation, or more like her announcement.
“I need to be able to squeeze a wedding dress in here to take on the plane tonight”, she says loudly as she tilts her head to one side to further examine the suitcase.
It is covered with dust and has a big tag on it marked $10.
“Oh, that’s not our tag” the man tending to the cash register says.
“Just need it for one night. It’s complicated” she continues her monologue.
The owner of the estate shop comes around to the front counter, interrupting his lunch. He tells her she can bring it back if it is not big enough as he rubs his hands together, presumably to remove any lingering crumbs.
“Well, it will be a while because I’ll be in Hawaii”.
“Oh”, the owner says. Then he motions me over to another part of the counter to tend to my sale. I have chosen 9 unique keys from his secret drawer of old keys that I discovered. I just love his estate shop for this reason. You make all kinds of discoveries as you travel through the store. This one was in a metal tool chest, in one of the drawers marked “look inside”.
I can still hear her, seemingly trying to entice the other worker as she goes on about her wedding. The worker does not seem that interested in her adventure.
“Do you want the suitcase or not? Five dollars and it’s yours”.
Now I’m fully into my world. Her voice goes away. The owner goes though each of my keys, and I watch, each key its own special self. One short and round. Another, long and thin with exaggerated teeth. Yet another very small and very cute.
“Ten dollars for all of them.”
“Can you do any better for me? Remember all those brass keys- that was a big one” I counter. A few years ago, I spent a few hundred dollars on a whole bunch of brass keys- all so beautiful.
“Yeah, I suppose so. The credit card fees- last month $478. I have to fold it into the prices” he explains.
He puts the keys into a little white paper bag and folds the bag top down neatly several times, creating a special little white package.
On my drive back to the office, I get to thinking. There is a draw here to this place. I often wander into the way back back of the store where he has odds and ends of nuts, bolts and the like in glass jars. It so reminds me of my father’s workshop. A special sacred place. A place where my father seemed happy and content, a place he seemed to truly belong.
You see, my father passed a few months ago, and he is on my mind. I have been into my father’s workshop one time since his passing. I am eager to spend more time in there. Chaos and drama as part of the probate and estate does not allow anyone in his workshop at this time. I so am looking forward to spending time in my father’s oasis, his special place of contentment and ease. I see that this is the very sentiment that draws me back to this place where treasures wait for their discovery.
Written February 2018