One of the more interesting idea in the US is the idea of going “antiquing.” This is where you go visit certain parts of the country near you that have an abundance of antique shops, and see if there is something you might like to buy from someone else’s leftover “stuff.”
I had the opportunity to be a “roady” again for Mrs. 39 Months at a dulcimer festival near Asheville NC. Asheville and the surrounding area is a wonderful, mountainous region, plenty of outdoor activities, fall colors, and a general “funky” attitude (lots of coffee shops, music venues, art exhibits, etc.). It is one of the areas that we are considering retiring too, especially since a lot of my family is just over the mountains in TN (2-hour drive away).
Asheville also has a large amount of antique shops/stores – big warehouses of space with little 10’x10’ and 20’x20’ sections walled off, where dealers have put out large collections of old items, mostly bought at estate sales and moving sales. You would think that the advent of eBay and other on-line purchasing systems might have put a crunch into this, but it does not appear to have.
It is always fascinating to walk around in these and see items that you may have purchased in the past (especially toys) that now are listed as “antiques.” It is fun to remember playing with the toys as a kid, reading some of the books/magazines you had, or remembering some of the other items that were part of your life that you happen to come across there.
It also brings out a bit of sadness/awareness when you see a family’s prized possessions now laid out, and fetching pennies on the dollar for what they paid for. As I walked around, I saw lots of furniture, many collectables, and many items that you know someone spent a lifetime collecting and enjoying. Now it is sitting in an old tobacco warehouse waiting for someone to show interest. It made me realize again that the accumulation of “stuff” does not necessarily make you happy, and probably is going to go fill up a landfill or sit in a warehouse.
For me, I was looking for old woodworking tools to purchase cheap, fix up, and then re-use. I figured at least that would do honor to some long-lost woodworker who used the items. Trying to keep the old crafts alive.
Mr. 39 Months.