Monday, December 16, 2013

Celebrating a Homecoming Twice. And, always!

All I wished for Christmas came true last weekend!
We celebrated the early return of our Ranger last Saturday! And, this
was not just any return... This was his fifth and his last return from a
deployment to Afghanistan! A distinction that didn't fully hit me until a
few days later, while I was back at work. I was sitting at my desk, working
away, when the Blue Star Flag hanging on the back of the white board in
my pod caught my eye. Immediately, I was overcome with emotion brought
on by the relief that comes with the certainty that I will never lose my son to
war. For me, this particular fear and often, crippling burden of worry is over!
These past five years have simultaneously been the longest and shortest five
years of my life. I have been both more afraid and more at peace than I ever
imagined possible. And, proud... Well, there simply are no words to adequately
express how proud I am of all our son accomplished and the work he's done! As
for the men who serve/d with him, the fellow Rangers he calls his brothers, I am
grateful for their protection and would be happy to claim any of them as my own!
We have our Ranger back. From a deployment that stole two more of his brothers,
as evidenced by the new KIA bracelet clamped tightly around his wrist. To all of
you that have so generously lent me your support, I send you thanks that has no
end. To other Army Moms, we are in this together until your sons come home too!

So if we welcomed Ranger home in Ft. Benning last weekend, why were
we back on the road to Atlanta this weekend? Well, because while I did
remember the care package sent by my sweet friend Angie and all of the
things Ranger ordered on-line, there were two things I didn't realize we
were supposed to bring along. And, since this was the last chance before
my trip home for Christmas, we packed up and met Ranger in Atlanta to
make the delivery. A second chance to squeeze him and do a little bit of
shopping along the way... Not a bad way to spend our anniversary weekend!

As always, our first stop was the Pottery Barn Outlet in Gaffney
where the duvet and pillowcase pickins' this time were slim;
however, I did manage to pick up this cute trio of cheese boards!
Saturday was our 28th anniversary, so instead of just spending the day driving
home we decided to break up the trip with a stop at Scott's Antique Market
For all the hype and hoopla about it, I must honestly warn my fellow
antique-hounds that with a few exceptions, it's not worth a special trip
to Atlanta... Especially since many of the dealers are the same people
we have run into many times at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte!
But I did say there were a few exceptions, so I promise to tell you all
about them in a few minutes. What I've been hunting for a while now are
two things I had hoped to give my mom for Christmas this year... Sadly,
our trip to Scott's did not bring me any closer to finding them. There
were plenty of examples of what I'm looking for that were nearly right...
But when it comes to things for my mom, nearly right won't do!
As you can see from the prices, vendors at Scott's appeared to be very
attached to their not-quite-perfect treasures. There is no way a silver-
plated plateau with a mirror in such shabby condition demands $335!
This one for $125 was a contender... Until the vendor told me it had just sold!
By the way... I had a copper moment here!
And, I fell in love with more vintage linen here!
This vendor is one of those exceptions I was telling you about! Her
name is Margaret Meier and she's from Oakland Park Florida. She
has the largest collection of vintage fabrics in the business. Whites,
laces, homespuns, bark cloth, brocades, you name it, Margaret has
it. And, what sets her apart in this business is that Margaret cleans
and irons all the pieces she sells. She's also as picky about condition
as I am, which instantly made us best friends! Do you see what I saw?
It's a vintage German mail bag from the 1950's!
And, Margaret had two... The one above and this one, which is perfect!
Originally Margaret and I talked about cutting it down. Since it's
printed on both sides, I could easily get two pillows made from just
one sack. However, the more and more I thought about it, I think
leaving it whole and using it as a wall hanging is an even better idea!
I love the texture, look and feel of vintage linen!
Don't you?
The other vendor exception I met at Scott's yesterday is John Tomsyck of
both Charlotte North Carolina and Heidelberg Germany! You see John's wife
is a psychiatrist who joined the army at age 53 so she is currently stationed
in Germany. John shops the flea markets all over Germany and ships his
treasures back to the states for sale at antique shows like Scott's in Atlanta!
Talk about living the dream of picker!
I love vintage maps and John has one
of the best collections I have ever seen!
He also offers a collection of antique dough boards from Hungary!
These are virtually impossible to find...
Especially in such terrific condition! John has a booth at an antique mall
in Belmont North Carolina, which is now officially on my list! If you're in
the market for a dough board like this, to use as a cutting board or in your
dough-making, my dear friend David offers some exceptional examples
in his shop here. Buy one now and create your own vintage heirloom!
Although I didn't find the treasures on my list, there
were plenty of things worth taking note of at Scott's...
Like this pair of (sold) Tiffany-inspired dragonfly floor lamps...
And, this poor old lion!
And, this beautiful round dining table! In fact, now that the living room is done,
the formal dining room is next! One of us doesn't want a round dining table
but fortunately for me, that person doesn't mind letting me have my way!
The last things to catch my eye before we left Scott's
were these jellyfish vases set into driftwood pieces!
I love how the glass curves over and into the natural form of the wood!
The vendor happens to have a shop in High Point!
And, although I could have waited to get one there, I took this one with me!
After we walked both buildings at Scott's we
decided it was probably time to head home...
Besides, we needed to leave a little time for a stop on the way!
I fell in love with this vintage, hand-painted plate rack at one of
the Chamblee Antique Row. Unfortunately, the dealer and I
couldn't come to an agreement about the plates so it's still there!
If you find yourself shopping the Chamblee antique row shops, do not... I
repeat, do not miss the last shop on the row! We've been there twice and
both times I found amazing things at prices that could not be beat! My first
find during this visit was a set of eight, unused Lenox white dinner plates!
As you can see here, a set of six at Macy*s costs $120 (on sale)! At the
shop they were originally priced $60; however, everything discounts 10% for
each month it sits on the shelf. So by the time I got there, they were only $40!
Clearly, these plates were waiting for me to show up! Another thing that
popped out at me was this knitted lap blanket. Normally, I would never
buy soft goods second hand... However, I had a five hour car ride ahead
and since keeping the Jeep cold helps keep my driver awake, I needed
this! Besides, it was clean, didn't smell and the label indicated it was...
How could I let Norma down by allowing her beautiful work to hang in
the shop another month? It had already been discounted from $12 to $9!
After all, Li-Li Coconut and I appreciate the skill and
time Norma put into creating this piece especially for us!
The blanket aside... This is my favorite find from this weekend's treasure
hunt! And, I cannot help but think how fitting it is that I found it in one
of the first antique shops we stopped at following the visit we made just
before our Ranger deployed for the second time. I remember wandering
the shop feeling sick having just left him and like I was about to lose my
mind over the worry that had already begun to creep into every breath!
Not only is this beautiful holy water font a piece of vintage Belleek, the mark
indicates it was made between 1959-1980 and, it's in perfect condition!
But most of all, it signifies God's promise to me...
That He will always keep and protect my sons...
And, bring them home to me. No matter
how far they might wander from home!
It was the perfect find to bring our 16th and final trip
down to Atlanta and Fort Benning to visit our Ranger!
Let the holiday cheer begin!


  1. Aha! you made the most of the trip I see Janet! The blanket looks great, and just the thing for snuggling on a long trip. I spotted also your new Le Creuset on the counter, it looks great - now you just have to make some pate!! You know the rest! xx

    1. Amy - I thought of you and your crocheting when I spied that little knitted blanket!!

      Pate... Hum. Don't hold your breath, dear girl... I'm afraid you might turn blue!



  2. Janet; this did my heart good to read. From your Ranger's return to your treasure hunt, your deep appreciation of all you've been given strikes a chord in me. Merry Christmas, my friend.

    1. Thank you, dearest Nancy! You are one of the friends I reference in my post. You have been so supportive and kind and I thank YOU!



  3. Dear Janet:

    I am sending my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to you as well as your family & friends now that Ranger is home safely. I can only imagine the utmost joy and extreme relief you all must feel on top of all the pride you rightfully have for such a hero son, your Ranger. I send so much thanks to him for his service, bravery, and dedication as a true patriot. Bravo to one of the finest, elite 11B AND to his wonderful Ranger Mom!!

    Proudly and petrified, I just started my dreams of my son's first homecoming. Your story helps me realize, by example, how to go about living through this chapter in my life with purpose, grace and dignity. All I can say is thank you so much!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    1. I promise you, Elizabeth - I am here for you today, tomorrow and even the day after your son comes home for good! Thank you for his service and thank you for your continued support.



  4. I am so thrilled for you that you have your son home safe and sound! I truly appreciate and respect the work that our soldiers do, but I would love to see them all home with their families. You got the best Christmas gift ever!

  5. How wonderful that the Ranger is back safe and sound! I'm so glad for this because I know how much you worried over him while he was deployed.

    As for the trip to the Antique Mall, well, they do seem to have a lot. I agree with you, those antique linens are so nice and they feel heavenly. If I'm ever there, I'm heading straight for that dealer AND I want to see those old Hungarian cutting boards too! I know, I know, one can never have too many cutting boards.

    Have a great winter in SoCal and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!

  6. After shedding a few tears about your Ranger coming home for good, I had to give thanks to God for all The Ranger, you and your family have went through these past five years. I shall continue to pray for those still in our country's service making it a safer place for us here at home. My heart leaps with joy to know your heart will not have to go through another parting of this sort again. WELCOME HOME RANGER! Your little stops on the way home were some great scores on your purchases. Your homes beauty only increases with each addition you give it. May you and your family have a most wonderful Christmas filled with much love and many blessings. I say this now as computer problems have plagued me for some time and I may not get to tell you later. Hopefully this will go through now. You have blessed me with your posts through I don't know how many years and the excitement I get when I see the notice in my email of a new one fills me with joy. Merry Christmas!


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