Friday, April 15, 2016

Lined Paper

I stood next to the thin plate glass window, watching the unrelenting rain pound the pavement outside. I heard the hiss of car tires approaching long before I actually saw a car. I looked to see if the window was open, but no, this window did not open. The damp chill from outside had penetrated the brick walls of this old furniture warehouse that has been repurposed into an antique mall. I pulled the zipper a little higher on my North Face winter parka.


The gloomy weather outside made it the perfect day to be exploring the endless maze of aisles of the antique warehouse with my friend Kay. Neither of us were looking for anything specific. Although she did have a daughter getting married in a summer wedding a year from now, and single-bloom milk glass vases were part of the table centerpiece design. I had a Kentucky Derby party to go to at the beginning of May, if I could find the perfect black, wide-brimmed, floppy hat with a long curving feather, that would be like finding a rainbow after a thunderstorm.


Of course, I am always on the hunt for photography props or something that stirs a story within me.

Nearing the last aisle, and anticipating eating lunch in a warm restaurant, I started to hurry towards the check-out counter. But out of the corner of my eye, on a home improvement store, snap-together plastic shelf,  I spotted a nearly full, open cellophane wrapper of lined paper lying on top of a collection of mason jars. It was the kind I had used in Kindergarten and First Grade when I was learning to write the letters of the alphabet. The light blue dotted line sandwiched between the solid pink and blue lines brought back the memories of yellow No. 2 pencils, Elmer's glue, and rubber cement. This packet of paper had the appropriate yellowing and staining from having sat on a shelf in a school storage room for the past twenty years. This was not a reproduction.


Seeing that paper reminded me of making loopy b's and f's, the frustration of trying to make a cursive G, something that I still struggle with today (not good for somebody with a husband named Glen). I thought about how my handwriting has evolved over the past forty years, yet some parts are still the same. That paper made me wonder if kids still use those blue and pinks lines to practice their alphabet, or if everything is done on the computer these days.

Holding that open cellophane package of paper in my hand, I debated over the $2 price tag. What would I do with it? It would be just another thing to stack on my own overflowing shelves of milk glass vases, mason jars, and old tea cups. So I returned the paper to the shelf, gathered the milk glass vase and 1930's Eastman Kodak camera brochure I was purchasing and walked towards the lady and her space heater at the check out counter.


If only life was that easy, to walk away from a found treasure and forget about it. But that is rarely the case, and that pack of lined paper has stirred something within me.

13 comments:

  1. OH! I want to be you and run back for that lined paper and practice my handwriting! I love that old pencil sharpener with the handle!

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  2. I have a pencil sharpener very similar to that on my desk - my mom bought it for us at home years ago.
    And the memories you evoked in me with the lined paper are endless as well!

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  3. I felt like I was there with you and the joy of your discovery.

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  4. With your vivid memories, you don't need the actual paper. I remember doing my "penmanship" on it, too. I doubt children do that anymore.

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  5. I also remember that paper. A walk Dow memory lane. Such a nice rainy day adventure for you and your friend.

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  6. I don't remember this ruled paper, but I do remember the long chalkboards in the classrooms, with painted lines in just this configuration. We all had to practice our cursive writing on the chalkboard, in front of all the other kids. Not my favorite part of the school day!

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  8. Ah, antiquing! One of my favorite pastimes is strolling around a couple of nearby antiques malls (warehouse would really be a better term) to while away an hour or two. Once in a while I'll pick up a small treasure to bring home, but more often I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. If it continues to call to me strongly enough, I might go back for it. If it's still there, I tell myself I was meant to have it; if it's gone (often the case) I have to just console myself with the thought that I didn't really "need" it anyway.

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  9. Isn't that the truth . . .
    the left behind treasure
    stays in the mind
    with wishing . . .
    go back

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  10. I remember well the lined paper for practicing writing. I was never good at writing the letter "r" in cursive and my name had two in it! I, too, love to wander through antique malls. It's a great thing to do on a rainy day! Hmmmm! It is supposed to rain most of this week. You may find me in one!

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  11. This is surely a treasure, Sarah!

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  12. Walking around an Antique mall is fun! It is crazy how one item can, as you say, 'stir something' inside you and a story or photograph is created. What a great find and you 'stirred' up some memories for me as well. :)

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  13. I have sewed "lined paper" ...I know the feeling it brings in you or I should say, I understand the emotion it can tweak since I'm sure the details of our emotion is different.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)