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.