I can never resist checking out a piano. I’m really not a pianist but I own one and have fun with it. And I always want to see what other pianos sound like. (I also never pass a wind chime without finding out what it sounds like, and drums aren’t safe either. I may have to revise my self-image as a quiet person.)
So I have a couple of tunes I can play, and one of them is Ashoken Farewell, the haunting fiddle tune used in the Civil War documentary of a few years ago. And I wasn’t more than six notes into it at the estate sale on Friday when I heard a man’s voice say, “Ashoken Farewell! One of my favorite tunes!” I could hardly believe my ears. About a year and a half ago, I was playing this same tune on an estate sale piano and a man came over and told me enthusiastically, “Ashoken Farewell! One of my favorite tunes!”
This being not-so-big Salem, it was of course the same guy. I’m not sure if he remembered the earlier conversation, but we had a nice chat (again) about what a great tune it is and how it sounds like it should be from the Civil War era but isn’t. (And while we were chatting, his wife was snagging all the great Pendleton shirts my hubs would have liked, dang it!) Now I’m going to expect to see him at any sale where there’s a piano. I’ll have to make sure I keep Ashoken Farewell in practice; I wouldn’t want to disappoint him with wrong notes.
Evidently I can’t resist cashmere either. There was this really beautiful black cashmere ladies’ coat at the last estate sale we went to, and I was trying to get this other lady to buy it. We both stood there petting it (cashmere cloth feels really very nice) and saying neither of us needed another coat, but finally she gave in and put it on.
And it didn’t fit her! Just a bit tight in the hips. About that time my friends Judy and Robin showed up and they petted the coat too. Try it on they said. I don’t need another black coat, I said. This one’s the perfect weight for Oregon, they said. It’s fifteen dollars, I said. Right, they said, only fifteen dollars! So I tried on the black cashmere coat and it fit perfectly and felt great. Then Judy said the clincher. “You can wear it with anything. You can wear it with jeans to go garaging.” So yes, I’ll be the lady with jeans and a cashmere coat out looking for bargains in the future. I admit I can’t wait to wear it somewhere. Which means we will undoubtedly be in for a stretch of warm weather.
This whole business of resisting temptation is so difficult, you know? The resolve not to buy projects or decor has made me put down any number of items, and the fact that I can’t remember any of them reinforces the rightness of those decisions. At another estate sale Friday I decided to buy a very nice bottle with a pouring spout and metal lid to use for maple syrup. There were several of them sitting there, priced at a dollar each. Judy pointed out a little chrome stand with two of these bottles plus matching salt and pepper shakers, priced $3. I shook my head, saying I’d never use them. So it would just be decor.
When I got home I noticed a label on my bottle and went to the computer to check it out.And five minutes later I headed back to that sale, fingers crossed that the rest of the bottles and the set would still be there. Because these bottles are designed by Ettore Sottsass for Alessi
and they retail for over $40 each and that set is priced at over $200. Zowie. But alas, while I scored three more of the bottles (one missing its cap), the set was gone. Sure hope whoever bought it appreciates it!
When I got home again I emailed Judy a link to the set we’d passed up, saying we’d missed the boat. I think her reply truly captures our feelings. “We didn’t miss the boat…we missed a gigantic cruise ship!”