On promise and disappointment…

I went to an estate sale over the weekend. I just happened to see the signs while on my way to do other things and dropped in. It was promising. The big house, fairly modern, with its rolling green lawn overlooking the Elk River should have been a good buying opportunity. It was about as picturesque a scene as you could want in a region that prides itself on sweeping water views.

Everything inside, though, was entirely forgettable. Architectural Digest prints on the walls and expensive plastic as far as the eye could see. Literally not a thing you couldn’t find new from your local Target or Pier One or Wayfair. At best, there were a few obviously modern pieces doing their best to imitate antiques.

At the risk of sounding judgy, if the house ever had any soul, it was gone long before its most recent resident shoved off. Not a bit of it looked in any way lived in – or really even lived with.

Someday, inevitably, my household will be shut down and the collections of a lifetime broken up. I can promise you, though, the house will look thoroughly lived in and the objects within will have some flavor of personality beyond the fashion of the moment. Every bit of it will be there not because it “looked good,” but because it recalled a time or a place or a feeling.

Gods preserve me from ever worrying about what looks fashionable or from ever leaving something that looks so promising, but ends up in such disappointment.

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