I posted last summer a story from the Cottage by the sea - about my great grandmother, Nellie's lamp globe which had been left in a corner cupboard probably eighty or more years before I rescued the globe and below is the story ... by the way a true story complete this time with a picture of the lamp. My picture again does not do justice, the flowers are a lovely light pink. At night it looks like a full moon in my kitchen. Enjoy....
In a corner of the main room of the cottage was a rustic cupboard full of all kinds of interesting tidbits whidh had been stored, then totally forgotten. There were dishes and oil lamps. A jar full of colorful sea glass and a basket of stones and shells.
Among the souvenirs was a white satin glass globe decorated with hand painted delicated pink flowers. The globe was the top globe of a oil lamp, the bottom of which had been disposed of years earlier. I was admiring it one day when Dad told me that the globe belonged to his grandmother, Nellie.
She was his maternal grandmother who had the Cottage by the Sea built in 1927 for her grandsons. Dad was extremely fond of her and although he had no use for the globe he treasured it because it belonged to Grandma.
Closing for the summer in the late sixties, I decided to take the globe home for safe keeping. At the time, I was not into antiques not even knowing that it was the top for a Gone with the Wind Lamp but I liked it.
Once home I carefully placed the globe in a kitchen cupboard on a top shelf. From time to time over the next several years I would glance at the globe trying to decide how I might use it in my home. My decorating theme was 50’s - 60’s. Orange chunky glass lamps, sectional furniture, a driftwood table, aqua, beige and orange the color scheme. A starburst clock adorning the fireplace. Somehow the delicate globe never seemed to fit.
Fast forward to the mid-seventies. That fall I was conducting one of my famous yard, tag or garage sales. Depending upon my mood, I would call each sale by a different name.
This particular year I was having an “estate sale” as my husband had inherited a small house jam packed with marvelous items. Friends of ours had invited us to join them on a trip to Aruba. We both really wanted to go on that trip so we agreed the profits of our 'estate sale' would take us to sunny Aruba for a second honeymoon.
On the day of the sale, I had located the cash box in the kitchen riight below the cupboard which held Nellie's globe. A older lady, while waiting in line to pay for her purchase,immediately spied the glass globe. Announcing that she collected lamps she asked how much I would take for the globe. I replied the globe was not for sale.
Not daunted, she continued on with her conversation, telling me it was extremely difficult to find a replacement globe especially a white satin one with hand painted pink flowers.
Then she offered me fifty dollars without even inspecting the globe.
The balmy winds of Aruba were calling…. Fifty dollars a lot of money. Quickly in my mind, I reasoned that Dad had given me the lamp globe. The short version of this story is I caved into the old saying money talks. Our father was a handsome extremely gentle self-made man who had climbed the ladder at Kodak extremely successfully. While he never tolerated swearing from his girls, his language at times could be pretty colorful, including using the Lords name in vain.
Later that day when I casually mentioned I had sold the globe, Dad became angry with me as he exploded, “J…. C….. Sis, if you needed fifty dollars, why didn’t you ask me?”
I felt terrible, wishing against wish, I had resisted temptation. It was, of course, too late, the globe was gone. Within hours, I was forgiven, but the haunting feeling of my actions never left me. Dad and I never spoke of the globe again.
Glenn and I took the wonderful trip to Aruba. It turned out to be our last trip as my husband died of cancer a year and a half later. Time marched on. In 1985 we lost our father to emphysema.
Twenty-four years quickly passed since the day I sold Nellie’s globe.
On a lovely Fall day in the late 1990's, a day very much the same as the day of the original sale, I glanced out my kitchen window to see a little old lady struggling to come up the driveway. Wondering who she was, I opened the door asking if I could help her. Not answering me, she continued walking ever so slowly to the porch. Suddenly I realized it was the lady who bought the Nellie's globe.
I could not imagine what she wanted, other than to ask if I had any thing new to sell as by this time I had become an antique dealer.
Approaching the porch she asked me, “Do you remember me?”
“I think I do,” I replied, inviting her to sit down as she was having difficulty breathing.
'My husband died, she announced. 'I am moving to an apartment in the Village.”
We chatted for a few minutes with me continuing to wonder why she had come to my house. Finally I asked if I could help her with anything.
She looked directy at me as she said, , “I remembered you told me that the globe i bought was your great grandmother’s and you were not sure if you should sell .”
I nodded and shared my father's reaction. Smiling, she said, “How would you like to buy it back?”
Not believing that I heard her correctly, I jumped up and ran for my check book. She could have charged me $500.00 for that globe, it would not have mattered. Instead she charged me $60.00. $10.00 more than she had originally paid. There are not words to express my emotion.
We went to the car. There sat Nellie's globe carefully packed in bubble wrap. I hugged her tightly telling her she had no idea how happy I was. Tears were flowing from both our eyes.
Then she told me she decided to return the globe one day on the day she purchased it, even mentioning that her husband was a distant relative of my fathers, a fact that I did not know either.
After she left, I took the globe to a shop called The Shady Lady where the owner and I decided upon a pendant light for my kitchen.
As darkness falls each evening, I turn on Nellie‘s light. It is a gorgeous round ball looking much like a lovely little moon only this time the moon has delicate pink flowers smiling at me. The flowers are not alone as often I feel our father close as well and this time he is saying “Good Job, Sis.”
© 2012 Musings by Marilyn - 5/3/12