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Updated: Jun 27

Tea Towels, Antiques and More for the Homestead Heart

I am a collector, and I bet you are too.

I’m not an ‘active’ collector, proactively hunting for treasures, but when I discover an item that resonates with me, I accept the gift with gratitude and reverence, and add it to my collection.

These items remind me that there is abundance in nature and that everyday items can be appreciated for their beauty, not just their utility.

My grandmother was a great collector. She loved garage sales, flea markets, and the hunt for collections of china, tea towels, thimbles, buttons, yard sticks, tea cups, and much more.

My mother has always hunted antique sales and flea markets for oak furniture or what she calls ‘junk’ that she can lovingly repair and refinish to perfection. These items have utility and beauty and bring joy because of the effort exerted in their restoration.

For me, it’s always been books. Just as some always have room for dessert, no matter what, there has always been money in my pocket for books. It is one of my greatest joys to behold my shelves full of books that have shaped and moved me. A significant number are children’s classics which are a wonderful reminder of time spent reading to, and with, my children.

I also love collecting Canadian country antiques, such as simple painted or unpainted pine cupboards, blanket boxes, benches and tables. Old crocks, butter and cheese boxes, tin washing tubs, sap buckets, and milk cans all find a new use holding another quirky collection of mine: many years’ worth of special wine corks from my time in the wine business.

San Pellegrino caps, too. I don’t know why, I just like them and collect them in a vase on my countertop until it fills up, then I squirrel them away somewhere. One day, they’ll become an interesting piece of art.

Wooden boxes from wineries hold files and miscellany in my home office, and smaller, unique boxes provide a home for pieces of driftwood and slate from the beach at the cottage, special rocks ‘borrowed’ from vineyards, and beautiful coloured stones from the gravel road on the farm. Aromatic cigar boxes make good storage vessels for greeting cards and other small items. A handful of acorns gather around an old candlestick holder.

My little collections provide cherished connections to people, places, history, and nature, and remind me that abundance is everywhere.

What do you collect?

I hope you’ll find something at Rural Route Seven you might like to add to your collection.

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.”

— William E. Gladstone

a collection of corks
Treasured Collection of Corks

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