A Bow On Top

Day 10 - Christmas Bow Watercolor Green - Doodlewash

Tonight, we’re heading back to Kansas City after a lovely long weekend with family. Just as we were leaving, the sun appeared and temperatures got warmer, but I was glad Texas decided to give us a bit of snow for our holiday. Traveling is not the fun part of the trip, and is a bit exhausting, but everything went smoothly with no huge delays. Today, we went to a final lunch with my mom, sister, and two of my nieces. It was a little bistro at the back of an antique mall. While this should be charming, we were met with a girl in a Santa hat who informed us they were out of potatoes. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but burgers and fries were the primary items on the menu. Then the real blow came when my mother, who only drinks coffee, was told they didn’t have any coffee. While I certainly understand ordering a cappuccino might be problematic, black coffee is rather standard. It was all a bit strange. So, we asked what the soup of the day was, and she replied, “potato soup.” Well, one mystery was solved, at least.

We ended up ordering the only remaining option on the menu, which came in the form of various flatbreads. As it turned out, they were quite delicious, and everyone enjoyed it. Even my mother, who was still bristling over the lack of coffee. After lunch, we looked around the shop for awhile. It was quite large, with several different rooms. In one of the rooms, I found the most amazing train to go under the tree. Unfortunately, the previous owner thought it was equally amazing and was asking a ridiculously high price for it. I was bummed that my train dreams weren’t going to come true, but realized I had no way of taking a box that large back with me and my carry on luggage. Continuing to explore the store, I found a stack of old ViewMaster reels, and selected a handful that brought back good memories featuring Disney and Sesame Street. As I was checking out, the man behind the counter was apparently the owner of an antique booth I missed and asked if I’d seen the ViewMaster projector that he had. I hadn’t, so he walked me back to show me. It was a metal projector in the original box complete with screen that assembled with snaps from the mid 60’s. I was about to decline since I couldn’t carry it on easily either, when my mother came over and said she’d buy it for me and bring it up in the spring when she visits.

I was thrilled! It was in perfect condition and I got to play with it when we got back to her house for a moment. It’s a lovely Christmas gift that I won’t receive until my birthday, but this month is all about anticipation so that was just fine. I can wait. Plus, the guy sold it to us for only $18, which was just $4 more than the original price printed on the box. I’ve no idea if that’s all it’s worth or he was simply feeling generous. But, that’s the lovely thing about vintage objects. The value is always a personal thing that only a heart can explain properly. And my heart is full and happy after this little trip. While it’s wonderful to be heading home again and reunited with our dog Phineas, I’m going to miss seeing my family. I wish we could visit more, but I’m so thankful for the time we do get to spend together. And it’s in these moments I’m reminded that the best gifts in life don’t always come with a bow on top.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 10 - Christmas Bow Watercolor Green Detail - Doodlewash

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Lisa 4 years ago

    That was sweet of your mom! I hope to heck you get a tree train this year, or I’m going to have to buy you one myself.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      My mom’s a sweetie! 😃💕 As are you! Thanks! In many ways the quest for the train has proved a fun adventure in itself. I can’t seem to find one that fits with Philippe’s criteria… he goes into a bit of a Goldilocks mode. This one’s too big, this one’s too… hehe

  2. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    Your vintage viewmaster sounds amazing and it sounds like you got a good price. I had to laugh at the potato-less restaurant. The thing that always annoys me most about things like that is that I want to KNOW how the situation occurred. Did someone forget to order potatoes? Has someone kidnapped all the potatoes and is holding them for ransom? Is there another potato plague like the one that the Irish suffered. It’s important to know these things! Glad you visit was good and you are now safe at home.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      haha! You said all the things my family said about the potatoes! lol Are you sure we’re not related? hehe 😃💕 Yeah, it’s more bizarre to consider when there’s a grocery just a few blocks away.

  3. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Oh how fun that will be! Now you can be on the hunt for viewmaster reels. Too bad it wasn’t a week ago. There were a ton at our Goodwill Bin store (pay by the pound) last week. Your big bow is so pretty with all it’s highlights.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 yeah, it’s so fun to find old ViewMaster reels. I can often get into a collector zone and go overboard, so I’m not allowing myself to go on eBay and instead have to find them as they appear in antique shops and secondhand stores. 😉

  4. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Incredible find of the projector! The bow you painted is lovely, but even better is the great time you had with family. Hope you have a safe trip home.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 We made it home safely and now back to normal life (but still in a snow globe as we count down to Christmas!! YAY!)

  5. Frances Turano 4 years ago

    Potato soup! Lol. Hysterical.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! Thanks, Fanna! 😃💕 Yeah, it was SO bizarre! But, those are my favorite moments. The kind that could be irritating if they weren’t so darn funny! lol

  6. smzang 4 years ago


    Today’s Charlie says: “…value is always a personal thing that only a heart can explain properly.” Beautiful, wise and true!

    That bow is so enticing. It leaves one to imagine their own favorite gift hidden beneath it. It is like a portal to wonderland. Not only that, green is the officially recognized ‘feel good color’. (an aside…this year’s color of the year …”living coral’ … is touted as the new “feel good color’ but honestly, it makes me feel a little nauseous.)
    Antique malls are wonderful places to be, but running out of French fries and coffee is pretty much unforgiveable. Once again our thought processes kind of jive. I was ready to give up on finding a special a gift when I found an online ad for having home photos made into ViewMaster reels…a bit on the pricey side but what a treasure. When the reel arrived, I was so pleased with it that I immediately ordered another one for myself.

    Hoping your return trip is/was pleasantly uneventful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, living coral doesn’t quite have the same effect for me. I actually love it, but it does remind me of Pepto-Bismol at a bit. Perhaps that’s why it instills a sense of nausea… hehe… though also why it’s considered feel good at the same time. Yeah, no idea why… give me green any day! And that’s awesome on the ViewMaster reels! I saw those ads and considered trying it… what a cool memory. Totally worth it!

  7. Jodi 4 years ago

    What a wonderful surprise and gesture from your mom. What a great way to end the trip. ☺️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕Yeah, my mom is just the coolest! She’s always doing things like that. And what I love most is that she never questions why her little boy chose to never grow up. 😊

      • Jodi 4 years ago

        awww! I love her too <3

  8. Anita Sinha 4 years ago

    Beautiful shading on the bow! Loved your description of what happened in the bristro….and your visit to the antique mall…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 Hehe… glad you liked this story! Yeah, it was a totally odd experience, but one of those you love for the memories it creates!

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 years ago

    You’re still mom’s little boy, and she’s making your dreams come true like when you were a little kid. Very sweet story, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 I think in many ways, I’ll always be Little Charlie in my mother’s eyes. And that makes me incredibly happy.

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