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.
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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!