I found this old yellowware bowl at an indoor auction/fleamarket in nearby New York state on one of my recent poke-abouts (you know, when you just go poking about different places to see what you can find). It was supposed to go with a box of modern dishes at auction, but the very nice sales lady sold me just the bowl for a whopping five dollars.
I really don’t know much about yellowware – enough to recognize that the bowl is yellowware – but didn’t buy it for its possible value. I bought it because I love the look of it, the thought of its history, the conversations it has heard, the homes it has lived in, the people’s lives and histories it has been part of. Ok ok, maybe it spent it’s entire life stuck on a shelf in a box – but I doubt it. This old bowl – most likely from the late 1800s – is pitted and chipped, cracked and worn. It wouldn’t get like that from living in a box. Now if I could just get it to talk…
As it turns out, in perfect shape, it might be worth upwards of $300 or so. But who wants a perfect 100 year old bowl? I prefer the chips, the cracks, the “I’ve had a LIFE!” character of this old bowl. It has a story, even if I can’t know the details. It has a character that is missing in our modern “stuff.”
It also makes me appreciate how easy things are for us today. The day of my poke-about was typically March – freezing, windy, rain/snow showers, sunshine. It made me think how hard it must have been for people to just stay warm in the winter, to have enough food. There was no running out to the store for groceries, no turning up the thermostat to warm the place up.
So this old bowl reminds me to be thankful for what I have, and to quit whining when I think things are difficult. Maybe this old bowl talks after all.