Sunday, July 08, 2012

My Magic Fork . . .

My magic fork . . .
 Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE my collections.  For me, antique shops, thrift stores, yard sales and even beaches all hold the thrill of the hunt.  I'm always on the lookout for exquisite, long-forgotten needlework, crystal balls, oil paintings and silver.  Oh--and Limoges figurine boxes.  But the day I find a piece of Limoges at a yard sale or thrift store, you'll hear me shrieking all the way from wherever you happen to be!!  LOL!!

I'm in between contracts and using the down time to play--which means FINALLY repainting my office and cleaning closets and sorting the treasures I've spent all year accumulating.  In one of those bottomless flotsam boxes that seem to be junk breeding grounds, I came across the best bag.  On the outside, it wasn't much.  Just your ordinary white plastic grocery sack.  But inside, I found treasure!!

Sand-filled cups from our visit to Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, BVI.  (
Shells, bits of coral and sponge, sea glass and dried anemones.  Best of all, a heavily tarnished, barnacle-crusted fork.  I LOVE silver--but not just any silver.  It has to be antique--preferably from either romantic bygone-era passenger trains, historic hotels or just, plain real old.  See?  I'm not all that picky!!

How I forgot having that fork, I'll never know, but dropping all other projects, I immediately grabbed my silver cream and went to work.  After an hour scrubbing, I unearthed gorgeous, engraved filigree on the handle. 

Heart racing, I scrubbed and scrubbed, but saltwater had taken a toll.  Remembering an old trick my dad taught me, I drowned the poor thing in ketchup, then went on with my day.   

While driving to Lowe's for unromantic caulk, I daydreamed.  What if my fork turned out to be not just silver, but legit silver--like from shipwreck silver?!  What if it was royal silver and I looked it up online and found not only the pattern, but a reward for its safe return being offered by The British Museum??!!

Sigh . . .  Can you tell I write romantic fiction for a living?  LOL!!

By the time Hannah and I got home from running errands, the ketchup on my fork had turned black--a good sign in silver polishing world.  I scrubbed and scrubbed, beyond excited to find the silver mark.  Just how old would it be?  A hundred years?  Four hundred years?  I scrubbed faster!!
I saw something written on the back, but with my stupid over-forty wacky vision, my glasses had to go.  Tossing my glasses, I held the fork an inch from my eyes . . .

 . . . And then, my heart sank to see in very modern lettering, "Crusader Silver Plate".  Ugh.  So much for me being flown to England to be personally thanked by the Queen.

By this point, most sane people would've thrown the stupid thing away, but not me.  What do I do?  Make a fancy undersea arrangement with my fork at the center.  Why?  Because even though my fork may have been ordinary to the rest of the world, to me, it represented a little bit of magic.  How cool was it, that even for an afternoon, that barnacle-crusted fork held the power to transport me from brown, HOT Oklahoma to the heavenly British Virgin Islands?  And beyond that, Windsor Castle?

I love my fork.  I love my shells and coral.  I love my quirky life and not-quite-normal collections, and the fact that when I dream, I dream BIG!! 

What've you dreamed lately? 

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