I have been severely neglecting my blog, and I am trying to get back to consistent posting. So here we go!
This weekend was full of VINTAGE, OLD-FASHIONED goodness. My husband had Friday off (any extra day I get to spend with him is a great one) but this one was most enjoyable.
We got up early and got our son ready to head out for breakfast at our favorite place in the world: Cracker Barrel. When we were kid-less and had endless free mornings and lazy weekends, we would come here all the time, but now, trips are few and far between, so we cherish them.
You are instantly transported to a different time and place when you go in. From people just sitting outside on rockers, to buying old candy or homemade candles in the store, to the most welcoming, friendly staff I think I’ve ever encountered. Time seems to slow down for a minute. Instead of focusing on your phone, you’re trying to figure out where to put all the plates from your massive breakfast haul. Coffee is hot and before you even have a chance to get low, someone is coming around with a fresh cup. We were seated right in front of the fireplace, which is of course isn’t on during the summer, but is our favorite seat in the Fall. Nothing like a great meal on a chilly morning, in front of a giant fireplace. It’s an atmosphere like no other, and you leave there with a full belly and a happy heart.
After breakfast, we headed down to a true hidden gem, tucked away in Squirrel Hill, called Jerry’s Records. I found it when I was looking online for places I could sell some old vinyl. I was so present in the moment there, that I never took out my phone to snap a few pics. But I found the below photo on the website, and I also found a video online from 2007 with more information and an interview with Jerry himself.
Amazing!!!! We parked and walked up the staircase to the second floor, and were instantly engulfed in records. Shelves and boxes and layers upon layers of music. It smelled like an old bookstore in there, one of my favorite smells, and I could have walked the aisles of records forever.
We had our three-year old with us, so we couldn’t stay super long, but after selling Jerry some records from our stash, we looked around, wanting to buy so many more. There was also a second room with used record players, vintage beer cans, you name it. It was a slice of heaven in today’s tech-crazy world. We took our time. We looked at every section, we listened to the big band music playing above, twirling our toddler around to the sounds of the past.
My favorite part was seeing two adorable little girls with their grandpa. They were running around grabbing records and going over to the listening station to try them out. I love that kids are getting that kind of experience. All kids should spend a day at Jerry’s, and get a taste of something different.
We left there feeling happy, nostalgic, and we honestly can’t wait to go back. I love finding places like these so close to home. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
The last vintage part of my weekend came on Saturday, when I headed down to my moms for the day while my husband enjoyed his day at the Football Hall of Fame with his dad and brother. It was supposed to be rainy, but instead it was bright and sunny, so we headed to the park and threw rocks in the creek. I did take a few photos here I can share. Excuse my son’s shirt. He was spilling water all over himself, lol. I love how my mom, my sister, and myself are all touching hands and holding on to my son. And it’s only perfect that my brother is the strong leader in front of us. He has always been the MAN of our family. And we love him dearly.
But then, it got darker, and the smell of rain was in the air, and after a great lunch, we headed back to my moms, which is also the house where she grew up and was home to my grandparents, and her great-grandparents. After they made their way to heaven, my mom moved in, keeping the house in the family!
There are still a lot of my grandparent’s things that haven’t been touched or went through. Because I am obsessed with anything old, I started going through boxes. I opened an old Bissel Carpet box, tied with string, and inside found hundreds of letters written between my grandparents when my grandpa was in the Navy. I only had time to read through a few, but my heart was lifted at reading their words. And I yearned to be a part of that time… when men and women wrote each other love letters, and romance and passion were apparent. There was no texting with silly emoticons to show love, there was pen on paper, true feelings spilling out all over the stationary. Words that could be held, read over and over again, and kept preserved for future generations. I could have sat on the hardwood, squeaky floor and read for hours, but as with this life, I was on a time schedule and had to move on.
My mom and I also found vintage christening gowns, in perfect shape, and lots of her old school stuff. Gradation programs and cheerleading memorabilia. I could sit in my mom’s house and look through photos and cedar chests for hours. It never gets old. I love getting a glimpse into my grandparent’s life when they were younger. I love seeing photos of my mom and thinking about how much we look alike, and how lucky I am to have this woman by my side as I now enter the more grown-up phase of life.
Then, another little bit of magic. My mom brought out our American Girl dolls from when we were little, and we instantly started playing with them. We forgot we were “too old” for dolls, and I watched my sister put her doll’s hair in a sweet bun, and I dressed mine up in a pretty pink gown. Even my son was enamored with the little glasses and hats. Another reminder of when life was easy, time with family was endless, and joys were the little things.
And again, I could have taken photos, but I was way too present in the moment (something we all need to work on) and I feel it’s my job as a writer to tell you this story without photos. I need to paint the picture for you, which I hope I did.
So now it’s Monday, and I’m back to a crappy computer screen and bright lights and emails galore. I’m back to social media in my face at every turn. But I have Michael Bublé playing in the background, I’m sipping a cappuccino, and I’m dreaming of the next vintage weekend. When time slows down, when love seems a little sweeter, and when life can just be…simple.
As always, thank you for reading, and please comment on how you feel about the past.