Another story! It’s a great one and you’re gonna love it.
A couple of summers ago I met a woman through an an online Oshkosh Facebook site. We connected over dogs, food, and feeling different than others here in Oshkosh. My new friend grew up here and has family and she had moved back, purchased a home, but something was different. I moved here not knowing anyone except my son and his wife and child and it’s been a struggle feeling like this is home. For both of us it’s been knowing that we are not living in a place that speaks to and embraces us. I call it not living in my heart place.
My friend decided to sell her house and move back to the Pacific Northwest which she realized is truly her heart place. My husband and I have decided that as much as we miss the food, the beauty, the people, and the aloha spirit of my heart place, we are staying here.
I miss the beauty of Hawaii terribly. When we moved here I decided that we had to have a home we loved since we’d be inside more because of the harsh winters and not knowing a lot of people. And then I decided that I would surround myself with beauty in the house to make up for what I don’t have outside. Yes, there are beautiful places here, but they don’t speak to me like the Pacific Ocean and the verdant mountains.
As a writer and storyteller it’s important that every piece has a story and that their story becomes mine. I adore the hunt for a certain piece, but what I really love is to stumble on something special that I don’t need except that it feeds my need for beauty. This lamp is that. It doesn’t give off much light, but it’s perfect.
When I saw the lamp at Bowenstreet Repeats I fell in love. But where would I put it? At the time I had six Tiffany-style table lamps that I’d picked up on Facebook Marketplace or at resale shops. They are all beautiful and I had decided that my collection was complete. Until I found the lamp. I had to visually figure out where this could go since I have so few electrical outlets in this old house. Before we even got home I called the resale shop and asked her to hold the lamp because after mentally rearranging my house I knew this beauty could go. Since this happened I have twelve lamps!
While there I learned that most of their store is filled with items from the owner’s husband’s business called Clear the Clutter Junk Removal. People hire them to do what their name implies and some clutter like what they did for me this fall was truly junk. But some people have them to remove things that still have value and don’t deserve to be discarded. They clean up and fix and up-cycle the donations, sell them and donate 20% of the proceeds to various charities. This is such a cool idea and so kind and we need this in Oshkosh.
I posted pictures the lamp without a story and people loved it. But then my friend, who is no longer in Oshkosh,saw my post and said, “That’s my lamp! It used to be in my cabin in the Pacific Northwest.” She wasn’t taking many things back to her heart home and she ended up giving them some unique and incredible stuff. One of those is this lamp. So there is the answer to the question about how someone could part with such a jewel.
When we moved from Hawaii we parted with very special pieces and whoever got them was blessed I’m sure. It’s impossible to move everything and choices needed to be made. Gary and I still talk about certain furniture and artwork and hope that whoever has it loves it as much as we did.
So I now own a lamp that is special because of its intricate beauty and being so unique. It’s special because of the people who own Bownstreet Repeats and Clear the Clutter. They are people with wonderful hearts doing their part for non-profits while keeping things out of the landfill. I love this so much. And lastly, it’s special because it belonged to a friend who I met online during a pandemic. We never got to have lunch or be in a book club or shop together at our resale and antique shops. But we are still connected on Facebook and that is a very cool thing.
And now I have her lamp and when I walk past it I can smile and send up a prayer that she is happy back in her heart home and that she is creating her own beauty to surround herself and that some of what she is creating includes special pieces from Oshkosh.
Now you know, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.