Here are five photos and stories featured from our I Love My Vintage ____ Contest with the rest to follow this week. I hope you enjoy reading what people love and why. Feel free to vote for your favorite over on Facebook. (The voting ends on Friday, February 22nd.)
I ♥ My Vintage Camper
I love my 1986 Toyota Camper, (which is) not being built anymore. Custom, 20 feet long, 8 feet wide. Traveled all over and met fantastic people. Bought in Maine, original owner used for hunting and fishing…once a year. 16,000 original miles on it. Interior: mint, wood closets, gas heat and stove, microwave, small bathroom in the back corner, overhead — above driver’s cab — held antiques. I minimized possessions…dishes, food, clothing, blankets and towels, reading matter, CDs (CD player plugged into inverter), great speakers and wonderful curtains and matching striped upholstery. ‘Gaucho’ couch convertible to bed, swivel seats & console table for entertaining guests. Great gas — 16 miles to the gallon…went south, campgrounds, street parking, rest areas, woods and on the ocean: Atlantic and Pacific…Florida, cross-country to California…through mad snowstorm in 2006, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. Wish you were here! Elizabeth Enfield
— Elizabeth, Gloucester, Massachusetts
I ♥ My Vintage Painting
When I reached my teens, I could barely stand being in the same room as my father. I thought I knew it all and he didn’t. In my later years before he died, I never apologized for being a nasty little so-and-so, but I tried to hang out with him in the kitchen and learn from him, hoping my current actions might speak louder than previous actions. One day in 1993 I told him how much I liked the painting hanging in the entryway of my parents’ home and he took it off the wall and gave it to me, nasty little so-and-so notwithstanding. That example has taught me much about being a parent. So while I love this painting for its NE coastal subject (the artist hails from Lynn – 1864-1940 – and painted the coast up to Ogunquit), I love it more for the lessons it teaches and memories it conjures.
— Jane, Amesbury, Massachusetts
I ♥ My Vintage Oil Lamp
The Old Lamp: This lamp is a repurposed oil lamp designed to stay in use! I have had it since I started keeping my own house…a garage sale find. I can’t help but picture folks lighting it in the 1900’s with oil and flame whenever I turn the now electrified wick-feeder.
— Joanna, Xenia, Ohio
I ♥ My Vintage Sweater
This hand knit wool sweater was my mom’s back in the 60’s! It’s the best- so cozy, warm, and cheerful! Mom had good taste in elementary school.
— Julia, Providence, Rhode Island
I ♥ My Father’s Suitcase
My favorite vintage item is this old leather suitcase. It has obviously seen better days, having long lost its handle, covered in nicks and dents, and plastered with an old bumper sticker. However, it is what this suitcase represents, what it holds within, that I cherish. It spent many years, even decades, in my parent’s bedroom, tucked hidden away under my father’s side of the bed. It was a sad turn of events that finally brought this suitcase to my attention. I think that even my mother had forgotten about its existence. But my father never did, adding little things faithfully to it over the years. My father never spoke much. He was a quiet man, not apt for conversation unless it was about cars or motorcycles. But this suitcase speaks the volumes he never could, hiding away words and memories, holding the treasures of his heart. On a brisk November night in New York City, over three years ago, my father left us for heaven. It was 10 days before his 59th birthday. It was on the day that my son turned one year old. It was a day I will never forget. And now the suitcase holds even more significance for us all. Honestly, I have never seen what is inside. It was probably sometime last year when my mom called me, and I heard a small catch in her voice, a quiver. She had opened the suitcase and was pouring over its contents. Through tears and smiles she had re-read the love letters of long ago. He had saved every one. Letters from an era that no longer exists, that seems so far away now, but it was only the late 1960’s. There was no such thing as texting, and mom was only allowed to call him once a week. No computers, no cell phones, no email. And I am so glad, for all of this would have been lost. They met when they were teenagers. One of their favorite places was Word of Life in upstate New York (hence the bumper sticker), and that was where my mom met the Lord. Amazingly, that was where I met my husband many years later, as God brought us together in what many would term a serendipitous meeting, but we know better. This suitcase symbolizes even more than a love story. It symbolizes a promise made that was kept. A vow that was never broken. Till death do us part. I was there with my dad on his last night here with us. I watched as my mom, who had slept in a chair next to his hospital bedside for almost 8 weeks straight, tucked him into bed one last time, prayed with him, and faced her darkest fears as she laid her head next to his and waited. Waited for a miraculous healing that was not to be this side of heaven, waited for my dad to call out her name for help so she could attend to his every need, waited as the leukemia slowly took over the life we all knew. With tenderness and love she waited by his side, a picture of faithfulness until the end.
— Paula, Louisburg, North Carolina
Thank you so much for all your submissions. And whether they were cheerful, funny, poignant — all of them were so heartfelt. To see the other entries, click the image below.