Do you have a favorite local space? One of mine is in Decatur, Alabama, where our family lived for eleven. Years before moving to the Ozarks of Oklahoma. It all began when we moved to the new to us town of Decatur. Feller was in the Department of Defense working with the Defense Contracting Agency of the Federal Government, whose office was a house at United Launch Alliance in a place called Trinity. I got the call when Feller was overseas that we would be moving and at a new station (we were civilian government) just two weeks after he returned from Afghanistan, where he had been for months. It was a sit-down with a piece of pie and fresh coffee kind of call…in fact, it took two pieces that day to wrap my head around what was being said.
Whew. Four children, three state move, and a place I’d never even visited before, much less lived—deep breath. The children were in high school, a ninth-grader, a senior, a third-grader homeschooling, and a college girl. It was not popular news, but we loaded up; I signed them out of school for a few days to go explore what might be their new home. (three children, two dogs, and a Toyota van driving 7 hours from home). We saw wide-open fields of pumpkins, of former cotton fields, we saw the beautiful NASA rockets and so many BBQ joints that my boys were hooked on. Madi and I did not see the home, however, and we were right fond of where we were living in Stephens, Arkansas. Adventures rarely come without a cost, so we chose to find something to look forward to in the move. As we noticed the lakes and beautiful scenes, we began to see possibilities along the rivers.
Two days later, we had a home located, a plan in place. We went downtown in the new town, a Civil War-era town, and found a wonderful section called Second Avenue and the Historic District. This felt more like home. Our parents and Grandparents lived in an antebellum home in Arkansas to relate to the area of town designated a historic district. As we left, a new church friend suggested we visit Bank Street Antique stores. We headed downtown and fell in love with a three-story vendor store and spent the afternoon delighting in treasures found. Nothing is more magical than a store that pleases all the children and their Momma in one stop. Remember, these were the days of Game Stop being the best thing in town…and my guys were enchanted with Bank Street. We headed back to Arkansas, where we had been living in a quiet tiny town, in a Sears Roebuck kit home from the early 1900s, and planned for re-entry into suburban life.
Fast forward to last week when I was back in Decatur visiting with a friend who had just had ten weeks in the hospital and was up for a bit of company as she recuperated. I stayed close to her home most days as she was very much in the healing mode, and Covid concerns meant not exposing her to more germs, but the last day I went to our favorite store to find a few treasures to share with a friend back home.
The Cottage we are renovating is going to be a comfortable place for us to gather. We are changing the scale of what we choose to go into the cottage a thousand square feet. Our last home was a modern 2100 sq. ft. new home near the lake, which we currently have leased out. Its tall ceilings and expansive open floor concept call for a different kind of décor than our little redbird cottage. I have more than enough furniture for both since we came from a farmhouse in Arkansas. Before that, a carriage home near the historic home in Camden, Arkansas, where I met and married Feller some eighteen almost nineteen. Years ago.
Bank Street did not disappoint. I was looking for blue things. My friend Crescent Dragonwagon and I both love eclectic blue and white collections, so I was on the prowl for something wonderful.
This bowl was just the ticket for my friend. She’s recently signed two book deals, and I wanted to celebrate her achievement with a fun gift. Having the name Dragonwagon lends itself to Dragon themed gifts, and this wonderful pottery bowl was a fit for her (I had texted her, for nothing is harder than a sweet friend giving you a piece you would never use, we’re the kind of friends that can coordinate gifts and that’s half the fun!)
Scouring the entire three floors and off-shoot rooms on each, I am mesmerized each time I go to this lovely experience. Whether it’s quilted, furniture, china, jewelry, or antique printing press items, they always have things I adore!