The past belongs

The past is yours to enjoy, and you can visit it anytime at a library, book store, antique shop or attic near you! This antique store is in North Carolina.  September 2013

The past is yours to enjoy! Visit it soon at a library, book store, antique shop or attic nearby.
This antique store is in North Carolina. September 2013

“It’s not that I belong to the past, but the past belongs to me.”Mary Antin

We can only wonder about the future, but in a very real sense, the past does belong to us.  Not only our own individual pasts, but the entire past, all of recorded history and much of unrecorded history as well, which we seen in rocks, trees, mountains and seas.

From our personal histories we have memories, both ours and those of our relatives: family stories, favorite recipes and esoteric traditions.  From our collective history we have unlimited wealth to mine — lessons on what to do, what not to do, fascinating lives, romances, horror stories, mysteries and suspense.  Exploring history, we learn how many things have changed…and how much will never really change, except in the details.

Those of us who love vintage styles, antique books, and heirloom jewelry, flatware or china have been “collecting” bits of the past, literally and figuratively, for years.  But if you are one who never cared for history, think about looking at it in a different way.  Go prowling in the attic of long ago, and you might find some treasures worth keeping.

One year ago today:

Read history


  1. bobmielke

    I have difficulty dealing with a sudden, unexpected crisis. I get depressed and discouraged easily. My only coping method is to give it 24 hours as things always have a way of working out. I must admit I wish my emotions were not on such a rollercoaster.

    • Bob, I can sympathized as I’m a world-class over-reactor. Oddly, though, I tend to over-react much worse to relatively minor irritations compared to life-threatening crises. I think there is something about modern life that predisposes us to being more volatile, which is one reason why it’s so important to have islands of calm such as you find with your friends at the zoo. It does help me when I remind myself “this too shall pass” but that’s more of an intellectual understanding, and does nothing to heal the hurt or anger I’m feeling at the time.

      • bobmielke

        I totally agree.

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    Someone said the greatest thing about growing older is that you can enjoy the present, and at the same time enjoy all the pleasant memories of your past.

    • Madeleine L’Engle, a Newberry Award-winning Christian author, said “The great thing about getting older is you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” How true! I find that embracing the positive aspects of life in the present helps me to use the same mentality toward the past, cherishing the good memories, and accepting (and forgetting as much as possible) the bad ones.

  3. Good morning, Julia! Yes, some antique and second hand stores do a nice job of setting up at least part of the shop to reflect an era of the past. Some notables that come to mind are in Negaunee, MI, Wickenburg, AZ, and Milford (or maybe it’s Amherst) NH. There’s one I love in Topanga, CA, but the era is the 1970s or 1980s. Where are your favorites? (I’d love to hear from your other posters, too). Have a beautiful day!

    • Susan, I visit antique shops mostly when we travel, possibly to give me a sort of natural curb on my tendency to want to buy things 😀 and unfortunately, I’m not very good at remembering the names. I do know that I fell in love with a consignment store in Kilmarnock, Virginia, that was run by the Animal Welfare League, with all proceeds from sales going to the animals in need. Though it wasn’t strictly an antique shop, they had lots of wonderful vintage things and Jeff bought me some beautiful glass ornaments like those I remember from childhood, obviously old, not modern reproductions. There’s a little string of antique stores in north York County near our home there that I like to visit from time to time. When we were furnishing our townhome in Alexandria we got several smaller pieces there. I have a vintage hat I got in a lovely antique store in Santa Cruz, California. The shop owner told me it came from an estate sale in San Francisco. Readers, chime in with your favorite stores!

  4. raynard

    Julia while I respectfully disagree with people who try to white wash and bury the past like a dog with a bone. I then turn and ask them, why visit a library or museum? Or better yet a old time house of mirrors or ” Funhouse. I went to six flags years ago and they had a Harry Houdini ride.The question was once posed to me, How do you know where you’re going when you don’t know where you came from? History does repeat itself and yes you do learn from your mistakes. If young people didnt care for history, why do they have youtube and go thru their parents closets looking for old clothes ” to style? I digress from my O.C D. tangent lol be blessed

    • Raynard, I agree with you that people who think history is irrelevant are just in denial or fooling themselves. I’m sure plenty of bobby soxers from the 50’s remember skinny jeans before they were called skinny jeans (worn with saddle oxfords in those days), and now I’m seeing the 60’s bell bottoms starting to reappear. What’s next, wide ties and psychedelic colors? Or am I already behind the curve on that? The great thing about getting old is we don’t have to imitate the past…we ARE the past!! 😀 Hope you have a great weekend!

  5. I have always loved history – it is the rock on which the future is built – we cannot change anything if we do not admit to the mistakes of the past on either a personal or global level.
    Great post and love that antique store photo!!

    • Thank you Pauline, that was quite a charming store and I took lots of photos inside. You can find them online via FB at

      When I study history, I am amazed at how the external aspects of life have changed but human nature hasn’t, for the most part. At least not as far as I can tell. One thing I love about the global blogging community is the chance to find out firsthand how much we all have in common. Hopefully that will help us improve over history in at least some ways.

    • So true, Pauline.

  6. Spoken like a true history buff. 🙂

    • Thanks Tony! 😀 I don’t really know much about history, but I do like it.

  7. Sheila

    Julia, I know I have enough treasures and antiques that I could easily set up a vintage booth at “Island Queens” in Murrells Inlet and have fun doing it. I love family heirlooms with a story. Many years ago, Bill’s mom gave me the cookie jar from his childhood and Bill’s grandmother’s candy jar (exclusively for fudge) and they are priceless to me. We laugh about flat surfaces that collect way too much stuff. 🙂

    • Hey Sheila, if you ever set up that booth, let me know! It would be worth a road trip for me. In fact, “Island Queens” is probably worth a road trip in itself. I’m so happy you have some family treasures to enjoy! Hope you will have a great holiday weekend.

  8. I like your perspective, Julia. You always blend your gorgeous photos, quotes and words seamlessly. Happy 4th to you.

    • Thank you Alys! I really appreciate your kind words and presence here. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

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