On Monday, I went on an excursion with a friend in Cincinnati. I had only visited the city briefly before for a concert, and was glad to have a tour guide who knew the city a little more intimately. It was a grey day with winds forecasted up to 50 mph. I was in need of an adventure. And an adventure we had.
First stop was lunch at a great little diner called The Bluebird Restaurant. I like to think myself a sort of Reuben aficionado. I tend to order them where ever I go and compare. The issue is that I never really remember which ones are good and which aren't so good. Let it be remembered that this was a good one. Plus, it came with these awesome hash browns that had scrambled eggs mixed in with the potato shavings. Whodathunkit? And for lunch! The flavors were probably assisted by the cute vintagey surroundings and sweet attentive waitresses. Check out the individual jukeboxes at the tables!
Much of the day we spent tooling around the city via car. It was chilly and there was lots of ground to cover. Perhaps on another day we would have hoofed it, but this was just right as it was. My chauffeur was kind enough to slow down whenever he sensed my camera raising for a photo opp. Excuse my through the-dirty-window photography.
And check out this crazy building that looks totally flat! I am not convinced that it was even wedged shaped. I think maybe it was a Harry Potter-esque facade for something very magical. But the sign just says, "Church of Christ". Hmmm.
Again, we learned the lesson that museums are not open on Mondays. (I have learned this lesson too many times. You'd think it would stick by now.) But made the most of it by troopsing about in the gardens beneath the Cincy Art Museum. There was a large reflection pool there. I found some saturated osage oranges floating in one end. They looked beautiful, like summer fruits, out of place in the dingy water.
The day culminated with a impromptu (which was kinda the theme for the day) venture into an enormous Goodwill store in a Cincy suburb. Whereupon, I found the perfect little pink chair to accompany my teal couch and yellow furniture in my cozy little -colorful!- living room. It was only $20 and just barely fit in my car for the ride home. Meant to be!
My new piece of furniture reminds me of a storybook I grew up with. "A Chair for My Mother" by Vera B. Williams. It's a sweet story about a family who lost all their belongings in a house fire. As a child, I loved the story for the bright splotchy paintings and the details of imagery. As an adult, I can see that there is a serious nature to the story. One of heartbreak and trials. A community comes together to restock their home, but it is still left to the family -grandmother, mother and daughter- to take the final steps to recovery and purchase a big comfy chair to put their feet up in. It's a story about regaining self worth after receiving charity, and about recovering from loss.
As I collect the pieces of furniture in my home, I hope they will last and that they will become family heirlooms. I know that I sometimes struggle with putting too much weight on the importance of things. I love the design and the beauty of craft and construction. And when you keep a house by yourself, your home kind of becomes your family in many ways. But it is good also to remember that the spaces are only made important by the moments and memories shared with people in them. I would never wish to lose my things to disaster, but I'd like to think I wouldn't be lost without them.