Just Junk

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers

The oval mirror had  hung in the entry, presiding over a table set there for purses and gentlemen’s hats.  A lady could touch up her Gibson Girl hairdo, and a gentleman could straighten his collar.

Today, the mirror would be sold or trashed.  There had been a coup, and the house was no longer stately. Tired and sagging, it stood like an elderly woman whose stockings were sagging at her ankles. Tired, wind-worn, unattractive.

Auctions were funerals, really. A 50-year lifetime of stuff, set out in the yard for human scavenger birds to pick over and reject.

88 thoughts on “Just Junk

  1. this was very dear to me because I have been to a few auctions – and you summed it up very well.

    sold or trashed

    lifetime of stuff
    for human scavenger birds to pick over and reject.

    And we once went to an estate sale in Los Gatos, CA (very wealthy area) and the man’s personality was everywhere in his collections, trinkets, and artsy items.
    but it was not much to anyone else – what was not sold would be donated or trashed

    and did you ever read John Ortberg’s “It all goes back in the box?”


  2. It’s like an autobiography of the mirror…such a welcome break from the magic and cursed mirrors! I love the fact that you have told the story from the point of view of the mirror, Linda. Auctions are like funerals – how true! People selling and buying at auctions do not know the wonderful and sad stories of the items.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sums up the sadness of these events, the futility of putting store by objects, on things. There’s something so poignant about watching a lifetime’s treasures split up and sold off and you captured this so well

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes. I remember going into an ‘antique’ place in Kent, it was a warehouse where the treasured possessions that people had gathered were just dumped in piles from whichever house they had been cleared from. I had an overwhelming feeling of grief as I felt such a strong connection to these poor people who had clearly died. I couldn’t stay there, I walked right out. Never has a place been so full of ghosts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jelli

    What a tale…. so poignant, so real. I used to haunt estate sales, looking for the ‘perfect’ something to furnish my home. Then, one day, I looked around me and all I saw were their ghosts… I sold it all (had to in reality to live on). My home now has very little furniture, will have even less when we move this month. My new mantra, ‘If I can’t lift and carry it, I don’t want it.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s actually very pretty, but you had to have a lot of very thick hair. Either that, or you saved the hair out of your hairbrush and used it to pouf out your hair to get the desired look.


  6. Wow, Linda. This was so well written and put together. Congratulations. I have never been to an estate sale before. However, I go to op/thrift shops all the time and I have no idea where all these treasures have come from. I am definitely a human vulture in these places. Last week, my husband and I picked up a few bags of old sci fi books beside the road, which looked like it had been a deceased estate. It felt quite weird making way for someone else’s book collection in our already over-crowded shelves full of books. A bit eerie.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You invoke an era long past, with details like “gentlemen’s hats,” and write its obituary so lovingly. Very sorrowful and sad. The possessions that were once so important, tossed away, or sold to the highest bidder. Something is lost in the process.How disrespectful are the living, of the dead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe we are losing our sense of story in this communication age. I used to love listening to “the grown-ups” talking about their parents and grandparents, shaping a history that I became a part of. Kids don’t care much for that today, it seems. Too caught up with their devices. I think it’s sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s an interesting passage of scripture in Ecclesiastes about the next generation not valuing the things we treasure. My wife has bought several antiques that we would have considered priceless heirlooms had they belonged to our ancestors. Sad, but the way of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel, I had to look that up, and yes, that is part of the passage. I never looked at it that way before. What we always have to consider when reading Ecclesiastes is that the author, Solomon, was at a very low place in his life. We’d call it depression today. He expresses many times the emptiness (vanity) of life apart from God. After all, the man had everything, Including at least 1000 women. Who wouldn’t be depressed.


  9. gahlearner

    What a great scene with such vivid descriptions. The phrase auctions are like funerals is also great although I disagree somewhat. Maybe from the viewpoint of the former ownern. I, on the other hand, love second hand stuff, from auctions or garage sales or… I value the things I find there and love them, why else would I buy them? So the thing that became useless in one place becomes a valued piece in another. Better than trashing everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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