"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On the Wings of Angels


Sitting in front of my computer, my finger poised above the touch pad, I watched the seconds count down. I'd already bid and was waiting for the seven to flash before I confirmed. I considered whether I'd bid enough, whether I should make a last minute change, whether there was anything else I could do to guarantee the winning of the item on my screen.  Seconds later, after the figures on the screen shifted and I held my breath, I learned I had won the bid. 

Actually last night I won three bids, after a number of unsuccessful attempts in the weeks before, and my sense of accomplishment and glee was way bigger than buying opera glasses, a Victorian parasol and an asparagus plate might account for. 

As Mark's antique business has grown, so has my involvement. At first I was the cheerleader and decorator and sounding board. We'd prowl shops and shows and find the most unusual and arcane Victoriana at amazing prices. He'd send me pictures of his case and I'd offer feedback. I'd drive friends north to show off his hard work. 

Before long I found myself driving two hours each way on a Tuesday to go to auction with Mark where he acts as though I'm a full partner instead of just a helpful sister. I get so caught up in the excitement of the auctioneer's yodel and watching my brother acquire merchandise for his business, I find myself wanting to applaud - which is of course not done at auction. Every time Mark wins a bid, it feels like a game won at least as much as an object purchased. 

Our fellow bidders provide another source of pleasure - each one offering the promise of story: the bald man with his head completely tattooed; the old man who comes every week carrying his pomeranian; the mysterious couple who seem to buy everything without caring about the cost - one night alone spending over $10,000 on little things. The culture of auctions and antiquing draws an interesting assortment of characters, which deeply satisfies the storyteller in me.

One auction Mark surprised me with my own Angelwings Antiques business cards (I'm officially a buyer now). 

At my suggestion he started a blog for the business, and then signed me up as an administrator (I may have hinted at the benefits to him). While there's little I like better than having my fingers in a bloggy pie, I enjoy even more reading my brother's stories and watching him in his glory as he teaches us what he's learned about the Victoriana he loves so much.

At some point he invited me onto his eBay site. I was encouraged to add items to his watch list and even to bid if something caught my eye. One of my favorite things is to find arcana that he hasn't seen before. If you go to the blog, the sardine box was my discovery. We found the pancake warmers together. He spotted the condensed milk containers.

Just a couple of weeks ago he called to tell me a space opened up at the antique mall where he rents his case and asked what I thought. The expansion means a shift in focus, and more work, as well as a bigger risk. He moves in (we move in) the last week of May. Our conversations are now full of planning for this next step, and excitement that it's actually going to happen.

For me this experience is one of pure and simple pleasure with no risk, no pressure and no pain. I get to indulge my love of antiques in a unique way. I get to shop and spend someone else's money. I get to immerse myself in the learning and people and language of a new culture. Best of all I'm watching someone I love with all my heart follow a path on which he thrives and glows with success. A success  that not so long ago seemed impossible. A success measured by the heart and soul, not by mere worldly standards. 

I invite you to visit us - Angelwings Antiques - either on the blog or at Tacoma Antique Center. Stop by the end of May and grab a paint brush as we create the perfect background for Mark's treasures, or be one of the first to shop our new home in Space 24. An endeavor begun with such faith and grown in the soil of deep joy is sure to bring light to anyone who enters in.  


24 comments:

Pam said...

How exciting Deb! I'm off now to visit Mark's site. So happy this is taking place for you both, with each find having such an interesting history I'm sure.

DJan said...

Wow! How cool is this? I am going off to visit right now, but this post is an inspiration to follow your bliss, all by itself! :-)

kario said...

Oh my gosh, this relationship that continues to unfold with Mark is such a wonder! I love that you are finding this important sense of place within your family and being so honored for the gifts you bring to it.

I love that the shop is not too far from me and I can't wait to go check it out!

Mark Lyons said...

As sooon as I wipe the tears away...I should be able write something, maybe...or perhaps not. You've said so much in this piece already. You are full partner and I love the opportunity to share this adventure with you. Thanks for your support, your long hours in the car several times a month and your encouragement at every turn. Angelwings is as much yours as it is mine (except for the inventory of course.)

I love you
Mark

yaya said...

How fun to discover a passion and dream come true! Congrats and I'll have to mosey on over to see the sight for myself! I love to visit antique shops and just browse and maybe invest a dime or two..it's fun to imagine who owned it before and since everyone has a "story"..imagining what that story is. Sounds like a fun summer time ahead for you two!

Lilith said...

Congrats to your brother, sounds like you're enjoying it as well.

Stacy Crawford said...

I love going to auctions. We haven't been for years, but I love looking at antiques. There is something thrilling about winning a bid.

LauraX said...

I'm so pleased that you are having so much fun with your brother...some light in your life...this is good, oh so good my friend.

Linda Myers said...

Sounds like a delightful diversion!

Wanda said...

Congratulations to you and Mark! What fun to spend someone else's money!

Barb said...

Wishing Mark much good fortune in his business endeavor.You sound very excited, Deb - it's wonderful for you to have this special connection with your brother.

Out of My Mind said...

I love auctions. I find them exciting and interesting. And, yes, I enjoy the various characters who often show up.

Once I picked up one of those old wind up victrola that stood about shoulder height. It even had that little black and white terrier in the lid. I got it for $15.00 at an estate auction. I had that thing for years. It even came with several vinyl recordings. kt

#1Nana said...

How lucky you both are to share this passion. I used to love attending auctions, the problem was that I had no need for more stuff. You have the perfect solution. You get the fun of searching, the thrill of buying, but you don't have to fill your space with clutter.

Desiree said...

Being a fairly new follower, I was not aware of this side of your life, Deb and it has been wonderful reading about it all and seeing what a GREAT relationship you and your brother share! That, in itself, is priceless in my books ;)

As soon as I have time, I'll check out Mark's blog and website. Meantime, I wish you both the very best as you grow this special business together...with a name like Angelwings Antiques, you're destined to soar the heavens in your quest for quality backed by the all important personal touch!

Big hug,
Des xoxo

Lavi said...

It is so nice that you have decided to help your brother in his business. I see you both like antiques and I hope the business will thrive. Anything you put so much heart in is bound to flourish.

Donna said...

I think it would be wonderful to find a new passion in life and this sounds like it will be for you! Angelwings...such a beautiful name and your necklace is so pretty. I'm headed off to see the site. Happy Easter Deb!!

Cheryl said...

Fantastic news. Having read a number of your posts on this subject I am thrilled for you and your brother and wish him every success with this venture. Off to check out the new blog now.

Linda Hoye said...

How exciting for both you and your brother. BTW, somehow it escaped me that we lived in such close proximity! I am going to make plans to check out the Tacoma Antique Center very soon.

Sandi said...

Oh, I love, love, LOVE this! You know I'm just drooling about now! It's so exciting to see Mark's business really taking off, and your further involvement. You are so lucky to have each other; you're so GOOD for each other!
I totally relate to the thrill of bidding, and I'm so jealous you get to do it with Mark's money! I"m not allowing myself to even look anymore, as I get too caught up and carried away with the excitement. (and it costs me too much money!)
Enjoy the thrill of the adventures to come! I'll just continue to drool!

Lavi said...

I dropped by again to wish you happy Easter! All the best!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Congratulations to Mark! What a lovely business, and I'm glad you're enjoying it as well. I visited his blog, and website. I wished I lived closer to stop by and indulge with all those treasures!

Happy Easter, Deb!

Doris

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I am always in awe of all I learn that you do, Deb. I feel so boring.

Deb Cushman said...

Hmmmm, I see a book in this little adventure - maybe a novel this time about the characters at the auction - a mystery! That's it! I'm glad you're having such an enjoyable time with your brother.

Elenka said...

I visited the site......how exciting...doing something he's always wanted to do.
I couldn't see prices for anything when I clicked on the items for sale link (on the right..)
Just a note....I, for one, wouldn't bother to email anyone to ask the price...I would just pass it over, even if I thought I wanted it. It's just like in a good jewelry store and all the tags are turned over. I just won't ask the price...but if I saw the price, I would more likely buy. Maybe that's just me....