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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     As many of you know I love antiques. There is something special about an old item that just speaks to me, and I’m talking about more than just my Grandma. The quality and uniqueness are something that draws me to a piece and sometimes I wish I understood the story that is locked up within it.

     Perhaps of all the interesting antiques that one acquires are those that hold special meaning. It may be an old dish that has been handed down over the years, or as in my office, old seed corn and farm signs that used to dot various places on the family farm. Those old signs made of steel that seem to have this strength within them, as though they are prepared to weather the storms, just as those who farmed did.

     I love a good antique shop. One where you can browse for hours, just looking and imagining the places where the items for sale have been. That’s where we all get the collecting bug isn’t it? People collect crazy things sometimes, from old fans to potato mashers; I’ve seen it all.

     I have an old stovetop waffle iron that has been handed down in the family. I’ve never tried it out, although I probably should sometime. I also like to make my children suffer through hours of RFD-TV just to see horse drawn or antique farm equipment being used.

     What amazes me the most though is when one person takes the items they have found, and can actually use the items in the way in which they were meant to be used, it is then when an antique really begins to speak, to breathe, to live. This is the very thing a friend of mine is doing even today. Like myself, she believes she was born fifty to one hundred years to late, and has a love for all things old and quirky.

     In her first business venture she began to make lye soap, just like it had been made for years on the farms of old. The entire process fascinates me, and to be quite honest, makes me wish that I would have paid better attention sometimes when I was little and around people who knew how to do things of this nature. To this day, I’ve only successfully made a willow whistle once.

     Recently I spent some time with her looking through her antiques that dot the small apartment she lives in, and talking about history. She showed me photos of her latest project, which to me really looked just like gears and wheels and wood all slapped together. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around what she had found, and refurbished, and yet as she explained it, I could see it in my mind. Her project is to rebuild a broom maker. This doesn’t seem to be as easy as it sounds, as there are not a giant amount of broom maker equipment dealers out there, so for the most part she has had to look for parts and pieces online.

     She hopes to soon start making brooms, old-fashioned ones made out of real broom grass to supplement her lye soap business. I was fascinated as she told me about how the brooms were made and the minute I got home stuck a nail in the wall to hang my “cheap modern” broom, lest I let the broom rest on the floor, thus bending the bristles. I know that for some it may sound kind of funny to take an interest in this, or even to walk around on a lazy day at a flea market looking for a “cake broom”, but for someone who loves history it made me glad to know that I had a friend who is keeping the traditions of old alive and well.

     So if you happen to be about, or just happen to have a broom making machine sitting in your basement not being used, give me a shout, and if you are looking for a little soap from days gone by, just Google “Little White Lye Soap” or find it on Facebook and tell her Weez sent you.

     See you next week…remember..we’re all in this together.