Somewhere along the line I began collecting other people's relatives. It started with a photo of a woman who looked like she could've been the great-grandmother of Miss Jane from Beverly Hillbillies. She'd signed her photo "Much love, Tekla." I adopted Tekla and displayed her photo on the mantel, among actual relatives. But then it was like someone doused a batch of Rapid Root on my family tree, and odd-looking old relatives began sprouting like mad, outnumbering blood kin 10 to 1.
I was forever on the hunt and would spend most every weekend scouring yard sales and auctions in search of pieces that needed me -- the rocker with puppy-chewed runners or the dresser with 10 coats of paint and stuck drawers. The more difficult restoration seemed to be, the more attracted I was by the challenge.
And then I became a mother and all of that stopped. I continued going to yard sales with Mom, but seldom bought anything old, and only occasionally something that needed repairs.
The hours I once spent hunting and sanding and staining were happily traded for kid-related adventures, which gradually evolved into teen escapades and house and writing projects, and the discovery of new personal passions, like golf.
It wasn't a problem since I had more than enough to furnish my little 1940s Cape Cod. Too much really, as more than ever, once-treasured items ended up boxed, out of sight.
When it was time to move again, I knew I needed to say goodbye and be ruthless in saying it. There'd be no playing favorites. Everything would go.
Except for my bed and the banana box.
And the hand-painted hamburger-cheeseburger sign.
And Tekla. Of course.
Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinful...@gmail.com. The auction will start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Nitro Auction House, 119 21st St., Nitro (Tim Burford, auctioneer).