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Lady Fair

I was out to lunch with a new friend, and at a new (to me) restaurant, trying a new type of cuisine. The time was casual and relaxing - just the way I like it. We talked about many things and got around to the cars we have, and the cars we once had. After being home for a while I began to reminisce. My husband had a Springtime-Yellow, 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA that he bought in 1967. It was his family car for many years and then, eventually, became his pet project. New paint. New upholstery. New brakes. And a brand-new engine! This happened in 1996 and I remember the moment he and I stood in the garage, watching his mechanic friend hoist the shiny engine out of the truck bed and wheel it over to be nestled into its new home. I'm sure the men would never have said, "nestled into its new home" but they aren't here to write this. The look on my husband's face was priceless. His eyes were wide and glowed with the reflection of silvery metal (it might as well have been platinum). His body was shaking with such excitement I thought he might burst. I knew that he loved me more than that car. I knew he loved his daughter more than that car. But, at that moment, he only had eyes for Lady Fair. When my husband passed away I gave Lady Fair to his son knowing full well that he would immediately sell it for quick pocket change. I said a little prayer asking that it go to a new loving home where ongoing restoration would continue.


Many years ago I had my colors "done." My sister was an accomplished seamstress. I was lucky to hem a straight line. She took samples of my colors and gathered swatches of fabric to make a lovely quilt. It was beautiful and should have been hung as wall decoration. I used that quilt until it became threadbare. My quilt did not fare well. The whole top of the swatches would have had to be replaced, making it not the quilt she had given me. Lady Fair has moved on but my quilt is folded neatly away. Occasionally, I take it out, spread it across my bed, and look lovingly at the worn, but still beautiful (to me) colors my sister worked so hard on. It is one of the few unusable treasures I will keep. (Think of the story, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.) When I die people will look at it and say, "Uh, why?"


By now my mind has rounded the corner, as it tends to do. Is it wrong to love a thing so much? Our younger generation seems to have little need for memory things. Perhaps it is because they can get the newest thing and then, next week, get the next newest thing. I wonder if they will be sad one day, looking back, realizing that they don't have a memory or memories they can physically hold on to and enjoy. Will life choices, actions, and paths leave enough memories to give them peace?


Whether you choose to keep nothing, keep everything, or keep a few special things (as long as it works for you) then you be you. Again, you are you, and shouldn't do what I do because I am all-wise. No judgment shall be passed down here. Thou Shalt Not Keep This Stuff is not one of the Ten Commandments (I checked and we are good)


 Now, I have never believed that I should hold on to things that I no longer use. If it is usable for others, give it away. If unusable, throw it away. I have a china cabinet full of my favorite china. It is fragile, to say the least. Still, I make sure to use it for celebrations or parties at least four times a year. If I find I am no longer using them, I will give them away in a heartbeat. At least I get to choose the direction they will head.

So, yes, there is nothing that I need to hold tight...except for my quilt.

My brother (executor) will just have to deal with it.

 66' Fairlane, Pre-smartphone

"Memory is the treasure house

of the mind

wherein the monuments thereof

are kept and preserved."

Thomas Fuller





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giglio04
Jan 06
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Such a captivating story, and sweet memory.

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