Fashion, Travel

Stop and Smell the Vintage

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Sirens, cell phone notifications, making and breaking plans… we live in a fast paced society where free time is almost a foreign concept, and when we do have some, we may not know what to do with ourselves so we hurry up and find more of something or someone to jam into that empty slot. It seems that in a generation where getting somewhere, being the best at everything, and  just simply being busy is at the forefront of many minds, it’s hard to take a few moments to just enjoy the beauty that is right in front of us sometimes.

So, in celebration of finishing finals, I decided to take some much needed time in the city that I’ve grown to love so much in just the short three months since I’ve been living in Huntington, WV. This place truly has a lot of character and there are so many stories entrapped in its crevices. Sadly, I got so caught up in this past semester, that I haven’t really had many adventures that were outside of the commercial box; I’ve been to a lot of popular restaurants and stores that I already knew I loved and that most of the other students in America probably have in their college towns, but I hadn’t really gotten deep into the local scene yet. So, today, a friend and I went out seeking a good, old-fashioned (quite literally) exploration of fun… which happened to be in the form of antiques and good food.

I am a lover of beautiful things from the past. Maybe that has something to do with being a writer…I love to tell stories, and that’s exactly what antique Cameo necklaces and vintage fur coats do. They are treasures that have lived through things I can’t even imagine; the very scent of old books, records, and leather, fringe purses exudes a history that is unique to their journey. I’m lucky enough to have a friend that understands this concept, so she and I had a great time sifting through these gems together (and taking pictures of course). We went to some really charming antique shops in the West End of Huntington, experienced the famous Jim’s Restaurant for the first time (where Marshall students get free pie, yum), and to top it off, she introduced me to my new vintage retreat…a lovely boutique in Heritage Station. The fact that it was a cold, cloudy day made it practically perfect in every way, so Mary Poppins most definitely would have approved.

My mom once read that unstructured time is rest, and that’s kind of her mantra now when she just wants to have a personal day to herself to eat chocolate or go shopping; today I fully experienced that for myself. We didn’t really have a set time to be anywhere or particular places to go, we just drove, wandered, and browsed (we’re poor, college students so browsing was really the only option except for a cheap Nat King Cole record I scored for myself!) but that’s what made it such a relaxing, enjoyable day. I guess what I’m getting at in all of this is that sometimes in the pursuit of our dreams, we get way too future-oriented, and we forget to just breathe and live in the moment God has blessed us with right now. So, in the spirit of “it’s about the journey, not the destination” I encourage you to find, or make, or steal some free time and do something you’ve been wanting to do, or maybe do absolutely nothing and just listen to the Christmas church bells streaming through your open window (the ones hear are absolutely beautiful).

Just take some time this week to stop and smell the vintage… and the coffee, of course!

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