“I love old things. They make me feel sad.”
“What’s good about sad?”
“It’s happy for deep people.”
I love old things. It doesn’t particularly matter what the old thing is, as long as it’s old. To know that someone has held it before you – many someones, in fact – and perhaps loved it, and hoped they would never have to give it up. I especially love old books. I love the old, hard covers with engravings and designs that meant someone cared enough to make the book ornate. I love the smell of the pages and how they yellow around the corners.
I love inscriptions on the inside covers. I have one book that reads
Sarah Anne Steptoe
From her affectionate sister Sophia. March 19th, 1860
And it’s written in the most beautiful calligraphy I can only aspire to match. The book is called “Women of Worth” and has no publication date. It’s always amazing to me to think that a girl read this during the Civil War. Which side was she on? Did she have brothers? Did one fight for the South and one for the North? Did they die? Was she there when Sherman came blasting through, burning everything in sight? Did she write letters to her lover during the war? Did he ever come back? Did she pick up Charles Dickens’ first publication of Great Expectations and love it? Did she hate it? Did she lend it to a friend to read and never get it back?
Maybe I”ll find her in heaven and ask her. I’ll have to remember that name; Sarah Anne Steptoe. Or maybe I’ll find Sophia.