Do you have a fetish? Nothing serious—just something that nags at you to buy or collect? If I have one, it has to be chairs. I love them. I love to collect them, paint them, find special places around the house for them, and put wonderful pillows in them. Chairs say it all, “Come and sit a while and let the world pass by. We won’t give it a care, and we won’t worry about the things we can’t change.”

I fell in love with antique, cane-bottom chairs when I was  young and would visit my grandmother. She had these really cool and very old chairs that she kept in her kitchen. They were small and short but just right for her and for me. We would have lunch and laugh while sitting on these chairs. What memories were built while eating around her table. When she died in 1985, I quickly stepped forward to claim those two chairs as my own. That was probably the beginning of my desire to save chairs that are usually on their way to the junk heap. Every once in a while when I see a chair on the side of the road that has been carelessly discarded, I’m overwhelmed with compassion and want to pull over and “save it.”

You can imagine how my heart almost stopped beating this past weekend when I stepped inside an antique store in Elizabethton, TN, and saw a wall full of wooden cane-bottom chairs! I thought I was the only one who had this “compulsion” until I recently confessed it to a friend, who immediately smiled and said, “Oh, I understand!” Then she went on to tell me about all the chairs she has “saved” in her short lifetime, and how she had refurbished each one.

“Yes!” I thought, “A true soul mate!”

And it was really hard to pass up this little guy . . . . After all, he is Chipley’s cow!

While I’m posting photos like the ones above (I love taking photos inside businesses—go figure), I need to go ahead and post this one taken at the Waterwheel Cafe. The food was really good and the atmosphere relaxing and hometown. Thank yous go out to this family for providing a solace where I enjoyed a hot bowl of homemade vegetable beef soup on a chilly afternoon.