~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Square Nails

The other day I was working with an antique oval picture frame, getting it ready for a special photograph I plan on having enlarged. It so happened that I had to remove an old, velvet mat- so old, in fact, that the fabric disintegrated and the cardboard backing fell apart. No problem though, as I’ll just have the picture done that much larger. There’s a lovely, cracked bit of gilded border that will look better without the mat anyway, in my opinion.

The back side of the frame needed a little work, and in cleaning it up I pulled out an old, square nail. SGTex and I were talking at the time, and he remarked about just how old that frame must be. I do know it dates into the 1800s.

Something that has become a morning tradition with us is to share dreams from the night before, and I usually remember quite a few details. This morning, however, I couldn’t recollect anything in particular, but later in the day it dawned on me that I had been dreaming about a very special time spent in a very special place.

Atlanta, Idaho is tucked away in the hills, up near the Sawtooth Range. Many years ago there was only a handful of inhabitants, and that is probably still the case. We called them hillbillies, and they were. Lovely, funny people who did things their own way and rarely, if ever, came down from the hills.

Frank, our dearest and best friend in the world, had a cabin up there, which happened to be down the mountain from his enterprise, the Bad Bear Mine (gold). We’d spend wonderful times up there in the summer “moseying” around, doing not much of anything other than explore abandoned mines and the ghost town, visit in the cabin, ride horses and relax in the hot springs. Oh, and dynamite dead trees out in the meadow. It wasn’t all play, though. I enjoyed helping him with one of his hobbies, not just because it involved a somewhat wild and scary trip on the Hondas up the mountain, but we explored the abandoned shacks and cabins, all gray and without windows, wallpaper hanging in shreds revealing the old newspaper used for insulation. I’d sometimes sit down on an old porch step and see what I could read, and then get busy helping Frank search.

I wish I knew whatever became of the remains of Frank’s hobby treasure. I remember tucking it away in a cupboard somewhere, a long time ago... an old tin can filled with rusted square nails.

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Picture of Atlanta, Idaho courtesy of website http://www.atlantaidaho.org/

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