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I Am a Survivor! And so are my Collectables My name is Jeannie Brown; I live in Northern Kentucky on a forty acre Black Angus cattle farm with my husband Wendell. We have two children Derek and Traci. I was about 40 years of age when I picked up my first Country Sampler magazine. When I was flipping through the pages, I noticed a fruit scale. I HAD to have one! So, as luck would have it, I went to a local antique store and there it was, my love affair with antiques had begun! I was hooked. From that day forward, my husband and I would plan days off work so we could jump in the car and start driving until we came across an antique store. We would usually buy one or two pieces each time we went out. It was like a scavenger hunt. I would also go to yard sales and estate sales with my daughter. It was so much fun! People would always ask me, what I was looking for, I would say, “nothing important, I will know it when I see it.” It’s not the price or even the age; it’s just if I like it, if it looks “like me,” whatever that means. Then, when I turned 50 years of age, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had surgery and many chemotherapy treatments. It was a heavy cross to bear, but I SURVIVED! When I would get up in the morning and go into my kitchen and turn on the lights, it was as if all my antique treasures were singing to me. Just looking around at them made me feel better and happy! I would look at the old scale and rolling pins and think how they had survived all those years. And I must survive to make all the ones around me happy. I could dream about how many years ago someone weighed fruits or vegetables on that old scale, and how someone may have used the old rolling pins to make their family biscuits in the morning. I would look at my coffee grinder and think of how long it took people to get just one cup of coffee in the morning. I have an old egg scale, and would think how they would use it to sort the eggs into Small, Medium and Large. I would also wonder how many cows they would have to milk to fill up all the milk cans. The butter churn I have, I would think how long it took to turn the milk into butter, and how good it must have tasted. I have fond memories of my grandma peeling me an apple and reading a Bible passage as I look at my antique apple peeler. My mother-in-law sold Avon before my husband and I were married, and after we got married she started to collect all of the Red Cape Cod Dishes for us. They are now on display in my kitchen. My grandfather was a dairy farmer, so when I went through his barn, I had found a milk bench he had made to put the milking machines on. I also found old feed sacks with pretty designs on them, which I framed and put in my great room. They have red, white and blue, which I use to decorate my great room. I am very PATRIOTIC! I think of our military men and women often and think of how blessed we all are to live in a free country. My grandfather also grew tobacco. I found an old tobacco spear and knife I knew he had used, and now they are displayed in my den. I have a close friend whose grandmother had an old wooden ironing board, as soon as I saw it; I knew I was going to make a shelf to go above my bed. I have put two finger lamps on it and often wonder, did someone many years ago read to their children at night by them. In our den I have an old hay fork that was used to bed the cows down at night. A cross saw to cut big trees down for wood to keep the family warm in the winter. I look at the horse harness and think what the name of the horse that wore it was and how many hours a day he would have to plow the fields. I have bought several items in Country Sampler, the only magazine I subscribe to! I can look through a magazine ten times and see something new each time. Thank you for your magazine, don’t ever stop. It means more than you know. So you see I have saved all of these treasures, and they have helped save me! If I can share my collectables with others and make them happy then the circle is complete.
Submitted by Traci Brown from Walton, KY on 07/06/2013