Today’s post is written in praise of quaint items which seem outdated in our modern world but which also have enduring and intrinsic value.
Hmm. Neat blimp, I thought to myself. I went inside and entered the name on the side of the blimp, Airship Ventures, into Google.
Turns out it’s not a bloated and ungraceful blimp. It’s an elegant airship.
Airship Ventures is a new company in the Bay Area that does airship tours of the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. On these last beautiful, clear 72-degree-days of Indian Summer in the Bay Area, I envy them. The term “airship” has such a quaint ring to it. It sounds so antiquated — it brings to mind hot air ballooning or those graceful sketches of men and wings by Leonardo da Vinci. Travel by airship seems a quieter, slower and more complete way to see the Bay than by roaring, speeding helicopter, the airship’s modern SF Bay tourist counterpart. I love seeing this airship float right past my house almost daily. It reminds me that there is value in old methods and old things (like books and airships), even though a majority of people will choose the more modern conveniences (like electronic media or helicopters) much of the time.
Of course, at $495 per hour from nearby Moffett Field, a ride in an airship is expensive, too expensive for me. There’s something about this airship, though, that reminds me that I live in a special place. I’m not talking about my house (though it’s certainly special to me), but about the Bay Area region. People are willing to pay a large amount of money to take leisurely tours in an airship and soak up the beauty, taking time to tarry and to see everything below with more than just a passing flyover glance.
On a more inexpensive note, I went to a local thrift shop the other day. I was in the neighborhood and stopped in to check for books (none). I did, however, find two items I really liked for four dollars each. The first item is a pillow with my initial “C” (for Chris) sewn by hand and embellished with needlepoint and ribbonwork. It is just the kind of girly thing in which I delight and the boys claim to despise (which, perversely, adds to my delight).
The next item is an Easter tablecloth, with little chicks popping out of eggs embroidered on the corners. I can’t wait to use it when spring arrives.
Yes, these items are used. Yes, they are old. Yes, I am aware that the inexpensive purchase of these two items could lead to a burgeoning textile fetish, a type of collection for which I have absolutely no room in my house due to the already burgeoning bookstore inventory. But I couldn’t pass these things up. Somewhere, sometime ago, a person worked to make these quaint and lovely things by hand and that adds to the intrinsic value of the items for me. I mean, when is the last time I stitched anything more than a button by hand? (Stop laughing if you are reading this, Mom. No one else knows I can’t even thread a needle.) 😉
Some person took time from feeding a family or washing clothes or going to work to stitch a little bit of folly to make home a prettier place. Someone else took a lot of capital and poured it into an antiquated method of flying in order to view the frenetic pace of Bay Area life from a slower perspective, a romantic folly if ever there was one. I find myself praising this type of folly and I find great value in all of these quaint and lovely things. I hope you will, too.
Have a good weekend!
See you in the stacks!