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  • Writer's pictureSandy Obodzinski

Nesting for Humans

As a child growing up in Southeast Wisconsin, we often dropped in on weekend auctions at area farms. My memories are just fuzzy sensory snapshots, like a slideshow (the old fashioned kind) -- red aged barns, pickups parked in the field like matchbox toys, rusty tractors and farm tools, denim-clad people standing in semi-circles, a loud fast-talking man at the microphone, wafts of tobacco smoke, the heavy scent of cow manure.

The one treasure I remember us finding was a red wagon that my mom still has today.

In the early months of the pandemic, I found myself escaping to local antique shops to get out in the world in a safe way. What I found, in addition to many deals and treasures, were warm and welcoming local business owners who provided much-needed human interaction.

Each shop owner was generous with both PPE and appreciation for visiting their business. I felt immense comfort returning to stores often enough to be known by name, to be greeted, to be seen.

At first, I may have purchased a couple items simply out of gratitude for having a place to go. While I adore my 'Treehouse' and my solitude, I missed people and I missed driving places. Driving, for me, is soothing. And with so few places to actually go, safely, these shops quickly became my only 'go-to' besides the grocery store.

Then, I began to see the treasures, the re-purposing, the DEALS!

And somewhere in all those seemingly small conversations, interactions, and purchases, I realized that supporting these local businesses mattered. And re-inventing uses for things that already existed made more sense than buying new. As a dumpster-perching friend recently shared, sometimes perfectly good things simply must be rescued and reused -- whether for free or a small price!

(It's also entirely possible that all this reasoning makes me feel absolutely justified to purchase something I dearly want and have no need for whatsoever. Oh well...I'm fine with that!)

So, even as the world opens up again, I still visit my new-found acquaintances at their businesses... to uncover stories, find items with meaning, co-mingle colors and patterns and eras, and see what treasures I might discover. Brand new isn't as interesting to me anymore and doesn't seem to be at home in the nest I've nurtured, this past year in particular.

If you enjoy combing shelves of vintage goods and are near Middle Tennessee, I hope you'll visit one or more of these businesses to find your own special treasures. Several also offer online sales and shipping.

Happy Nesting and Enjoy!


Decent Folk Vintage ~ Nashville

With just one visit you'll see that the name of this shop sums it up perfectly! Miranda, owner and curator of amazing vintage finds, has a masterful eye for items big and small. From refinished furniture, culturally diverse artisan pieces, local art, and oh-so-fine "trinkery", there truly is something for everyone, every week. I have come to anticipate Miranda's Thursday evening posts on Facebook and Instagram featuring her newest finds! You know you want to look...go go.

Favorite Finds: A Tiffany-style hummingbird lamp and floral bookends


Yesterday's Treasures Today ~ Dickson

My go-to of all places to go! YTT is open late until 9pm on Tuesday evenings with live outdoor music. Need I say more? Last summer, at least once a month, I would combine a late-afternoon walk in nearby Montgomery Bell State Park with an evening visit to YTT. Kathy and her dealers fill 10,000 square feet of space, plus an outdoor courtyard, with literally everything you can imagine. And if you can't visit in person, then wear out your thumb on their Facebook page which features new items in multiple daily posts.

Favorite Finds: Plants and planters and more plants, Walt Whitman's biography, and an outdoor ottoman for my deck


Three French Hens ~ Nolensville

Before I moved to Kingston Springs, Nolensville was just a few miles down the road from my house and was still a sleepy local community. So much has changed! Bursting with new development, restaurants, and shops, Nolensville is now becoming a tourist hotspot. Just south of the main drag is Three French Hens. Yes, it's just as quaint and special as it sounds! Stacey just celebrated 12 years in business. And while she will be moving the shop to a new location soon, not to worry, because her Facebook sales nights definitely make shopping in your pajamas on the sofa feel like a gathering with friends.

Favorite Finds: Angel statuary, Yellow botanical painting on canvas (bottom left)


Franklin Antique Mall ~ Franklin

I have to say it, "Y'all, this place is fancy!" A stroll through downtown Franklin isn't really complete if you don't find your way to some of the businesses off Main Street, though Landmark Booksellers and Rooted from Yarrow Acres may also be two of my favorites... books, plants, and antiques, oh my! *Squirrel* Anyway, this past weekend I found the find of finds, tucked on a shelf in a small curio cabinet in the hallway between two larger rooms: dinner plates, each featuring a different song bird pairing, beautifully painted. They have replaced those other dishes on the open shelving in my kitchen.

Favorite Finds: 8 dinner plates of Syracuse China featuring the 1955 pattern American Song Birds (in perfect condition!)


Second Chances Antiques & Treasures ~ Clarksville

I found this shop a few years ago on my way to Miss Lucille's (also a great visit) and gathered up several open glass containers. I threw myself into a terrarium-making phase that spring. Fleeting thoughts of tables filled with beautiful creations at a local farmers' market wafted through my head, like the smoke in that barn when I was a kid. Those notions diffused into thin air before all the containers were even filled. This winter, I opted for plants and flowers tucked securely inside lovely ivory vintage frames.

Favorite Finds: Set of 3 floral prints for my guest room, outdoor heart plant stands


70 South Antiques ~ Bellevue

Sometimes, you just need a quick stroll in the land of vintage. For me, that's 70 South... on the way to an infrared sauna, after perusing McKay's Used Books, before/after the grocery store. You get the idea. 70 South is the place in the middle of many places I need to visit regularly, so why not pop in for a lap?! Especially when my name was pulled for a gift card during their holiday drawing. 70 South has been beautifully spring-ified with plants and planters, outdoor décor, jewelry, and some wonderful gift items too.

Favorite Finds: Antique secretary desk, Smithsonian Wild Flowers of America (book) published in 1953 featuring 400 full-color plate reproductions of wildflower drawings by artist Mary Vaux Walcott


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