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My grandparents, particularly my grandfather, frequently treated going into town as a Big Event. It was a once a week, All Day type experience! The closest town (with a grocery store) to the family house is… about 6 miles away. Yes, there are dirt roads and you have to drive slowly on them, but it isn’t what most people would consider a long trip! My grandfather was a highly educated, very intelligent person who visited Asia and Europe, but he preferred to stay at home unless he had a “reason” to travel. Anyway, his general attitude towards travel is why I had basically ever visited a town in the same county – a town we decided to visit on our Thursday in West Virginia.
My husband really likes antique and consignment stores (how lucky am I??), so we found an antique store in this ‘other town’ and headed out. When we arrived, we found a sign pointing us to head down some stairs below a real estate office.
A sign on the door instructed us to bring any items we wished to purchase upstairs to pay, and there was no one staffing the shop. Certainly not something you’d find somewhere less rural!
The shop held a wide variety of items, including an almost countless number of beautiful vases and decorative glasswork pieces. Although most of West Virginia’s glass factories are out of business now, the state used to have a sizable glass industry. From hand blown wine glasses to decorative items and beautiful art glass, WV glassblowers have created some lovely things over the years.
One of my favorite items in the shop was this adorable vintage flour sifter:
There was also an entire set of matching pots and pans with the same cute print! I wanted to give it all a home, but that obviously wasn’t possible.
The most interesting room in the shop was a display of glowing glass tucked away in a (somewhat decaying) alcove:
Several different things can make glass glow under UV light, including uranium. People frequently think it’s radiation that makes the glass glow, but it’s actually not (and just because a piece glows green in UV light doesn’t mean it has uranium!). If you’re interested in learning more about uranium glass, this article is informative, entertaining, and has some great photos of the fluorescing glass.
I found a really neat green, though not glowing, bottle that seemed sturdy enough to survive the plane trip home so I went upstairs to purchase it. I felt pretty strange walking out of a shop with something I hadn’t actually paid for yet! In the real estate office above, they informed us everything was 50% off for the weekend, so I purchased a really cool bottle depicting the USS Constitution for $4.50. When I looked online later to find out what, exactly, it was, I discovered that my purchase was a whisky bottle from around 1970…and sells on eBay for 10x what I paid for it! I don’t know how long this listing will be active for, but at the time of writing there’s one of the same bottles on eBay for $45 right here.
You can see my bottle in a self portrait I put up in Instagram yesterday, “Don’t Give up the Ship.”
We also did some work around the house on Thursday, but I wanted to share our antique store experience and my really cool bargain bottle find today. I’ll be wrapping up this series on Friday with some final shots of our window/door repairs as well as more cute neighbor animals, so I hope you stop back by then! =)
Natasha Núńez is a former classroom teacher with a Masters of the Arts in Teaching. She also is a registered yoga teacher & holds a certificate in natural skincare formulation from the School of Natural Skincare. She shares her passion for education, positive parenting, free printables, and recipes for DIY bath & home products. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.