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Susan Williamson – Eclectic

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As we endure the pandemic, Facebook is full of games and quizzes to pass the time. At various times in my life, I have seen requests to describe one’s self in one word. I have finally figured out my one- word description—eclectic.

I thought about this while we were eating dinner last night in our dining room, that room being an example. We sat at an oval table (Habitat for Humanity Restore find), its shiny dark surface at the moment covered by a faded cabbage rose tablecloth, purchased new from Home Goods. Across from me was a pine sideboard we bought when we first moved to North Carolina from Kentucky, since the massive antique oak table and buffet we had wouldn’t fit in our home. On the sideboardwas the silver chest given to us by my husband’s brother and wife for a wedding gift, a lovely lemon candle and a beautiful porcelain lamp I found at a thrift store. Above the sideboard is an antique mirror my mother bought in Kentucky.

Behind my husband was a tall china cabinet, a Salvation Army find, now painted a shiny deep gold. The original painting of a New Orleans plantation home dripping with Spanish moss sat on top of the china cabinet. We bought it as a souvenir of our honeymoon. The wall behind me held a watercolor hunt scene and a smaller such painting adorned the wall beside the china cabinet. We sat in French country light wood chairs, purchased from a friend who bought them from her mother’s retirement home for $10 each. We had them recovered in 2005 and have enjoyed them ever since, with two previous tables. Behind me, in the right corner is a reproduction grandfather clock willed to my husband by his aunt.

When we moved to this house, my husband mentioned wanting to buy a new, matching dining room set. But after pricing such things, he decided our eclectic collection might suffice.

And not only my décor fits that description. My wardrobe is equally varied. Classic sweaters and pearls, leggings and tunics, jeans and sweatshirts and one or two designer dresses have all caught my fancy. My various careers might also fit that description. How comforting to know what I am.

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