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Megan Rossman, Associate Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
Don’t Stop Believin’
By Megan Rossman
March 21, 2013
Hanging above her master bathroom toilet, Oklahoma Today editor Steffie Corcoran has a sign that reads, “Find joy in every journey.”
The sign’s placement was unintentional, she tells me, but even so, it’s a worthwhile message that reminds us to be grateful. Wherever we are. Happiness lurks sometimes where you least expect it.
I don’t have any motivational messages in my bathroom, but I have a very old toilet—a Crane Illini from the late 1920s. As I understand it, toilet enthusiasts will pay as much as $700 for this model. It’s creeping up on its one hundredth birthday. I’ve never had a grandparent that lived to be as old as my toilet. It staked its claim on my tiled floor before the Dust Bowl, before World War II, and all other world events following 1929. The house may sink into the earth beneath it, and if that happens, as I suspect it might, I envision my toilet as a gleaming and indestructible ivory tower perched like a monument above the rubble.
You have to admire the craftsmanship of anything that continues to serve its function for decades without succumbing to planned obsolescence. So many new things I buy are badly made or need to be upgraded after a relatively short period of time. And while the bright side of that situation is that we live in an exciting world of evolving technology, the downside is that my acquisition of poorly manufactured garbage is unending. So I appreciate old things that have made the journey through time to dwell beside my fragile new gadgets.
Given my love of old things, some of my favorite shopping excursions lead me back in time. I have an old Houston Gun Club belt buckle from the Main Street Mercantile in Altus, diamond-patterned glassware from Sasser & Company Antiques in Perkins, scarves from Kingfisher, along with jewelry, clothes, paintings, books, lamps, and other treasures from all over the state and eBay. Factor in a vast array of handed-down furniture, and you might think I’m assembling an inventory for my own thrift store.
My most recent excursion to a southside Oklahoma City shop was fairly disappointing. I bought a tall “Read Y’all” coffee mug for ninety-nine cents but uncovered nothing spectacular. It was a sea of angel candles with missing wings, free-gift-with-purchase purses, and newly discarded political autobiographies. Not everything ages gracefully.
My shopping was largely unsuccessful that day, the coffee mug notwithstanding, but I did pick up a package of delicious tortillas from Braum’s on my way home. With that act, I found the joy in my journey. I just didn’t find it where I expected I would. And if that isn’t a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is.