The antique mall.
I love that place. It's humongous, the prices are fair, and it's chock-full of just about every rusty, cute, weird, awesome old thing you could think of. Creepy marionettes? Check. Antique goat bell? Check. Butter churn? Check. Old postcards that I could spend hours flipping through and reading? Check.
I don't get to go through there very often- it's not too far away, but some places really just aren't meant for little kids- but when I do, I could wander for hours. And yesterday, that's just what I did.
I pored through a stack of disturbingly fascinating Victorian-era funeral photographs. I'm not sure why they insisted on having professional photos of their loved ones in caskets taken, but they did. Thrillingly creepy.
I contemplated purchasing the aforementioned goat bell. I think it would be a quirky addition to one of those photo galleries you see so often on Pinterest. A collection of framed photographs of family members hanging on a wall, all grouped charmingly together, plus a goat bell hanging somewhere in there to add interest and dimension. People would ask, "Oh, what's this bell? Is it a family heirloom or something?" And I'd say, "Nope. It's just a goat bell. Because goat bell."
But really, I knew I'd found exactly what I needed about ten minutes after walking in. I walked by it, and I just knew.
I walked away, trying to mentally talk myself out of the purchase. I walked all around the building, trying to ignore it. After I'd gone down every aisle and poked through nearly every vendor's stall, I went back to it and walked back and forth, circled it, then finally hunkered down and looked it straight in the eye.
That, my friends, is a cast iron chicken that weighs as much as one of our children. As you can see, she's already found a home on our front porch.
I had a heck of a time naming her. After wrestling her up to the counter to pay for her (where all the older people who work there admired her, as was her due- that's another thing I love about that place: the people who both work and those who apparently just kind of hang out at the antique mall are just about the nicest people on earth), then staggering out to the van with her in tow, I drove home happily, contemplating just what kind of name fits a chicken of her obviously distinguished pedigree.
I had pretty much settled on Winston when I remembered she's not a rooster. Sometimes I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.
After that I decided that she was most definitely a Wilhelmina, named after one of my Grandpa's sisters. But of course she'd only be Wilhelmina when she was in trouble. The rest of the time she'd just be Billie.
Wilhelmina- Billie- just wasn't really working for me, though. And that's when it hit me.
Hermione. The perfect name for my cast iron chicken. She's clever. She's magical. And sure, Derek pronounced her "Hideous" when he came home and saw what I'd done, but she's smart enough not to listen to that kind of criticism.
Hermione the Hen. Perfect.
Between Hermione and those pillows- another project I managed to complete whilst the children were away- I feel like our porch is nearly complete. All that's missing is a Boston fern. And whatever other cast iron monstrosity just begging for a home I come across in the future.