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Journey of the Prodigal Earrings

Posted on January 19 2017

During the holidays recently I was reflecting on the past, as we tend to do at holiday time. I was thinking about a pair of earrings I had made over 20 years ago. They were made with clear iridescent Bohemian crystal drops and I hung them from a floral beaded top that I beaded with clear iridescent beds accented here and there with a few iris beads in colors that picked up the iridescence.  I made dozens of Bohemian crystal drop earrings over almost 2 decades, in every color and variation of color of the rainbow. These were the best ones, my favorites, of all the ones I ever made because the design was reminiscent of a snowflake and reminded me of the sparking snow in wintertime during my childhood in Quebec. One fall I was inspired and made a batch of about a dozen earrings along with these very distinctive ones. At Christmas time I gifted them to the seamstresses who worked with me at my studio and let them choose the ones they wanted. Shy Lucy chose these and over the years since she has called me a few times during the holidays, remembering me and sending her love and appreciation for the time we had shared together years ago.
I had my studio next door to St Thomas Aquinas Thrift store for over15 years. I stopped in to visit and shop almost every one of the days that I was working in my studio. I became good friends with Becky, who worked there for years and with Linda who worked there part time.  When they sold the building they moved across the street and I moved around the corner next door.

I don't stop in very often anymore because Linda no longer works there and Becky moved out of town and the new location is not the same without her wisecracking presence. Tuesday I went to get a burrito at the restaurant next door so I stopped in the thrift store while I was waiting for my burrito to be made. I took a look around in the usual spots that I check out in the store. I scored a roll of brand new curling ribbon at less than half price and was on my way to the register to pay my dollar for it when my attention was diverted to the jewelry case just as I was walking past it. I stopped my forward motion and danced a step backwards as I bent down to take a closer look at what was in the low case.

Among a display of four pairs, I spotted the earrings that looked like the ones I had made 24 years ago. I looked and looked at them thinking I might be deluding myself.  I asked Dorothy who works there to take them out of the case for me to look at.  As I looked closely I I recognized my own work, distinguished by the different size beads in the floral beaded top and, of course, the signature iridescent faceted crystal drop. These were just the ones I had been recollecting recently, the only ones I had ever had a longing for, and there they were. I asked Dorothy the price, telling her the story. She said "Oh I wish I didn't have to charge you for them" which gave me the opening to work her down from 5 to 3 dollars. I kept looking at them and I liked them just as much in my hand as I had remembered liking them when I made them. I put them on as I left to resume my work day and strode across the street with crystal snowflakes sparkling from my ears.

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