Diamonds in the Dirt
While unearthing timeless antiques, a mother and son strengthen their bond.
Afew years ago, a childhood friend named Lisa asked if I’d like to see an old dresser that she was selling. Junking was one of my hobbies, so I went over to the farm that she owned with her mother, Phyllis, to take a look.
When I arrived, I learned that Lisa and Phyllis were selling the farm, and they faced the daunting task of cleaning out every single building on the property: two barns, three garages and several sheds. I leapt at the opportunity to help my friend clean the farm, and I brought along my teenage son, Race, to help.
We spent weeks searching for Phyllis’ treasures and digging them out. There was a huge castiron stove buried in the dirt; Race and I dug it out piece by piece. We found a possum belly baker’s table in the milk house. There was a 60-drawer cabinet that came out of one shed. We were told it had been used to store nuts and bolts.
Race and I learned plenty of history during this excavation. Not wanting the history to be lost or forgotten, we held barn sales on the weekends, turning the farm’s garage into a store. Lisa and Phyllis allowed me to keep a few of the treasures, but the best gift of all was the precious time I got to spend with my son.
By helping a lifelong friend prepare her family’s farm for sale, I learned what it truly means to be thankful, and I found a passion for rust and dirt. Now I manage a Facebook page that I’ve named Rustic Hens, where I sell items and share stories of the treasures I find while junking.
This cabinet is one of many gems that Connie Hager found while helping a friend prepare her farm to be sold.