Friday, November 18, 2016

French Country Reflections : Old Mirrors

In an earlier post, I talked about how to use old mirrors in decorating 
to add sparkle to a bland wall or to set a mood, whether cheery or romantic.

How to add light to a dark room by hanging them across from a window. 
And how to create elegance or a sense of history with lovely patina on old frames and hazy glass.

But this post is not about decorating with mirrors per se.
In a way it's about what we see in the mirror and how that reflects who we are. 

Mirrors do reflect the room they're in 
but they also cause us to reflect about ourselves and what is important in our lives.

Have you ever tried this little exercise?
If your house was on fire and you could only save three possessions, what would you take?
Of course, pets and family members are not possessions so they don't count.
And they would certainly be the most important things to save. 

I'm talking about those material possessions that matter most to us.
That personify who we are and in which we see ourselves reflected.

When I asked myself this question, I walked through my entire house,
looking at everything and you know what? 
Nothing jumped out at me and yelled, "Save me!"

But the more I thought about it,
the more I realized I am, to some extent, my stuff.
We personalize our homes with our possessions.

Were I to downsize to just the basics, would I (the person that I am today) still exist?

I'm all about simplifying and getting rid of clutter but I'm definitely not a minimalist.
I look at my belongings, those things that I have collected over the years,
and I remember where I found each thing or it found me and what it meant to me.
And still does.

So, what would I save?
Of course, I would save personal photographs and my old teddy bear.
These things have an emotional value to me.
They reflect my love of family and friends.

And how could I not save my favorite pieces of ironstone
 after all the estate sales and thrift stores I've sought out to find that special piece?
Ironstone reflects my down-to-earth simple style. 

I love the vintage furniture I've brought into my home, especially those cherished wooden pieces.
Somehow, I'd find a way to save my antique English hutch and my chippy red farm table
even if I had to ask the firemen to help me carry them out!
These sturdy old pieces reflect my love of history and respect for hand-crafted things.

I'm not saying material possessions are who I am; they don't define me.
But, when it comes down to it, I recognize myself in them.
What I see in a mirror is not just a room full of furniture and accessories.

These things have become part of my personal history. My story.
My home and my possessions reflect my journey. 
And I see that story reflected in my mirrors. 

And what I see in my mirror's reflection is not a house but my home
-- a solid yet intangible thing --
(that I fervently hope the firemen save if there's a fire!)

Yes, it is about possessions but not simply materialism. 

It's more of a feeling that my mirrors reflect back to me. 
Of safety and shelter and comfort and memories.

And so I hold my mirrors' reflections dear as I save them . . .
in my mind and in my heart.


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Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


Linking with:
The Dedicated HouseDwellingsBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal Charm,
Cedar Hill FarmhouseA Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern StyleA Delightsome Life,
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. OlsonThe Vintage NestPeonies and Orange Blossoms,
Adirondack Girl at HeartRooted in ThymeShabby Art BoutiqueFrench Country Cottage


  1. Lots of food for thought. Our homes are definitely a reflection of who we are...mine is anyway.
    Mary Alice

    1. Thank you Mary Alice! As a subscriber to your blog, I know how charming your home is and I'm sure you are too! Hugs,

  2. What a great post! Thank you. Your home is lovely and peaceful and that reflects your personality as well.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you Lorraine! I so appreciate your kind comments about my home. I have to be careful not to go overboard with "stuff" to keep that peaceful feeling. So far so good. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  3. Hi Sis, I am going to try what you did. Very impressive. Off hand right now I would say that I would save Ron, Annie, and family pics. To me the life that is in our home is more important than any material possession. Of course there is Dad's Army Jacket, The picture that Mom did in crewel embroidery, and the ancestry information that we found the winter we worked on it. This post does reflect your personality and was very well done. Congrats on a insightful blog. I will take another look around.

    1. Thanks Jan! The life in a home is always the most important thing that I'm sure we would all save first. I love that you would save the genealogy info; I hadn't thought of that but it's a good choice. Hugs,

  4. I totally agree, possessions are about memories not materialism and it is those memories that make a home and our homes are indeed a reflection of ourselves. Have a fabulous weekend xx

    1. Thank you Susan! I'm sure your home is full of good memories and beautiful furnishings, a reflection of your lovely personality. Hugs,

  5. Memories and some mementos are what is important.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting on this post Marilyn. Always appreciated. Have a good Thanksgiving!

  6. What would I grab? The pouch containing our passports and original documents as they are so time-consuming to replace but also a little paper 'book' made for my husband and I one Christmas by our older daughter. It is exquisitely rudimentary ( photocopies of photos, old buttons for decoration etc.) but it captures the period that I suspect I'll look back on with the most emotion...that when my children were young and wide-eyed with the wonder of simple things. Loved your photos as usual. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Catherine. I love your story about the little paper book. What a treasure. I really appreciate your comment about my photos. I keep trying to make them better. Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving,

  7. This is thought-provoking. I undoubtedly would grab photos, especially of my recently deceased parents and the baby photos of my kid. It's kind of stupid that I haven't scanned everything and stored it on the cloud.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Always love to hear from you. I keep a lot of my family photos in a little suitcase so I can grab it and run if there's a fire. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. Wow, that really is something to think about huh, and I have thought about that a time or two. Your house is lovely and the mirrors do add so much.
    Have a great weekend,

    1. Thank you Gina! I suppose it's something we all think about at one time or another and hopefully we will never have to deal with. I enjoy my home, especially my mirror wall. It's funny though; I hardly ever look into them. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. I really enjoyed this post and can relate to it on a very personal level. My house burned in an out of control forest fire in May 2000. All the lovely things I had from my grandmother and great grandmother were gone in an instant, including my great grandmothers' silverware that I had just received the previous Christmas as a gift from my grandmother. There was no time to evacuate much of anything other that our family photos and videos. In the sixteen years since, I've made a wonderful home again, with some things from my grandmothers and mother, all of whom have since passed away, and with some things from "other old women" who I know once loved and cared for them before they made their way to my care. Think long and carefully about what you will grab because a fire happens so fast that the reality is you might not be able to grab any of it and you will carry it only in your heart in the years afterward.

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I had to read them several times for your story to sink in. I can't begin to imagine what that must have been like. My heart breaks for you and anyone who has lost precious things in a fire but I agree that the most important things you could save in a fire are memories. I'd like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  11. I agree! Yes, they are material things, but my home definitely reflects who I am and it is filled with things that I hope hold fond memories for my heritage some day! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  12. Pat, What a lovely post. Yes, to some degree our stuff reflects who we are. We have lovingly and deliberately chosen them. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

  13. Lovely, evocative post, Pat. Thanks so much for sharing with us all at Vintage Charm :)