Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tales in a tip


There are two ways to get to the beach below us, by an orderly set of steps or by climbing down a steep wooded gully through the roots and shadows and tumbled rocks till suddenly theres the sand and the waves rolling in.





A few days ago when the ground was still bare I took the gully path down the stream bed that had eroded since my last trip exposing lots of finds and treasures to poke about in. For over 100 years the gully was the refuse tip for the families that have lived in this house. Year after year the frosts heave out and the rains lay bare fragments of the daily lives of those who have been here before us.
















I try to imagine the old medicine bottles such as Dr S N Thomas 'Eclectic Oil, Internal/External in the hands of women in long dresses tending to feverish children, the ornate cast iron stove parts gracing and warming the kitchen of yesteryear, and the the jewel colored liquor bottles in the hands of hard working farmers.

A perfect pint milk bottle turned up on this trip, along with two little medicine bottles and many broken bits of glass and crockery. The pouring spout was all that was left from what was a delicate bone china jug. I wondered if some child had been hauled to the woodshed for breaking a grandmothers keepsake from the old country. So many stories associated with each remnant, they could fill a book.


The new/old bottles cleaned up nicely and now Im longing for summer and a fresh bunch of daisies to put in the pint milk bottle. The prettiest stoneware that showed up in the tip a couple of years ago was a perfectly preserved 1909 ginger beer bottle from Saint John, NB. It still had the screw in cap in place, a find just waiting to be found.


7 comments:

JulenaJo said...

What fun! There are a few places around here that are good for treasure hunting, too. It never occurred to me that freezing and thawing ground heaves things up and out, but you're right, it does. I'm not as keen about facing the elements as you are though. I'll wait till the weather improves before going on a treasure hunt. Thanks for sharing!

Undaunted said...

Wow, your own little path of history! That's amazing! You've found some fantastic things there! I don't think there is anywhere as intersting as that around here.

flydragon said...

Little did they know when they threw these things away, that one day someone else would come along and think of them as treasures:)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Even the walk itself... is a treasure!!!

Sue Steiner said...

What a lovely find! I have gone bottle hunting on several occassions as a child and really loved collecting the treasures. In fact I have an old medicine bottle I found on my fire mantleplace right now!

I thought of fun mosiac projects for the broekn pieces as I read your story....Thanks for sharing.

On a New Life Chapter said...

and here, all along I've called our dumping ground just that - a dump! ;)

kathi dunphy said...

Strange, modern day dumps are disgusting places with so much plastic and non degradable stuff, our old site is more like an archeological dig. Sue thats a good idea about a mosaic project, you have my wheels turning now. And Kate, you can borrow my potato digging fork this spring to go after the buried loot in your own gully.