Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Back to the Simple Life: Bakelite Tube Radios (Thankful Thursday)

This is my mood-changer.  It's a vintage tube radio I purchased about 14 years ago when I moved to this small town from an antique store going out of business.  I paid $20 for it and it has saved me thousands in therapy bills.

Here's the thing, I have a 1940's soul.  My soul, while appreciates and loves technology, likes being disconnected, likes an open calendar, likes to think (can spend hours just thinking), and daydream.  Growing up and even today, this is a comment heard about me at any family gathering, "Kelli, are you in your head again?" "Oh, she's in her own little world."

And I am.  My world now includes this radio in my morning routine.

I realized yesterday during an over-the-top spring cleaning and stuff purge, that I had placed this favorite radio on a shelf just enough off to the side of things that it wasn't being turned on.  So I moved it.  And now, I begin my mornings turning it on and listening to the Spanish station or the Oldies station.

Hearing music through this old radio calms me.  It doesn't sound like a normal radio, there is that lovely nostalgic sound you only hear when they turn on a radio in old movies.  And there's no instant satisfaction--it's a tube radio, which means, when I turn it on, I hear nothing until the tube warms up and slowly the music begins.

So I've been thinking about these little things in our lives that ground us, that bring joy and a little art to our lives.  When I look at this radio, I feel inspired.  When I listen to it, even more so.

This is why I need to live in a more simple, calming matter.  If I don't, I miss the details.  I miss turning on the radio and being taken back to the swing years and beyond.  I miss the beauty of what was, of a well-made item.  I think about the person before this who had this in his or her home.  I think about the history of this radio traveling into my life.

If I were to pick up an AM radio from any of our stores, I wouldn't have the art and inspiration that living should have.  But this old radio, it brings me into the world in a more connected way.  And I'm trying to just keep only my favorite things in my life, and this one, well, this radio will be carried through this life with me and move from home to home, wherever I go.

And when I turn it on, the whole space fills with this old ridiculous joy.  It's magic that way.  There aren't many things you can buy for $20 that pay off with riches in so many other ways.  This little guy does that.
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