April 28, 2014

The Joy of Deadhorse

I am planning a mosaic table for E and find myself surprisingly short of broken china and glassware. Not to worry, Himself and I consulted the tide tables and yesterday, got ourselves to Deadhorse Bay, Brooklyn at low tide.( I think I gave a brief history of this strange place on an earlier post--if not, take a few moments, research it, and come back prepared to tell the class what you have learned.)

This time, I shopped in the sand with much more discrimination. That's because I am still finding pieces of my fingers that I clipped off with those damn nippers every time I tried to trim curved pieces of glass for my last table.So this time, only flat pieces of glass or china, thank you, and only in colors. The only limiting factor was how much I could carry.

The harvest was plentiful.
All cleaned up back at home\
The wind was strong but so was the sun. I snuggled into my cobalt blue windbreaker (makes me blend in the beach glass, you'd never know I was there) so I was toasty warm. and best of all, I had Himself, just a few hundred feet away at all times. I was filled with happiness...imagine that literally because it is how it was. I don't know what it is about digging around in the dirt that gets me so energized but isn't it unbelievable that I have a guy who feels the same way? It felt all the more wonderful because just 24 hours before, I had bumped into my ex-husband at Shad Fest, the local street fair celebrating a really stinky fish that runs the Delaware River this week. 

How fitting. Because they both leave me with a really bad taste in my mouth.

But there on that Deadhorse Sunday, with my tall red rubber boots mired in sea muck, the past blew away and the wonder of my life at present was all around me.Himself found this for me.
This is how it looks, all nestled in my Garden of Earthly Delights, a shady spot beneath the maple tree where I plant hosta, astilbe, and all kinds of wonderful from our diggings. Here is the Deadhorse Bay Brass Ensemble:
Yep,that's a roller skate and I know you're old enough to remember them.

Here are the woodwinds:
This will be a fairy castle for a grandchild

Driftwood found in Maine with rocks intact!
A white platter from Deadhorse colored by saltwater.
But wait! There's more!

I even have the chicken feet, which are soaking. I found it at Deadhorse yesterday, along with this guy.
out of focus but you get the point
 And so in they go, with the rest of the Deadhorse Bay Collective.
I love assemblage and think I have finally have enough critters to tell a story in the old cheese boxes piled up on the shelf. 

I have so much to say about the joy of recognizing joy, but it is enough to share this, my beautiful Sunday, April 27, 2014. I know the tides will come in and nip around my heels again but for this moment, all is perfect.


  1. The joy of reading this, feeling it, it's contagious. Your collection of treasures left me feeling happy and connected because I too have a himself who gets me (most of the time!) In our case, it is the love of bringing home rocks, feathers, fallen and empty birds nest, bark, interesting weeds, wildflowers, tree branches. When I started naturally dyeing four years ago, Rich would sometimes come home hands filled with assorted flowers, grasses and say, "what color will you get from this?" When we walk together, he knows that I will stop and look for windfall and he does the same. After 44 years together we get that the simple joys found in what some consider trash, is a huge gift that we give to each other.

    When I say trash let me tell you a little story: when we put our California house up for sale in 2002, the first realtor we interviewed looked about her with dismay. On our coffee table and end tables were birds nest, baskets filled with pine cones, stones, and a glorious piece of manzanita tree branch because I love the color and shape of the wood. One basket had another piece of branch filled with moss. She told us that we simply had to remove all of these things because people would not want to buy a house overflowing with things best left outdoors...we chose someone else, the house sold the first day that it was listed and the family that bought the house told us that it was our nature collection that thrilled them and they knew that their kids would be happy in this house.

    Joy, it comes in many ways but holding to what you love, is one of the best definitions.

    1. Holding to what you love and knowing it.

      Himself brings home his own finds...he goes for the intact bottles and for bones. I now have two horse femur heads drying on the deck. In case some local horse needs a hip replacement, I suppose.

      I would have bought your house too.

  2. What fantastic finds, I don't often feel jealous but I am of your finds and the items in your garden, seventh heaven.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Can you imagine what some archaelogist will think in 300 years when his trowel hits the stuff in MY garden? "The people here worshipped small metal forms. And plates."

    2. Hehe! you are a treasure Julie !

  3. the Joy of recognizing joy. yes. so yes. the Joy of recognizing joy.
    and again...after you found the incredible Bustier on your last Forage, it's still my
    destination of DESIRE. i would love to go along with you and the good man.
    so you are an archeologist, really. and your artifacts attest to the human spirit in a
    way that shows us the incredible ingenuity and creative excess of it all that is well, just so

    have to go to work...but will come back later. Thank you so much for this, Julie..love love love

    1. Funny that you say that since there are many blogs about people who forage at Deadhorse Bay robbing historians of objects that can reveal important info. As if broken bottle pieces were Anasazi pot sherds??? What you learn from Deadhorse is that people must have had some kind of tribal ritual involving brown Clorox bottles and blue jars of Noxema.

  4. and somewhere here, i have a Key for that rollerskate...will look for it and send

    1. You're cuing me to sing Melanie, I know it...

    2. Oh jeeze, that silly song has been going through my head for hours now!

  5. ah reading your post (and others') makes me feel good to be back from my travels....your garden full of objects of desire just fills my heart with joy!! even better, I am inspired to wander out into my own garden and start moving my rusty bits (no, not those...) and create spots of beauty and interest, although I might wait until tomorrow morning as it is now too dark!

    'the joy of recognizing joy' I do believe this too has inspired me, at the very least I am going to hang this quote in my studio!!

    love to you and Himself
    p.s. absolutely adore the collection on crate