My secret and Hans - THE WEIRD LIFE OF MOLLY

Growing up I was an odd kid. I always was told by teachers I had a huge imagination and I remember this one thing I used to do. When I was little I called it "things I know". It was where I would be in a crowded area and I would look at specific people and decide something about them. Whatever popped into my head.

One of the earliest examples I can remember was when I was getting ready to go to dance class. My dance studio was in a little strip mall and there was a liquor store right next to it. I was early and in the front of the studio stretching when I saw this woman. She was walking into the liquor store and immediately I thought to myself as I watched her hand pull open the door "She's getting a root beer New York Seltzer from the cooler". A couple minutes later she breezed out the store, dropped her clutch purse, bent down to pick it up and walked into the parking lot. Not only was she holding a clutch purse, she was holding a little clear bottle with a brown label.
New York Seltzer. Root beer.
My scalp felt prickly and I put on my ballet shoes and went to class.

Little things like that would happen all the time. 

Another one of my first specific memories was when I was out to dinner with my family. For some reason we were downtown. It was a snowy night and I was sitting next to the window along a busy city street. We were waiting for our food and I remember turning my head and looking at a tire of a car that was in the street. Like a magnet my eyes were just drawn to it. Then, I swear to god, the tire went flat right before my eyes. One minute it was a normal tire, the next it was flat.
Now this completely freaked me out. Mainly because I had recently watched the TV version of the movie Firestarter with young Drew Barrymore and in that minute I was convinced I made that happen somehow by just looking at the tire and now the government would be coming for me soon (hello 80's movies on TV that totally freaked out kids. Thank god I hadn't seen the movie Carrie yet or I would have been flipping out all over myself.).
My scalp felt prickly and I remember I looked away from the window and stared at the cherry stem from my Shirley Temple and I didn't say a thing about it.

And so it went on and I grew older and learned the definition of the word "intuition". I came to understand that I didn't make things like the flat tire happen. It didn't work that way. My intuition just had me witness it. Some folks might say it was coincidence but I know what it really is. It's my life.

By the time I was late into my teenage years I understood that I as well as many of the women in my family had it. The "thing" that wasn't really talked about too often and nobody had ever honed or had any idea how to control. The thing that would make my mom pick up and answer my phone calls to her with "Hi Molly" instead of "Hello" before the age of caller ID. The thing that made my sister see my grandmother, who had died earlier that day, standing by the end of her bed smiling at her that night. The terrifying vague thing that still makes my mom say to my older sister every Halloween for the past 44 years, "Wendi, promise me you'll be careful. I don't like how Halloween makes me feel."

The thing that gives me an electric buzzy feeling and still makes my scalp feel prickly.
Yes, that thing runs in my family. I don't talk about it too often and it sort of was my secret for many, many years.

Recently my parents had been staying with us for the past 7 weeks. Every summer they come from their home in Florida to Minnesota to run their shop at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. It's always my favorite time of year because I get to spend so much time with them. They are getting older, senior citizens now, and my head knows my time with them won't last forever but my heart refuses to believe it. When they went back to Florida earlier this month I immediately missed them and really felt extra lonesome for them after they left. Their departure put me in a funk and I was amazed at how the time flew by so quickly. 

A week ago I had a birthday and I decided I wanted to buy something special for myself. I told myself turning 39 deserves a present. Some sort of artwork. I poked around Etsy for a while and found myself repeatedly drawn to old school looking thread/nail art but nothing really tickled my fancy. There were some I liked but I wasn't totally in love with any of the designs so I gave up and moved on to doing something else. I figured I'd know what I wanted when I saw it and pretty much left it at that was that. 

That brings me to yesterday. I was with my husband and my daughter and we were running errands and we drove past the local thrift store that I go in and check out every couple of months or so. I hadn't been in there in forever and I felt like I had to go in. I just HAD to go in there. I asked my husband to pull in real quick so I could run in and check and see what they have. My husband waited with our daughter in the car and I ran through the rain into the store.

There it was. 
In a sea of crappy, used, dinged up art. In between a garish framed poster of Tweety Bird and a wall plaque with 
"Bless this Mess" -
The first thread/nail art I have ever seen in a thrift store. 
The birthday present to myself:

Exactly what I was looking for. A beautiful sailboat. This was it. I loved it! I could see as I walked up to it that there was something special about it. Layers upon layers of thread. Meticulously done and beautiful. Every thread still intact. I picked it up and looked at the signature and year it was made:

The year I was born.

I flipped it over the vintage piece and saw a handwritten
"38' Sloop" on the back and was thrilled there was an old, amazing artist's bio attached:

The address of the gallery it was initially sold at is less than 5 minutes from my parents house in Florida.

I purchased the piece of art for my birthday present to myself and hung it in my house. This is where it lives now and for some reason it makes me feel special and not so lonely for my folks. 

I googled Johannes Verplancke and found he is no longer alive. He passed away in 2011. 
He made this piece of art in 1974, when he was 39. The same age I have just turned a week ago. I'm honored to have his artwork in my home and also have a nice feeling knowing we were both born in the same month.
Happy birthday, Hans. Thank you for making this. It's what I wanted... and needed.

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