May 7, 2021

Life, Antiques and Everything

Weil Antique Center
Allentown, PA
This past Saturday, we took a road trip to an antiques mall in Allentown.  It's not far off of Route 78 in Allentown, and it is absolutely massive, with over 150 separate vendors in the building and dozens more at tables outside.  It reminded me a lot of Black Diamond from the Schuylkill Mall with a single register at the front of the store where you pay for any of the items you want, regardless of which vendor it's from.

There were a lot of strange and interesting individual items that I'll post about in the future, but for now, I want to focus on the antique mall itself.  These photos don't even come close to being a virtual walkthrough of this place.  In fact, they barely scratch the surface.

Whether you're interested in movies, music, books, art, history, fashion, furniture, housewares, traditional antiques or just about anything else you can think of, you could easily spend two or three hours browsing through all of the stands and never get bored.  I could have spent a few hours just looking through the boxes of vinyl, but it was our first time here, so I didn't want to spend too much time at one stand and miss out on seeing the others.

One last thing before I close about our trip to the Antique Store.  This is my wife, Angie.  Coming here was her idea, and I can't begin to explain how proud I am of her for taking this step.  She's been battling agoraphobia for most of her life, and the threat of a pandemic that is especially dangerous for diabetics hasn't made that battle any easier on her, but she is strong in a way that I love and admire with all of my heart.

We first met when she was 21 and I was 22.  In the eighteen years that followed, we have been through it all.  We went from being casual acquaintances, to friends, to best friends in the first four years that we knew each other.  We started dating on July 24th, 2006 and got married in Las Vegas exactly five years later.  What she sees in a mess like me, I'll never know.

If there has been one positive thing to come out of the pandemic, it's that it gave us the opportunity to reconnect.  It also gave me the opportunity to confront a lot of hard truths about myself.  This has resulted in quite a few long late-night conversations over the past year, some of which were more difficult than others, but the end result is a commitment to be the kind of man that my grandfather would be proud of, and the kind of man that this incredible woman deserves.  I'm so proud of her for everything that she is, and for everything she has overcome throughout her life, even during the times when I was too self-absorbed to notice.

There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about the times I've disappointed not only her, but all of the other amazing people who I have known in my life who were far better to me than I was to them.  I know I can never take any of it back and it hurts like hell, but I can focus on the future and do everything in my power to be a good man going forward - to help others when I can, to know when to shut my mouth and listen, to be there for people who need someone to be there, and above all else, to take care of her and make sure that she is safe and happy.  If I'm very lucky, I'll have another forty years to try to make up for all of the mistakes of the first forty, and maybe I'll have a life to look back on that I can be proud of by the time I watch my final sunset.