One of my favorite older movies is called “Somewhere in Time,” starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In it, a man has the ability to go back in time but is forced back to the present when he feels a penny in his pocket. The penny, that is from his future so to speak, forces him to accept reality.

Clocks do this too.

Their constant tick, tick reminds you of how time is fleeting. One can ask if the passing of time might be constant, continuous or circular. Could it be like Christopher Reeves’ character, and find vehicles that help us enjoy the past and present in parallel timelines?

My children love new things.  I guess most people do.

I love a new television set, mattress, toaster or a variety of things that I really believe have improved with the passage of time. I would not like to wear antique underwear, you would never know where it had been, but for many things age brings beauty and tradition.

I fell in love with antiques way back when I was a child. Now, I almost qualify to be one, as antiques are usually over 100 years old. My grandparents’ home was filled with richly polished mahogany and faded brocade rockers, an organ brought over from the old country and a vast array of furniture with history. I would ask my grandmother if I could polish them while she told me stories that her grandmother told her. Through this I learned to love history, museums and anything that would help bridge the past to the present.

As a child, we all play with building blocks, stacking one block on top of another. I felt time must be the same way. We were a part of that stack and the generations before us were our foundation.

I believe that memories seep into antiques and carry them into our lives. When I touch a piece from another time, I feel a connection— a mutual affection. To be able to have an object that actually belonged to one of your ancestors is like winning a lottery. Since I do not have any of those, I live vicariously through the collecting of these antiques. When I slowly began my own collection, it was like going on a quest without knowing the destination.

Anytime I found something, I became a purring kitten: content and proud. Even today, after decades of discovery, I am filled with anticipation when I walk into an antique store.

What may be lurking just around the corner?

It is a blessing to me that I can find joy by entering such a shop, bookstore, museum or art gallery. These travels in time, knowledge and beauty fill me with joy. Even when I am worn out, it can motivate me out the door.

Speaking of Time Travel

We are all blessed with the history of our communities.

Los Banos has an amazing museum, and driving downtown or down streets with older homes give us a snippet of time’s past. Gustine, like so many of our Central Valley communities, still has traces of these nostalgic feelings with their downtowns and old homes. The Central Valley is rich in its history and traditions, and waits to be explored. To live a balanced life, I think it benefits us to look into the past, enjoy the present and look towards the future with hope.

Diana J. Ingram

Diana Ingram has been a columnist for Los Banos newspapers for four decades.