Summer trips to Clearlake now include a new tradition.
Visiting Zephyr Zen Antiques.
Or, as I prefer to call it: The Treasures Store.
It’s this totally random, hole in the wall shop and although it’s located along the main street through town, the overgrown trees in front make it almost unnoticeable.
I stumbled into it a few years ago, and love visiting every year.
When a chippy red trike covered in cobwebs welcomes you out front, you know that you’re in for a real treat.
Because it’s like a hunt.
The shop is tiny, but packed to the gills.
Narrow walkways flanked by STUFF stacked to the ceiling.
You could be here for days and still not really see everything.
Dusty glass bottles crammed along simple plywood shelves.
I got my aqua mason jars here a few years ago.
There were no more aqua jars this year, which was probably for the best. I wouldn’t have anywhere to put them anyway.
Vintage books line walls and take up an entire teeny tiny back room that you can hardly squeeze yourself into.
I kinda feel like sneezing just looking at this picture.
But a good sneezing.
I cannot tell you how absolutely, seriously BUMMED I am that I did not bring home that brass unicorn book end.
Like, kicking myself. Hard.
Because it’s a unicorn. And it’s brass. And it’s ridiculous and awesome all rolled into one.
Praying no one buys it before I get back up there next summer.
Old record collections.
I don’t know a thing about records, but these seem pretty cool.
Also kinda wishing I had bought that orange jeweled one. So fun!
Curio cabinets of green glass.
This would make a really fun collection if you needed a collection to start.
Which, I do not.
My favorite is their “Kitchen Department”.
I could stand here for hours digging through the shelves to find the pretties hidden under those piles.
I must have picked up that cute little blue and white flour sifter at least 16 times. I even carried it around with me for a while.
But I eventually decided that although it was DARLING and the colors matched my kitchen PERFECTLY…I literally wouldn’t know where to put it.
Hate when that happens.
Vintage silverware in a big wooden crate.
Because why not.
You read that correctly.
Thirty five g’s.
The woman told us that it’s from the Ming Dynasty and how it was owned by a prominent family…and what they used to do (apparently) is display the heads of their deceased loved ones on the arm of the Buddha.
I don’t know if that’s true, or if she’s just yanking my chain, but that’s crazy!
How adorable is this little boy in his sailor suit?!
And you know what’s crazy?
That little boy has conceivably grown up, and is either a little old man today…or has even passed away by now.
Makes me look at my own kids a little differently…
So…I’m sure you’re wondering…what did I buy?
I saw this bitty little book sitting on a dusty shelf.
The woman told me it was their “religious section”.
I opened it up…just out of curiosity because it was so dang old and neat looking…
To find that it was written in 1879.
But more importantly, that it was in Portuguese!
Now, here’s the thing…being Portuguese myself…I can tell you that you very rarely find anything in Portuguese.
It’s just such an uncommon thing to find anything new…much less 134 years old (yes, I used a calculator for that math)….that I had to have it. In little old Clearlake…in itty bitty dusty Zephyr Zen.
So, I start flipping through this fragile 134 year old little book of prayers to find the owner’s writing.
Among a variety of things, she included her name, some dates, something about coming to America from the Azores in 1871, and the dates of a loved one’s death and burial.
About now is when I started getting goosebumps.
I mean, I don’t know for sure…and unless I spent a long time on geneology websites…but here’s the thing:
My family is from the Azores. (Teeny islands off the coast of Portugal…kinda like Hawaii is to the US.)
The person who died has the name of Francisco Nunes Rocha. My dad’s grandpa was a Nunes Rocha.
And he came to America in the 1800s too.
Look, the surname Nunes Rocha isn’t like Smith…but it’s also not completely uncommon. And lots of folks came over in the 1800s. It could be completely unrelated.
Or, it might actually be a relative of mine.
I don’t know. I may never know.
But as my eyes grew wider, the woman at the shop said “Well, it looks like that little book finally made it home.”
I mean, really. What are the odds???
A bitty strip of the sweetest floral fabric was used as a bookmark.
It’s so old, it’s practically see through.
I want to marry it.
Remember how I lost the diamond in my wedding ring a few week’s ago? I was planning on buying a solid gold band as a placeholder, probably from the men’s section…but when I saw this, I swooned.
Maybe someday we will replace my lost diamond, but for now, I adore this ring.
I love that it has four rows of diamonds. One for each kid.
But I mostly love that it’s from Zephyr Zen.
(P.S. Totally not a sponsored post. In fact, the lady looked at me a little cockeyed when she saw me taking pictures of the shop.)