Q: It is (and ever shall be) for QUESTERS
Officially, and per the website...
Questers are people who enjoy antiques and history. We belong to a non-profit International Organization which encourages an appreciation for antiques and the preservation and restoration of historical landmarks.
Unofficially, this is an organization composed of the most educated, passionate, friendly, and big-hearted people in the northern hemisphere. Also, it is home to most of my innumerable fairy godmothers.
When I was born, my mother's mother was already a proud and well respected Quester. Grandmother was as beautiful and graceful a woman as any, and she was not only a shining educator but she was a passionate advocate for all things historically important. She was an immaculate house keeper, she was a blindingly beautiful wife and mother, and she knew a TON about things like Heisey, Limoges, Tiffany.... glassware, china plates, silver forks, southwestern jewelry, cabinets, chairs and furniture... you know, everything. She was a gracefully intimidating matriarch, and she belonged to a powerhouse of a group (of similarly gracefully intimidating matriarchs) that lived, breathed, bled and dreamed antiques.
My mother joined the team when I was probably 5 or 6. I was immediately embraced by all and proceeded to spend my formative years with their stories spilling into my ears and their knowledge coursing through my veins. This group is an international powerhouse now, dedicated to not just the restoration of old stuff, but the honor and study of it as well. Buildings, gravesites, farms... what have you. It's all under the watchful eye(s) of this organization. Typically the Questers were women but nowadays more and more men are joining up.
Think "antiques roadshow" but only with a room full of your very most adored aunties and neighbors. Throw in some sandwiches, some cookies and a perfectly disarming collection of salt-glaze pottery and you've got yourself a grand idea of how an afternoon meeting is spent with these wonderful, wonderful people. Questers are people who love to collect and share and teach and learn. They love to touch and feel and smell and really get their hands deep into the history of a place or a thing. Questers love to tell stories.
They love to laugh and cry and get mad about rude things happening to historical artifacts. Questers will pour over a thing or a collection or a location and painstakingly (inch by inch sometimes) stitch it back together until it is shining like new and strong enough to share with future generations.
and lo, for they are adorable.
And they are everywhere. I promise you, there is a collection of these very same fairy godmothers in your very own zipcode. And they meet up regularly. And they would LOVE to meet you and share with you and bring you into the fold. And you would be only too lucky to try and only too smart to join up. Forget about book club, forget about play dates. Questers is where it's at, kids. They'll change your life.
They sure changed mine. Growing up amid this kind of magic (and trust me, it IS magic) has put a whole new spectrum of light into my world. Lessons learned from Questers as I sat at my mother's knee contributed greatly to the completion of my first novel, for instance.
Now for my part, I'm not nearly "old enough" to join the team. While it's perfectly fine to be a young thing in her thirties and get all antique-y with her bad self, I don't yet have what it takes to really grab hold of that magic wand and start launching my own historically accurate initiatives. Give me about twenty years and we'll see. I encourage you to seek them out though, especially if you collect something. anything
Farming, mining, sewing, rowing, fiddling, whittle-ing, dressing-up or messing-up... this is a community that will welcome your knowledge and delight in helping you seek out more.
And when you do bump into them and end up spending the rest of your afternoon giggling about 18th century underwear or nodding sagely about the development of the model-A... and when they ask where in the world you ever heard of them... you just tell 'em that the Colorado Silver Dollar chapter has a grand-daughter with a big mouth and a funny little blog and you just could. not. resist.
Because you can't.