Back in April, my sister and I went to the City Wide Garage Sale (aka amazing monthly vintage show) here in Austin. Leigh Ann had just recently moved here, and she was looking for a few things for her home. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular…until I spotted this baby when I rounded a corner.
Without really even knowing what it was, I bought it. It was one of those vintage shopping moments when I knew that I had to act immediately. In fact, two different people were trying to buy it while I was completing the transaction with the seller. Step back, y’all! It’s mine!
I posted the above picture to Instagram, and a lot of you guys let me know it was a Pachinko machine (think Plinko meets a slot machine). I did some research on it, and this particular machine was used in a Japanese Pachinko parlor in 1976. We’re pretty sure that it spent the following 37 years in a barn, because it was disgusting – dirt, cobwebs, dead spiders disgusting.
Tom and I set to work getting it cleaned up. We spent hours with Q-Tips and my favorite Young Living Thieves household cleaner. That stuff is the best – it easily removed what we think was tobacco leftover from the Pachinko parlor when no other cleaning product I tried would work. Gross!
After we got it cleaned up, we set to getting it working again. I would have been okay if we never got it working again, but Tom was determined. It took him a few weekends of working on it, but he got both the machine functioning correctly and the jackpot alert lighting up when it was supposed to. Score!
I wanted to hang it in the small hallway between our living room and master bedroom, so Tom built a little box so that we could install it on the wall. I filled the screw holes, sanded it smooth and painted the box Lindsay White to match the wall. It looks great hanging there.
Just about every time someone walks past the machine, I can hear them pull the lever to shoot a ball into the machine. I love the way it sounds when the ball plinks the metal pins on the way down.
As with any game, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. But the real fun is the anticipation of what’s going to happen as that ball moves through the pins. Over the past month, this Pachinko machine has become a real metaphor for our lives. Most days, we flip that lever and the little ball goes up into the machine and down a different path only to end up with the same result. It’s honestly what we expect will happen, but it’s fun to see if we can try to get that ball to take a different path.
Occasionally, we are successful and that little ball lands into one of the jackpot pockets. Then, the light flips on and you wait to hear the sound of the jackpot payout.
I haven’t written much on the blog in the last few weeks, but it’s not because I haven’t had any projects or life events going on. In fact, I’ve had so much going on that the blog has had to take a backseat. The kids started school (Zack-3rd and Emma-Pre-K), and it’s taken a little while to adjust to our new schedules. For the first time in over 8 years, I’m home during the day by myself until it’s time to walk up to the school and pick up the kids, so I’ve been doing tons of house work and focusing on small neglected projects. I’m able to get everything finished before the kids come home, and so I get to spend the afternoons completely with them. Jackpot.
I finally had the guts to pursue a bucket list dream of mine, and I’ve joined a local roller derby league – Rockin’ City Roller Girls. I am banged up, bruised and sore, but I am having the time of my life. I hit the rink every time I can outside of our regular league practices, and I am proud at how far I’ve come in just a short amount of time. I still have a LONG way to go until I’m anywhere close to the amazing women who bout for our league, but I’m working hard to get there one day. Jackpot.
And last but not least, I spent a few days last week with a photo stylist, photographer, make-up artist and personal stylist as my home and family were photographed for a national magazine! I was told that it could be up to a year before we are published (which is actually the norm), so I don’t want to spill too many details yet. But, it was an exciting few days and I am thrilled that my house of crazy was noticed by such an important publication. Jackpot.
Now that I’ve settled into all of the new stuff that’s happening around here, I will be back blogging and sharing projects more. I’m determined to keep living my life like the Pachinko machine – enjoying the daily anticipation of life and celebrating the jackpots. I hope you do the same in your life, too.