what you share matters

by | Oct 11, 2022 | a slice of life, encouragement | 54 comments

As I shared yesterday, I purchased a twenty-drawer antique cabinet from Ekster antiques and, when I drove to the barn to pick it up, I bought another large piece.  I bought this gorgeous European glass front cabinet that was way too big to fit in my van.  The wheels in my head were turning as I contemplated how I was going to get the piece home.

Our truck bed was too small, but maybe we could strap it in?  No…too risky.  I was going to have my dad drive a truck to Lucketts in case I needed it for a large purchase and maybe he could pick it up for me?  Could we have it delivered?

Every scenario I went to was about having someone else drive a vehicle that would be large enough to pick it up.  That’s just not something I do.

antique european cabinet | ekster antiques | miss mustard seed

With all of the furniture I have bought and sold over the years, I have always had other people drive the trucks.  I’ll load, unload, and do all of the refinishing, reupholstering, and painting, but I am not going to drive the truck.  It just seemed too far out of my comfort zone.

As I was running through different scenarios in my head, the easiest answer was for me to rent a truck or cargo van and pick it up myself.  The thing that gave me the confidence to even have that thought was the fact that my sweet friend, Maria of Dreamy Whites, has been stepping way out of her comfort zone to fill a container of goodies from Europe to sell out of her physical shop in California and her online shop HERE.  This meant she would have to drive a cargo van in Europe.  And she has done it, not once but several times.  We chatted on the phone about it and I commended her for her bravery.  In the back of my head was the thought – but I could never.  

dreamy whites at a Europea flea market | miss mustard seed

That thought was followed by another thought – Of course, I could.  If Maria can rent a cargo van and drive it in Europe, I can rent a cargo van and drive it here to pick up that piece.  And, if that goes well, I can rent a cargo van to take to Lucketts so I’m ready to buy and haul big pieces on my own.  

And that’s just what I did.  Yesterday, I picked up a cargo van and nervously drove it back to the house to meet my mom and load up moving blankets and shrink wrap.  I got it to the house without incident (except I somehow bumped the hazard lights and then couldn’t figure out how to turn them off!)  Jeff gave me an out.  “I can always drive it for you and pick up the piece if you don’t feel comfortable.”

“No, I can do this.”

And I did.  Not only did I drive it an hour to Hamilton, but I drove on gravel roads, had a few hairy moments when the van was spinning its wheels in said gravel, and I even backed up to a loading dock.  I mean, that van was kissing the dock as if it had been put there by someone who knew what they were doing.

ekster antiques | loading a uhaul cargo van | miss mustard seed

And I opted to drive home on country roads through small towns instead of taking the highways.  When I got home, Jeff congratulated me.  It seems like a silly thing, being proud of driving a cargo van with a 9′ bed, but it was a step past my comfort zone, and that’s always something to be noted and celebrated.

We unloaded the cabinet and table and I drove the van back to return it.  Jeff rode with me and I told him he couldn’t drive it because he wasn’t listed as a driver on the rental contract.  It was definitely a reversal of roles and one that made me smile a little bit.

And now I am full of myself.  “I can buy all kinds of huge pieces of furniture now and there is nothing to stop me!”

Of course, I say that all in fun.  I won’t be renting cargo vans willy-nilly, but I know that I can if and when I need to.  And it’s all because a friend I follow online shared her own steps outside of her comfort zone.  What we share in passing, in-depth, no matter how small, it matters.  It all matters.

While I was conquering perceived limitations, the floors in our house were being sanded and filled.  If all goes well, the floors will be finished by Thursday or Friday and then we’ll be able to properly move in.  It’ll feel so amazing, after all of the traveling and upheaval, to finally be able to unpack our suitcases and really settle in.


  1. Amanda

    You are so brave! I’m scared of driving big vehicles too, so I understand how big it was for you to conquer this! Way to go! I love following along on your journey to make your new home, “truly home”! It’s looking beautiful!

    • Joelle

      I love your humor! Your posts are so positive and true to everyday life. You celebrate and encourage others and only make fun of yourself! Well done!

    • Jan

      That’s just awesome! Yesterday, my daughter sent a video of my 3 1/2 yr old granddaughter taking her first solo spin on a pedal bike. The entire time she’s talking to herself…”I’m doing it, I’m doing it!!”… and, now, you are too!! xo

      • Sarah

        Well done! I’ve had to drive six hundred miles away and back by myself. Never thought I would do that but God was with me the whole way. So I’m curious how you load a huge cabinet like that by yourself??

  2. Carswell

    I’m pretty sure I’d be OK with a van like the one in your pics. One of the white trucks in the other pics would put me outside my comfort zone though – even though I’m comfortable driving a standard.

    I rode in the cab of an 18 wheeler with my brother once – and that really made me nervous even though I wasn’t the one doing the driving. It’s beyond intimidating to be up so high and have so little visibility of the parameters of the vehicle you are actually in.

    • Wendi Unrein

      When you are doing this type of work these benchmarks are so important truly. That is a GREAT idea!!! I’ve been in that bind a few and I’m embarrassed to share what I did. Well the pieces are lovely and looking at the soon to be finished floors makes me so excited for you and us. Gosh you really have some great antiques out your way! Now be careful with that leg of yours!!! Enjoy!!

  3. Phoebe

    A lot of my friends drive 40 foot school buses, get up early, drive 3 routes and in all kinds of weather. Some of these are tiny ladies, too. They really have my admiration to do that with a bus load of kids.

  4. RkL

    …the little things ARE the big things…courage…Jesus Himself. So proud of you….in Maine. 🙂

  5. Lynda

    The cabinet is gorgeous!!

  6. Babs

    I know just how you feel. I had wanted to purchase two Windsor chairs on Marketplace and made arrangements to see them at a certain time. I neglected to get a contact phone number. When I went to get into my husband’s SUV (he had taken my smaller car) the car wouldn’t start due to a run down battery in the thingy. What to do? No contact number! Running out of time…I know, I’ll drive our big pick up truck which I hadn’t driven in years. I raced out and got into the truck and got to the meeting space in time for the purchase. I had to drive on the highway but took back roads home. When I told my husband what happened he couldn’t believe I actually drove the truck on the highway! He said he was proud of me…by the way, I am 76 years old.

    Your cabinet is a treasure!

    • Gabrielle

      You know, I live in Australia where our cars are right hand drive, and we drive on the left hand side of the road. I have only driven in America once and that was way out of my comfort zone. My husband does not seem to have any trouble! He just hops in and drives.

  7. Janice Slater

    Good for you ! I did challenge myself when we had the store Fred and Bessies. I also had to drive the next size up as I had found kitchen cabinets on sale on another city. I couldn’t pass them up and was pretty proud of myself for measuring and planning my kitchen and driving the cupboards 2/ 1/2 hours home.

    • Barbara Benecke

      Just have to say those were my parents’ names! My mom always hated hers -“everyone names their cow Bessie”??

  8. JC

    I am right there with you on not being able to drive a truck in Europe with round abouts, signs in foreign languages, and traffic that drives on the opposite side if the street! I’m nervous just thinking about it! BUT, I am so proud of you! This made me chuckle because I’ve been in that “out of my comfort zone” place so many times in my life. Never underestimate the power of a great sale on a piece of furniture! PS: I’ve only taken off the side mirror of a Tundra truck once.?

  9. Irene Kelly

    Congrats you have conquered yet another milestone in the process of running your own business. I remember a girl’s trip to Florida and when the 5 of us got there it was time to rent the vehicle a Chevy Suburban stretch then who would drive it thru heavy Palm Beach traffic so since I had the most car miles under my belt I volunteered and it worked with the owner of a big Corp sitting right next to me pointing the way to her home. So of course since I got us all to her house safely it was my job to drive it all week. It was rather fun especially since I am only 5ft 2″ tall ! Marian you never responded as to the type of wood your new cabinet is ? ?

    • Marian Parsons

      I am not really sure. I think it might be walnut.

  10. Emily

    For those of you unfamiliar with the term, google “double clutch”. Years ago, we rented a Uhaul truck that required me to do that. It not only was outside my comfort zone; it was outside my ability. However, somehow we did it. I will never ever rent a “double clutch” vehicle again. But what you shared is true: doing something beyond what you can do extends your confidence and enables you to do so much more. So congrats and keep sharing–it does make a difference to your readers.

  11. Kay

    Many years ago my daughter was moving from Washington DC back to Ohio. The plan was for her to drive the moving truck and I would follow in the car I had driven from Ohio. When we got to the rental place, my daughter discovered her driver’s license was expired and the company wouldn’t allow her to drive. There was no other choice but for me to drive the moving truck. I was crying and furious with my daughter all at the same time. I had never driven a truck of any kind. Nor had I ever driven in DC, much less at 5 on a Friday. Somehow we made it, but never again.

    • Kimberly

      That’s so funny that you drove from DC to Ohio for your daughter, because I’ve now driven a 14′ U-Haul twice. Once, to move my daughter’s items from her college house in Ohio to DC, and a second time, to move items from my Dad’s home in Detroit, with a first stop in Philadelphia, to move my son from his dorm to a college apartment, then continue on to DC, with the rest of my daughter’s things. Both times my daughter rode with me – since I am SO not a truck type of woman – and we had such a fun and funny time! I actually joke that I’ve yet to visit DC without driving a U-Haul! This actually gave me practice to later on drive a 27′ U-Haul to move my things from a storage unit to my former bosses’ garage, when I filed for divorce, so it would be easier for the moving company to pick up my things. Now, whenever I have to do something new (and not what I’m used to doing), I think about those times I was out of my comfort zones, and realize that I just have to move ahead, conquer any fear related to it, and do it!

  12. Addie

    Yep!!!…..Put me down as one not so brave!!! I have paid way more for deliveries just because I wasn’t brave enough to try it myself. My needs have slowed now….so NOW you write this!!! Well, you are just starting on a new house….YOU GO GIRL!!!! And you even did it with a healing foot!!!! Bravo!!!

  13. Debra Ponte

    NOPE not me,No comfort zone.Dear, you are one of a kind.Take care. We are all proud of you.Here from Nantucket Island. You have guts!

    • Irene Kelly

      Debra, Sure hope you were not hit very much by Hurricane Ian up there on Nantucket Island ?

  14. Bea

    Years ago I forced myself to rent and drive a cargo van to a wholesale show in PA from Northern VA. When I pulled up in front of my shop I grazed the car behind and had to pay my $500 deductible. Very upsetting! I haven’t rented and driven a cargo van since.

  15. Cory

    so proud of you! I did this for the first time this summer also….to go get furniture as well!! Enjoy the new found freedom!

    • Barbara

      Marian, I laughed and laughed some more. I will have to share my story about borrowing my neighbors white cargo van to help move my parents furniture when my dad died to my friend Ermas house. Erma is horse and buggy Mennonite. So, of course I did not want her to pay a driver to pick up what I was giving her for free. So, I will save the rest of the story for when I drop off your floor lamp??. So happy you overcame the idea you could not do it. Can not wait to see what you load in there next. Hi to Mom and the family. Talk soon. Xoxo

      • Sharon Rexroad

        One of my “grew up Mennonite” aunts was an Irma! Not horse and bunny (oops, buggy) Mennonite though as the family thinks she worked for the precursor of the CIA. She was a spitfire!

  16. Cassandra E

    Oh my heart you bought THAT cabinet. I saw it in your photos and just stared at it. What a beauty.
    I’m glad you shared this. I’ve had to do some really hard things, and sometimes, reading comments here recently, I feel like there’s a lot of women who have had very sheltered and coddled lives. I don’t judge, there’s nothing wrong with being fortunate enough to avoid some of the big pains in life, but I do slip into feeling sorry for myself. It’s a trap!!! I know that. So I try and slip right back out. But, it’s so nice to hear stories of people stepping out of their comfort zone, even if it’s a choice. We can do hard things!

  17. Nora

    We bought a Ford Excursion years ago. It. Was. Huge!!!
    I hated it. But I learned to like it and trust it when someone hit us from behind and we barely felt anything. We had that truck for YEARS. Many trips from Oh to Hilton head, hockey tournaments, trips to the Indy 500. Lots of memories. Our kids had to learn to drive on that vehicle and our VW which was a stick shift. I told them if they could drive either of those vehicles they could drive anything!!!
    Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone. Nothing can stop you now.

  18. Lynne

    It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to do something we haven’t done before simply because we thought we couldn’t! I am not uncomfortable with long lengths behind me. My grandparents were truckers, as a little kid they would throw me up in the sleeper and off we’d go, all across the country sometimes. It’s the width I learned the hard way that I have to be careful with. When driving my then fiance’s big dually truck, turning in to his house I took out the fence post and part of the fence with the extra wide wheel well. I didn’t even realize I’d done it until he asked me what happened to his truck, the fence, etc. Wonderful guy that he is he paid to get it all fixed and he married me anyway!

    • Cheryl

      I ventured out of my comfort zone by driving all over the countryside from London to Brighton, motivated by my passion for English country houses, gardens, and flea markets–there just isn’t good way to get there efficiently besides driving. My heart was in my throat–narrow lanes, left side driving–but, like you, I DID IT!

  19. Suzanne

    Doing things that are outside of our comfort zone can lead to an enormous feeling of accomplishment! Good for you! I am woman, hear me roar!!

  20. Laurie

    Congratulations on TRYING and Learning By Doing! All much scarier than being instructed. You grew!

  21. Caroline O'Hara

    What a beautiful piece! I love that wood grain.

    I also drove a cargo van for the first time just a few weeks ago, to pick up a new-to-us outdoor table set. I’m not experienced driving trucks and am older (63), but all went well. They’re really quite easy to drive—just felt a bit bouncy! I had assumed it would be too expensive for us, but it wasn’t at all.

  22. taria

    Woohoo! Great story. My adult daughter rented a uhaul van and drove to my dad’s house, a 200 mile round trip, to pick up her great grandmother’s couch. Her dad rode along to help with lifting but uncles had moved it downstairs andit was easily accessable. This was in So. Cal. traffic. yippee for brave gals with good auto insurance! Lovely furniture you are acquiring.

  23. Lisa

    After growing up with a mother that was too afraid of doing many things, I have made up my mind that I will not let fear keep me from doing things if it’s something I’d like or need to do.

  24. Crystal

    I drove a moving truck with half my worldly goods, my son, two dogs, two cats and a cockatoo, from Indiana to Oregon, my son was 15. I was… not. I had a map, a real map, on paper! and took a shortcut and ended up in the Clearwater, Mountains driving on what appeared and felt like a goat path. Semis winding down the mountain going the opposite direction passed my truck with barely inches to spare. It was harrowing. I vowed to never drive another truck again. Ever. A friend drove to my new home a few weeks later with the rest of our things ( he did not take that shortcut) and I paid for his train ticket home. Of course, I did drive another truck, back to Indiana after my dream job turned into a nightmare. But that is a story for another time. I also drove a van with the seats removed, towing a trailer, from Florida to Oregon to pick up the things I had left in storage. This time I drove alone with just my dog. Still in the time of paper maps. I haven’t driven a truck since then. I refuse to do so, BUT I know I CAN if need be. Mad Skills!

  25. Sue M.

    Great purchases and good for you getting it done on your own. I always need to talk myself up in those moments when I need to get things done out of my comfort zone. I don’t mind driving but it’s the backing up I would be a bit scared of doing. So well done!!

  26. Michele

    As we say in my classroom “we can do hard things”

  27. Sandi from Wisconsin

    Congratulations on driving the cargo van, and having a safe pick-up and delivery! You are a stronger woman than you give yourself credit for, and now you will be even more independent. Sometimes we just have to trust ourselves and have faith! Great job!

  28. Kelli Finch

    I am so proud of you!!! In 2020 I decided to move to Maine from Texas so I loaded up a 26’ Penske truck to the Gill with everything I own including my dog and put my car on the car hauler and towed it behind. I managed six months in Maine before realizing that I’m a Texas girl who cannot handle the cold and snow and ice!! So after six months I rented another Penske truck and hauled everything back home!! Note to self: my blood is too thin, Maine is awesome to visit but Texas is home!!

  29. Sally

    Congratulations on breaking out of your comfort zone! Just a few months ago I had to rent a 20 foot U-Haul from the mountains in northeast PA, fill it up, and drive it down to southern Delaware – THROUGH PHILADELPHIA – at night. I was dying at first, but I did it, too and I know how empowering it made me feel! It’s amazing what we can do when we really need to.

  30. DianeH

    May I echo your husband’s comment on your success “Congratulations, you did it yourself “!
    Being a farmer’s wife and a rather independent woman who must remember when to accept assistance, i have moved many things by remembering to go slow and take my time. I recently bought a sweet victorian armoire at my local consignment and while I had help in loading it into my vehicle, (a snug fit)
    I got it out and up onto the front porch with a handtruck by myself. Just then my husband came home and helped me get it through the front door and into place.
    I was grateful for him and proud of myself all at the same time.
    We all learn constantly from others.

  31. Cynthia Johnson

    Congratulations Marian!
    Isn’t it interesting that what we resist, persists.. And when we face our fears, our “I can’t do that…and when we shake our way through it, the reward is confidence, motivation, and a bursting joy!! I love your new pieces.
    Enjoy unpacking and make the house, your home.
    Stay well,

  32. Michele M.

    Well done, you! And what a DREAMY cabinet you found. Wow. It is worth the courage it took you to stretch your
    confidence – and look now: you are empowered and the new owner of a fabulous new piece. Two thumbs up!

  33. Molly

    Congratulations on conquering your fear! I have driven a cargo van. And worse, I have driven my car with a trailer from Maryland to Maine — twice! After the first time I swore I would never do it again, but it was the only way to get stuff up here. When we did our final move to Maine, my husband drove the big truck, though…. (At one point on I95 with the cargo door wide open, but that is another story, haha!) Can’t wait to see your new place come together!

    Also, I finally started my blog! Would love for you to stop by it one day! You are definitely one of my primary blogging inspirations!

  34. Sharon Rexroad

    One of my “grew up Mennonite” aunts was an Irma! Not horse and bunny (oops, buggy) Mennonite though as the family thinks she worked for the precursor of the CIA. She was a spitfire!

  35. Meg

    I’m enjoying your blog so much these days as you start a new chapter of your life. Your blog is always informative, entertaining and insightful.

  36. Shari

    I can’t wait to see your new cabinet at home. It truly is beautiful. Your taste is evolving and becoming more sophisticated. I love how you cherish your items and live and use them. I try to do that, too. Your taste is impeccable. I drive a Mini Cooper which keeps me from collecting too many things. I have to be careful or I would bring home all kinds of treasures…

    Come shopping with us in Connecticut when you get settled.

  37. Sandra Gonsalves

    I live about 25 minutes away from Maria’s shop in Amador City! That was quite an accomplishment driving that cargo van. Congratulations!

  38. Angie

    As someone with a driving phobia, I would never mock or disparage someone finding driving a big vehicle difficult but once you have that high up view of the road and the ability to see so much around you in a pickup, it’s hard to go back to a car. Granted, it is easier in congested cities to drive a car, but it still gives me the heebie-jeebies. I have peripheral vision issues so vehicles whizzing by me at eye level (like in a car) is very disconcerting.

    The best advice I would give someone who has to drive a bigger vehicle than they are used to for the first time is to spend some time it in before you take off. Make sure the seat is in the most comfortable position for you. If you don’t have a passenger and can’t see around the seat, put the back of the seat down. Set your side and rear-view mirrors so you can see (you should be seeing straight back along the sides of the vehicle).

    If you are borrowing a vehicle, don’t be afraid to change the settings for the seat and mirrors, you have to be safe for you and that is more important than where someone sets their seat!

  39. Debe

    I had to chuckle….I served as retreat support at our church. A couple years ago, I rented a 15 foot U-haul, team loaded it and I drove it to retreat center. All was well until I had to make a u-turn around a big tree. The truck got stuck under a limb and the two left wheels were off the ground. Oh, My! That was a special tree also. Luckily the owner of the facility lived next door and her husband brought his Gator and pulled me backward from under the tree. I was embarrassed but all turned out well. Drove it back and forth several times so I truly understand your hesitation. We are women and we CAN do it. Love your new home and can’t wait to see those pieces in place.!

  40. Dalita

    Yay for you! There is absolutely NOTHING that makes me happier than conquering something I’ve been afraid of or learning a new skill/craft I was curious about. . It is so LIBERATING!!! Best wishes is he’s as you go forward without fear! Look forward to seeing all the GRAND pieces you’ll be purchasing.

  41. Lynnett Ratchford

    Way to go, Miss Mustard Seed! I am proud of you for attempting a feat outside your comfort zone and grateful for sharing it with us. One tip: always do as much preparation work prior to doing the task as possible (like knowing where the hazard light control is located). I turned on the hazard lights on my car shortly after I bought it and couldn’t figure out how to shut them off. Don’t feel bad.

  42. Janet

    Yay! Look at you! I am an EMT and regularly have a turn being the driver of the ambulance. Emergency driving, into all kinds of narrow places, around buildings, farming equipment, in Minnesota winter conditions, ALL the backing up, whatever is needed. BUT, to think of driving a school bus, or a semi- I could never!


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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