Friday, April 16, 2010

It's all just stuff

It doesn't take much to entertain me. So it shouldn't surprise you if I told you that one of my very favorite things to do is to head to Goodwill to see what treasures I can find. But even more importantly than finding things that our family can actually use at a smokin' good price, I love the reminder that each trip gives to me about all the stuff. We all have too much of it, and really, in the end it will most likely just end up on a shelf with a $4.99 price tag attached to it. Here are some examples:
In the 'framed art' area was this scenic painting, signed by Lee Allie. Who was Lee Allie? Why did he paint this picture? Was it his greatest masterpiece, only to be stacked among old cross-stitched plaques for a new baby, or Nagel posters from the 80's? Where did this picture hang until it's fateful trip to the Goodwill? All that hard work, and here it just sits now.
There is also an over-abundance of kitschy things like this little statue. I hate this kind of stuff, to be real honest. This was definitely from the early 70's, and was probably a token of love to someone special. Where was this tucked away for the past 30 years?
For only $7.99 you can have these bronzed first baby shoes that were made into bookends. I'm certain that at the time these shoes were transformed to a keepsake, they were about the most important thing in the world to some mother out there. Her baby was growing up. Now, they sit with a rubber band holding them together, waiting for someone to want them.
I peeked inside one of the shoes and found this old birth announcement, which I'm certain was for the baby who first wore those shoes. How old is Roberta Jean now? Does she know that her shoes are sitting at the Goodwill in Portland, Oregon?
And who are these two gentlemen? Obviously they were very important people, to have their picture enlarged and framed for all to see. What kind of business transaction were they signing that it was documented with a photo? Must have been a very important day!
One of my favorite parts of thrifting is the quick stroll down memory lane that is provoked at least once during each trip to Goodwill. Today it was these wooden ladybug magnets. Not overly thrilling to the average shopper, but I remember that my granny had these exact magnets on her brown refrigerator. The minute that I spotted them today, I was right back at her house, heading to the fridge to take out a bottle of sprite. That's what she always had.
It's not always a diamond day at the Goodwill, and many times I leave the store empty handed. But what I do always take with me is the reminder that really, all of this is just stuff~and that the most important things to you at this very moment in time will someday become just stuff, too. It's really all of the other stuff that matters the most in this life.

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