My nunnie used to always tell us a story about a brass umbrella holder she kept by her door. It was scratched at the bottom from years of use. When she couldn't revive it, she brought it to the local thriftstore-- cast off with the other unwanted items left for sale.
Weeks later, she was out shopping at a nearby pricey antique store. She spotted a similar umbrella holder-- same size, same shape, same color. When she looked more closely, it had the same scratches inside-- the exact same ones which caused her to give it the boot. There was her old umbrella holder, same scratches and imperfections, for sale with a hefty price tag. One man's trash...another's treasure,...another's profit.
As someone who frequents thrift stores often, I'm all too familiar with the feeling of complete joy I get from snagging up someone else's unwanted and cast off items. Reviving them, bringing them back to life, sharing the story of the hunt with visitors and friends.
So, imagine my shock while on my weekly thrifting trip, I spotted a fireplace screen that I bought years ago for the first apartment Josh and I lived in. It was a well loved piece in our apartment-- it held votive candles which we often lit. After years of use, some of those votive holders fell off. When we moved, I donated it to a local Goodwill.
At first, I figured it couldn't be ours. I donated mine to Goodwill, and I was in a Value Village. When I looked closely, though, I noticed it was missing the exact same votive holders. It was ours alright-- it had seen Christmas parties, pizza nights, and the first years of a couple living together. And here it was cast off and selling for a few bucks at Value Village.
I was still skeptical that it was our same screen until I looked across the aisle to see a mug with a beaver on it from Fort Lauderdale. It was solidified-- the mug was ours as well. We bought it at a little dive bar on a vacation to Fort Lauderdale a few years back. This was no coincidence. Those were my cast offs, full of memories, for sale for someone else.
I thought about buying them back for the fun of it. For some reason, seeing them for sale made me a little nostalgic. Probably not nostalgic for the things themselves, but the memories they represent. I decided against it-- maybe they'll bring someone else some joy in a new and different way. Maybe they'll tell their friends about finding them in the thrift store-- cast off by someone else.
It's funny how life comes full circle sometimes.
And I did walk away with some new-to-me treasures....but this has been a long post, so I'll save them for next Thrift Score Thursday.