My Aunt Mary was my first, ever, very best friend. As the youngest of our tribe, while everyone else trekked off to school and jobs, I got dropped off every morning to her house down the street. I don’t remember much…I was only 3…but my mom loves to tell the story about me waking early to eat breakfast with my dad before he left for his office…then I ate some cereal with my brother and sister before they left for school…then on her way to work she would drop me off at Aunt Mary’s who would fix me some eggs and bacon after I told her I hadn’t eaten yet. She knew good and well I’d eaten, but very best friends make you bacon even when you are a liar.
I remember a black and white television with Felix the Cat cartoons and Shirley Temple movies. I remember not wanting to take a nap but she would take one with me…even though she snored I didn’t care because I didn’t feel alone. But most of all… and most importantly…Aunt Mary gave me my own little coin purse filled with dimes so we could hit garage sales and find treasures.
We were not impoverished growing up, but there was not excess cash laying around for the taking. This fact taught me early on how to stretch $100 to create a mix and match wardrobe that made me LOOK like my closet housed more than it actually did. I took extremely good care of my clothes and shoes and if I did make a purchase I carefully thought it out beforehand and took into consideration the items I already owned that would go with it.
If I have enough money to pay full price for an item but I can find it for less or get it at an Out of Season Clearance Sale…SIGN ME UP! Bargains make me HAPPY!
Now don’t mistake my love of clothes, shoes and bargains for collecting. I keep VERY little in my closet. I was Minimalistic before Minimalism was cool. I get rid of ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING that just feels like it takes up space. What I own. I love. When I moved to Baton Rouge three years ago I went to a nearby Goodwill to drop off some items that I thought were taking up space. This was the first time I’d ever gone to a Goodwill. I was always up for a bargain but Goodwill had a connotation in my mind that said old, used, worn and smelly. Why? I don’t know…somewhere along the way I adopted that idea. So I go inside to find out where to drop off my items and I notice a back wall filled with books. If you know me you know I LOVE books. Along that wall I found several current paperbacks in mint condition…recent releases…for a dollar. Flash forward three years and I own close to 500 books. I am a library. Going to Goodwill and hunting down books in excellent condition has become a hobby of sorts. When we build, Kurt and I both know there will be an area in our house that has a tall wall with shelves full of these books. And every book I own begs me to read it. I don’t have one book that I don’t want to read. If you come visit me, I will have a guest room set up for you with carefully selected titles that I think you will enjoy…because my heart wants everyone to love a good book.
During all this book collecting I developed a fondness for Goodwill. Going has fed my inner child that loved going treasure hunting with my Aunt Mary. Along with the books I’ve picked up Williams-Sonoma wine glasses, Crate and Barrel plates and a few household items like picture frames and baskets. I recently scored some Madewell black jeans, brand new with tags and some new Gianni Bini booties. I was super snobby about looking through the clothes until I did…now I look EVERY TIME. Especially at one particular location where someone my exact size has a pattern of donating unused items…JUST FOR ME.
Yesterday after church and brunch, Kurt and I spontaneously drove an hour to an antique show in Washington, Louisiana. It was a no…for both of us. Lots of stuff…and by stuff I mean knickknacks, whatnot’s and thingamajigs. Don’t mistake my ability for thrifting and appreciating a bargain for liking junk. I like nice things…at a good price…that are TASTEFUL and USEFUL and LOVELY.
If you’ve ever wanted to give Goodwill a try, here’s a little checklist I’ve compiled to get you started. If you go and love it or have some tips to share with me…please comment or message me! I love to hear how my blogs inspire others! Makes me happy!
In memory of Aunt Mary. Thank you for being the coolest and braking for garage sales…for teaching me how to treasure hunt and for giving me my third breakfast of the day without questions.
I love you.