I picked Merit up from football practice the other morning and told him we just had one stop to make. I am sure he was hoping Dutch Brothers or Safeway (where he could grab a power bar or sandwich). "Senior Center Thrift Store" I say with a smile. And he follows me in. The store smells a bit like an old ladies house, a library and yesterday's lunch.
When I see something at the thrift store that reminds me of my mom I get a warm and fuzzy feeling!! Old dishes, a mug she used to have, a wall hanging, a fabric print, a Christmas decoration, Good Housekeeping from 1995...and sometimes I cry.
Old men and woman who I run into there have told me to enjoy my children because they grow fast. They have given me a smile on a down day, they have watched my children play in the toy section. Several years ago, Willem and I were at the Senior Center Thrift Store and there was a band playing in the area where the seniors play games and eat lunch. Willem hurried out onto the wood floor, almost as if he were going to break out and dance and heads turned and seniors smiled. A two year old, white haired boy running out onto the floor was a bit of joy and sweet energy!
My mom never bought a lot of "extras" -- if she wanted to go shopping it was the clearance rack (clothes) or something fun at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. She didn't shop for much else. She was not a big reader, but occasionally had a Bible Study she loved and liked magazines. Her Bible and Bible study workbook were her current reads when she passed away.
I found this book on "friendship" recently at the Senior Center, copyright 1974. I remembered my mom's friend Lois giving her a cute little book on friendship. I paged through that book yesterday and was loving some of the quotes I read. And I thought of my mom.
When I started getting serious about thrifting (at about 19 years of age) my mom loved hearing about my bargains!
Something strange happens with TIME when I go to the Senior Center. I go back a little and can grab memories from several decades. If I see a dish pattern my mom, aunt or grandma had or a mug my mom used to drink out of I can sort of re-visit.
I have found a large bag of dominoes for my favorite kinder teacher! Fabric for Maria or Tasha and open shelf kitchen things for Shannon. I have bought children's book for teachers and for my children. I bought an old sturdy chair for Vance's new office. The people working the counter are always kind to me.
Therapy in the form of a thrift store.