Ready for Spring

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a few friends at a happy hour, and said, sort of wistfully, “I miss the light…” and they laughed.  I seriously do, though.  I’m tired of the short days, and I’m so glad it’s light (or very nearly light) when I get to work now…  Of course that will change again in March for a few weeks, but at least it will be light later, too.

I haven’t been going on long walks, much less hikes, all winter, and I’m missing it.  I think it’s affecting my sleep.  It’s hard for a few months to do anything on a weekday in the daylight, and then the snow comes, making it a bit treacherous, too.  But today we’re supposed to hit the upper 50s, and I’m headed out as soon as I post this.  We complain a lot, but Denver’s actually really temperate.

Yesterday I went to the new Goodwill store near my house finally.  It opened a few months ago, and I’ve kind of been avoiding it (I don’t need anything).  Yesterday I managed not to buy anything — just had a look around.  It’s like a department store!  It’s huge!  The stuff is decent!  There were no typewriters to speak of, but I bet there have been.  There’s this little nook for books and media, and this sort of strange coffee area — it’s not a coffee bar, but I’m pretty sure you can just help yourself to hot coffee if you want.  And downstairs is all of the furniture, which wasn’t that impressive.  But if you’re looking for c. 1985 skis, I think you’ll find what you need there…

At thrift stores I tend to skip the clothes — just not into them.  I go for the books (almost all of my books are used, and were super cheap at a thrift store), and I used to be really into the cassette tapes, too.  And the typewriters.  One of my favorite things to peruse, though I never buy from this section, is the art.  I just love the stuff people must keep on their walls.  Carpet art, embroidered stuff, faded black and white prints of Michelangelo’s Pietà, strange photographs titled “Southern California.”  I’m soooo not a connoisseur, so if there’s anything of value in the piles, I’m totally missing it (which is fine with me), but I know a few of you have found some pretty incredible stuff in thrift stores…  Anyway, the art section of the new Goodwill has some jewels.



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3 responses to “Ready for Spring

  1. Yello!

    I enjoyed your post describing the highs and lows of thrift stores. It’s funny because it’s true. I really can relate to a lot of those thoughts. It’s sort of a comical ritual that I go through every time I enter a thrift store. I go in, hopeful, then I walk around thinking, ‘do I really need any of this crap?’, or ‘wow, what is all this crap?’ or ‘holy crap! Why don’t they just throw away a lot of this stuff. It has no function’.

    So I have to repeat to myself numerous times that someone’s trash is another man’s treasure, but mostly someone’s trash is another man’s trash, which is the hilarious thing of it.

    Nowadays I always look for the kid’s books, videos and toys, because of their cheapness and because it’s kind of fun to look for something unexpected.

    I can’t resist looking at the housewares and randomized tchotchkes, even though I rarely get anything, and if I do I sometimes regret it. I like looking for something unusual.

    One time I got some fun vintage-looking astrological mugs. Another time I got these silly miniature ice cream makers that were all the rage at some point and everyone seems to donate them. Another common item for me to look for was food warmers, which are cheap and I use them to do encaustic (melted wax art), and I would buy several of them to use in the art classes I taught. Other times I’d get baskets or boxes or some other container to put a gift in.

    One time I got thigh-high high-heeled boots from the 70’s or 80’s that were so funky but I only ended up wearing them one time for halloween because they were murder to walk in and I feared for my life. This was during a phase where I picked up the most unusual shoes I could find there, but now I’m grossed out by getting shoes there–not sure why suddenly, but they just smell funny and I’m sure there’s lots of lovely bacteria lurking there.

    Another item that used to be common for us to buy was furniture. We’d buy an end-table or storage thing or some other item. One time I bought a really funky chocolate-colored couch that we had for a decent time until we finally get fed up with it because our cats peed all over it every time we seemed to look away. I can’t tell you how many times I tried removing the smell or covering it, etc. They still managed to do it. Now we have neither the cats nor the couch, so I am happy (sorry cats, no offense). We also got a matching mamasan and papasan in a fall-colored set. We got rid of them finally (well except for the papasan cushion which I used for a play mat for Pele for a long time until recently when we decided to give that up).

    Oh dear…this is rambling on. I guess that’s enough thrift store memories. Well ok–one more. Last summer I pulled up to Savers in Fort Collins and I went inside with Pele and we looked around. When I left the store and got back into the car, it wouldn’t start. This nice couple and an older man helped us and we had my old car towed. Once again, I no longer have that car, but my memory of those nice people helping us was good. This woman towed my car to the shop and we rode in that huge towing truck-to Pele’s delight. She was really high up and could see everything well from her vantage point. I’m surprised how well she does in crises. I mean, for a toddler. It’s just the other times that she seems to fuss a lot.


    Well thanks for sparking my thrift store memories. By the way, I’m with you. I’m definitely eager for Spring. Especially with a toddler underfoot. That cooped up feeling that goes along with winter goes double when you’re trapped with a toddler, too. Well I shouldn’t say that–we still go out, but it’s just not that same. There are more kid things to do when it’s warm (i.e. playgrounds and other outside play areas).

    HUGS from Your Uncle,


    p.s. excuse the frighteningly non-sensical paragraph breaks. I am very tired…

  2. Oh, btw…the art at thrift stores IS really hilarious. Gold-framed pastel 80’s art. Hahah. And the needlepoint.

  3. Where is it? We are always on the lookout for a new thrift store.
    Have you tried Denver Freecycle? You can post that you are looking for typewriters and see what turns up.

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