Sunday, December 11, 2011

My home of abandonment

My brother in law visited recently. He had not been to our Denver home, quite a different place from the home we left in Boulder. Built in 1900, it’s much older as are the contents.

Nearly every piece of furniture was once abandoned, whether it be found in an alley, yard sale, estate sale or a thrift store, someone had given up on it.

As I’ve written many times, the ultimate value of an item cannot be determined by money. If the only attributable thing to an item is money, like company stocks, it will never be stable. It even has the potential to fail. Other items, like cars, have a set schedule of depreciation of value.

But items of ultimate value only accrue value and meaning. I’ve a tattered, worn, once plush rabbit that is nearly as old as me. It has no monetary value but its ultimate value is more than almost any item I own. The same applies with my collection of unique alley finds and thrift store treasures. They have stories. Some involve my repairs, others complete refinishing, and others with the complete wonderment that something could be so old and in such amazing condition.

I’ve learned many things since opening the Etsy store. The thing I enjoy most is the items I release onto the Etsy go to homes where they will be valued. Not because of cost but because of what they are as items and the purpose they serve. The many stories I’m told by customers at point of sale serves testimony.

Perhaps if we truly held ultimate value to the items we purchased, we’d all be better off in our pocket books and our states of mind. Something to think about during this season of buy, buy, and buy like your life depends upon it, or at least Wall Street does.


Nascara said...

I just released my grandparent's buffet into the wild (i.e. it was at the curb with a free sign). I hope for someone to enjoy it the way I enjoyed refinishing the Victorian sheet music cabinet. There's a lot to me said for giving your items wings

Shawna said...

I have an odd question. I recently gave away my most favorite as a gift for a family exchange in which we were to give items that represent our favorite things. Since Thrift is a favorite of mine I decided to go ahead and wrap up my peanut and gift in, in hopes that I someday come across one again. Have you seen one of those silver (colored, don't know if it was actually plated) peanut shells that opens in half and is shiny gold inside? If ever you do, look at it fondly and know that someone on the west coast is in love. :)

Anonymous said...

I think I know what you mean, but "Wall Street" doesn't really buy anything, It just kills me that Wall Street has become the term that everyone uses to represent everything evil and corporate in our lives. Perhaps government in bed with Wall Street or senators passing a law that forces banks to make loans to people who will probably not be able to pay them back are the more accurate terms for what's ailing our country. No one forces people to buy, buy, buy and those of us that have opted out know how easy and freeing it really is. But you can't blame people for trying to make a living.

Shopping Golightly said...


I see your point on Wall Street and not everyone who works there is a greedmonger.

Unfortunately there are just enough greedmongers on Wall Street and - you're right - in Congress that can do a whole lot of trouble to an entire country and acquire more wealth while doing it.

Let's just hope that the Justice Department isn't as infected. Well, based on recent rulings one might construe the tendrils of greed have taken root with a few of the Justices.


Shopping Golightly said...

Until Washington can cough up something that is in the best interest for it's citizens at large...

Let's all try an do something for those who have been abandoned from their home...

This frightening nightmare has happened too many times.

Anonymous said...

These post about thrift gifts and frugal reuse are so timely and very much needed reminders that spending does not have to hurt so much. I listened to dozens of stories today from people all over the country who suddenly have found themselves in the "new" lower class, or poorer segment of the population. Lost jobs, downsizing, restructuring of companies, all these actions have created a huge holes in the bank accounts of hundreds of thousands of American families. Christmas aside, they are struggling to feed their families, put winter clothes on their backs and maintain some kind of dignity while dealing with the loss of paychecks and eventually homes and other "things" that make up the lives they have become accustomed to. If you know such a family, and we know several, make sure you include them in your "giving" this year. Drop your change into a Salvation Army Red Pot or into community efforts to help the hurting. Keep sharing your thrifting stories...

Shopping Golightly said...


Your heartfelt words couldn't ring more clear.

Our family survived because we where thrift store shoppers for over a decade before this mess hit.

Regardless of our economic frugality we suffered economically more than we ever thought possible. We now have a very different outlook on what is "retirement." Thanks to smart spending we were able to keep our home.

But for all that suffer, there is someone who is more in need and it is up to us to help. Give what you can when you can and how you can. There is always a way.

Thank you.