Monday, 8 April 2013

Places to Go, Places to Be

Talk about a trip down memory lane. My posts have run the gamut from silly, to sentimental, to sad. Not exactly what I’d envisioned when I planned my theme for the month. I’m just going with the flow, that stream of consciousness kind of thing.

So, what can ‘g’ possibly be? G-force, g-man, hey g-string…no, not on my favourites list. [Though I may reconsider, if the g-string is on a Chippendale dancer.]

Sorry, lost my focus for a minute. My ‘thing’ for ‘g’ is garage sales.

Before I get into the junk part of this post, namely garage sale junk, I have to tell a little story, about grandmothers. Still, and always appropriate.

My sister, in true grandmotherly fashion, took her grandson, Jake, out for lunch. They had a very serious discussion about what they would change, if they had the power to do so.

She asked him what he would change about her, expecting an answer that would probably be honest, maybe hurtful in a child’s innocent and unintentional way.

His answer, he’d change her age. He’d make her younger so she would be around longer.

What a moment, brought tears to this grandmother’s eyes. So here’s a big ‘G’ for all those grandmothers out there.

And here’s my a-z topic.

G   Garage Sales

What is that saying, about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure?

Yard sale junk might be considered trash by some, but really, it’s just one person’s unused, unneeded, useless ‘stuff’, set out on display, hopefully to be purchased by some passing treasure seeker.

It’s a green thing, reduce, reuse and recycle.

I love to get up on a sunny, summer day, grab a coffee at Timmy’s, and do the circuit of Saturday morning garage sales. Not that I’m looking for anything mind you, it’s just one of those activities where I can spend some time outdoors, have a little walk in a nice neighbourhood and people watch.

And sometimes, I find something I can use.

Like the $5.00 handmade, wooden bookcase I got for my granddaughter. The wood wasn’t very attractive, but I took it home, sanded, primed and painted it to a gleaming white. I even hand painted pretty pink flowers on the side. When I found a small table in need of a redo, I painted it to match and she had a nice set of furniture for her room.

Another day, I found a truly awful painting done on a very nice stretched canvas. It was a bargain at $1.00, so I took it home, gave it a coat of gesso, primed it white, and did my own awful painting on it.

If my son would give it back, I’d paint over it and try something different. No such luck. He likes it and has it hung in his garage. As you can tell, my art is hung in all the best places.

My daughter fared better. She has a nicer painting, also done on a yard sale canvas, and has it hung in her house.

I turn away from any of those knickknacky kinds of things, but I can see them, spread across the tables, all dusted and displayed to catch my eye. I have enough of my own, thank you; packed away in boxes I’ve labelled collectables. My knickknacks were gifts, or handed down through the family. I won’t need a garage sale to recycle them; I’ll just pass them on to the kids.

The one item I do look at, with great interest, is books. I’m a firm believer that you can never own enough books. Novels, in hardcover, in paperback, cookbooks, craft books, I look at them all.

I do need to demonstrate some restraint though. My bookshelves are full, the paperbacks two deep in spots, with the overflow crammed into corners of the hall closet.

I remember reading an article on ‘How to Organize Your Home’ that said, whenever you buy a new article of clothing, rid your closet of something you never wear, to avoid that dual wardrobe syndrome.

Women understand what I’m talking about, the wardrobe in your current size, and the wardrobe you keep hidden, that’s a size or two smaller, kept for that time when you finally shed the extra weight, you know, just in case.

When my kids were young we put this organizational advice into practice with toys. Before the Christmas holiday we would purge their rooms of toys they’d outgrown or didn’t play with, and donate them to a worthy cause.

I need to start doing the same thing with books.

I’ve found my bits of treasure over the years; an antique set of wicker doll furniture, brand new kids clothing with tags still intact, craft supplies and old jewellery.

Even if I return home empty handed, I’ve had an enjoyable morning, talking to strangers, looking at gardens, and taking in some fresh air and exercise.

It’s all about the possibilities.

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