Almost every Friday, my friend Paula and I hit the local Goodwill and one or two other second hand stores in town, hoping to find some cheap treasures. Lately, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to do. After I found the ceramic sailor and the sea shell bookends several weeks ago, I’ve come up empty handed, and Paula hasn’t done much better.
Last week, when Paula picked me up she mentioned the pile of stuff laid out in my neighbor’s driveway. I told her I thought my neighbor had been cleaning out his old shed. “We can check it out later,” I told her.
After we returned to my house a couple hours later, having struck out in our pursuit of good stuff once again, we ambled over to examine the junk in my neighbor’s driveway. I told her we’d passed my neighbors driving the opposite way, as we headed back to my house-so the coast was clear.
Taped to an old picnic table was a sign informing us that everything was free, and that anything not taken would end up in the dump. Right away Paula was excited because there were several items she wanted-a curry comb, a long stick used to herd animals when they are being shown at the fair (a show stick, I think she called it) and a pitchfork, among other things. Paula’s family operates a cattle and hay business, and her son is active in 4-H. Wondering why my neighbor had these things, I told Paula that he was an ex rodeo competitor and rancher himself. After losing an eye in an unfortunate accident involving barbed wire, he became a used car salesman.
And as for me? I found an old bowling ball. It just so happens that I’ve wanted an old bowling ball for awhile now, to use as a garden ornament. Don’t ask me why-it’s just one of those ideas I got into my head. I’ve seen several on our weekly outings, but they’ve been way too expensive. It amazes me how often items on my “list” eventually turn up like this, and once spring is here and the garden starts to come alive, the bowling ball will look pretty nestled among my violets.
I also found these two artifacts-an old WWII era shovel and some hooks. I’ll clean the shovel up and use it for gardening, and I’ll put the hooks in one of my flower beds as another piece of garden “art.” And if any of you know what the hooks would have been used for, please let me know.
Speaking of the word hook, we recently replaced our upstairs bathroom sink. The old one cleverly used a vintage dresser with the sink basin set into the top, while still allowing the drawers of the dresser to be used for storage. When we first looked at our house, we found this note by the sink: