March 12 – Our second stop on Town Days is just up from the post office. Years ago, a friend told us about the THRIFT STORE, and we have been visiting there ever since. Through the years, some of those who were in charge have left, and others have taken their place. Susan, who takes care of sorting most of the items dropped off in big plastic bags or boxes, has been there ever since we arrived. She is a really hard worker and makes good decisions as to prices.
In another section two ladies, Joyce and Camille are always busy, getting all the items ready to hang on the racks in one section of the big room. Pat, the sweet lady with a perpetual smile who checks out our purchases, works so quickly adding up the various items, we think that she must have majored in math!
There has been a real change in the big room where many items are set out on the shelves. More room now to find all sorts of things, including clothing, decorative tins, old dolls, candles, books, kitchen items, souvenir-type glassware, and especially the displays put out to celebrate various holidays. Last week green hats, dishes, and even a doll with green hair appeared as some choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Susan does a really great job in that area.
However, most of our time is spent in checking through the books. For months I have gone through the shelves of kid’s books choosing those that we give to a family with three little ones. For about a year now, James, the oldest one, has been greeting me with these now-familiar words, “You got books?” as he looks up at me, hoping for the best. When I answer in the positive, his big smile goes along with, “Thank you, Miss Chris!” Yes, I know that kids these days have access to computer programs, but I still think that a real book, held in his hand while his mother reads to him, is the best way to get a child to enjoy the printed page.
Dale’s first stop is also in the book section as he is an avid reader. We both pass by the fiction shelves, moving on to the books of history, or adventure, travel, or food, gardening, and poetry. A month or so ago as Dale was checking through the stack of books he planned to buy, he found that he had already read some of them. Know what he planned to do? “Chris, from now on, after I’ve read a book from Thrift, I’m going to put a black X mark inside the front cover. Then, if I come across it again, I won’t be taking it home even though it looks very interesting!” We are just a bit surprised to find those X marks inside so many front covers now!
My favorites are the Chicken Soup books of all subjects. Our son and his wife have been buying these books for Christmas, my birthday, and special days for well over ten years now. I hardly ever find one at Thrift I don’t already have, but we buy them just to give to others who don’t have a collection as I do. How could we turn down a really huge bargain?! Paperbacks are 25 cents and since we are a little older than most people and classify as seniors, they are two for a quarter on Thursdays!
Last week as we were paying for our books, I suddenly missed my camera! Since I wanted some pics of various friends in the stores, I had brought the camera in me with me. But where was that camera now! I was sure I didn’t have it! But where could it be? Where had I left it? Uh-oh, then I remembered. While down on my hands and knees choosing books for the little ones, I had put it in an empty spot on the shelf above, planning to pick it up again after I had a pile of books. You can be sure that I just about flew from the checkout line back to the shelves.
Practically running to the shelf, I got there just in time to see a lady with the bag AND the camera in her hand. When she saw me, she said, “I just wonder how much I would have to pay for this camera. It doesn’t have a price sticker on it!” After I had told her the story, she looked at me, without a smile on her face and said, “Wel-l-l-l, I didn’t want it anyway!”
Now how much time had gone by since I had laid that camera on the shelf? I don’t know exactly, but it had to be at least half an hour because I had checked out a lot of shelves throughout the store, had visited with Joyce and Pat in the back room, had talked with our friend Lois and a couple other folks we first met at the store, and had finally arrived at the checkout counter. If that lady had bought that camera before I missed it, I would have had no idea how to get in touch with her! I will always be thankful that Someone reminded me to look before it was too late!
Yes, we often spend an entire hour at Thrifts just looking and visiting. If we ever did feel down when we open that front door, we would be feeling tip-top again after being with those dedicated ladies. – CHRIS