This morning I overheard a conversation between Jensen and his dad that went something like this:
Jensen: “Dad, did someone pick up the old shelves that mommy threw out by the road?”
(In my defense, they were old rickety rusted shelves that I had just paid $2 for at a garage sale, but Fiddledaddy put his size 10 foot down for safety reasons.)
Jensen: “Who took it? A junker?”
Jensen: “Maybe we could be junkers.”
Fiddledaddy: “We already are.”
Personally, I prefer the term “repurposed treasures” over “junker.” But it’s true, I hail from a long line of dumpster divers. My grandparents and my mother were both dealers. I announced this to a group of wide-eyed women recently and had to quickly back-peddle, “um, ANTIQUE dealers…”
Therefore I was raised on a steady diet of auctions, yard sales, and thrift stores. I carried this love of ALL THINGS USED over into my adult life, and spent a number of years buying/finding discarded furniture, painting it, and then re-selling at a tremendous mark-up to hoopty ploopty stores in Los Angeles.
Funnest job EVER.
I still haunt thrift stores and yard sales for household items and children’s clothing.
And I’m still a notorious dumpster diver. In fact, while we were camping at Fort Wilderness recently, I emerged from my tent ready to make a bee-line for the Keurig Coffee Maker (a must-have for roughing it while camping). I was distracted, however, by what caught my eye at the nearby trash receptacle. It seemed that someone had packed up and left their campsite in the wee hours of the morning (I knew this because I HEARD THEM, and they had mentioned to Fiddledaddy that they were going to be catching an early flight. They also shared that they had to go to Wal-Mart to purchase supplies for the camping trip.)
They left some of those supplies in the trash. Therefore, I netted FOUR SETS of newish twin sized sheets (hot pink and black/white polka dots), 4 new pillows (still in their bags and YES, I washed them), a set of white icicle lights, an extension cord, a canvas folding drawer, a brand new pair of Mickey Mouse flip flops, and a pair of fairly used but still wearable white—ish flip flops (which fit Cailey).
Cailey was lamenting that she was having trouble cleaning up her new used flip flops, so she showed me what she decided to do with them:
Before and after. She is going through a duct tape craft phase. Which just goes to show that duct tape is not just for emergency home repairs!
I think my family legacy will live on thanks to this particular child.
Any other dumpster divers out there? What was your favorite find?