Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ode to a Thrift Store

  Time flies by and this is only my second post.  But sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions.  The work on my garden has been interrupted for the most part by other priorities but I continue to enjoy lunch and nap time there often enough.  In the meantime, among other things, I've redecorated my living room and adjoining dining room and am nearly finished.

  Needing a different chandelier for  my freshly painted dining room, I went to a favorite store on Tuesday to see what their selection would look like.  Amvets here in Escondido has been a marvelous resource for my eclectic home and life for many years now.  It's a place where I have been able to spend hours sorting through an astonishing assortment of things and carry off an armful without blinking over the cost.  Whether in celebration or out of loss, I've often enjoyed my visits to this mega thrift store.  Seems to me I even went to Amvets on the same day my mom passed away.   It's been a place where I can lose myself, and find precious additions to my home and wardrobe.  But, like so many good things in life, this, too has come to an end.

  As I walked through the door on Tuesday, I saw a sign advertising "75% off everything in the store." "My lucky day!" I thought.  Until I saw that more than half of the merchandise was gone and that the business, to my dismay, was closing down.  I looked around and saw other shoppers with cartfuls of selections who should have been rejoicing over their bargains but many of us shared the same forlorn look.  Where would we go now?  Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I told another woman that they should have had counselors on hand to help us through this - and she said she was glad her daughter hadn't come with her or she would have "totally freaked."

  I'm sure many people won't understand how a store can mean so much to anyone and I'm sure I'll get over it and, hopefully enjoy the new thrift store coming in, but I thought this experience would be something to share here, especially when I began to think about several of my favorite household items that have come from Amvets over the years and decided to photograph them and post them here; a tribute to good times at Amvets...
This was a fairly recent addition to the garden.  A steal for only $75 for the set - am considering using it indoors for my dining room, but the jury's still out on that.

  This area in the garden features lots of bunnies and this big, heavy cement piece was another fairly recent bargain.  You can also see it in the top picture, upper right corner.

  This chair was a natural color bamboo when I found it - and carried it all the way up to the front myself to make sure I didn't lose this gem to another bargain hunter.  Starting to fade after several years, I recently painted it a perky Chinese red.  The seat cushion was another Amvets purchase - a great place to buy garden cushions that can be used one season and tossed.

You've gotta love this precious little birdhouse, complete with its own bird and nest, hanging from my peach tree.

The chandelier in my living room that inspired my last trip to Amvets.  I had to buy new sleeves for the candles but I was able to use my mother's collection of crystals to return it to its glory.

  I bought this lovely lady several years ago to sell in the antique shop space I had for a while.  Fortunately, she didn't sell and I'm now able to enjoy her - in flawless condition.

  The very peaceful print atop the antique dresser that was my mothers came from Amvets and fits with my collection of dogs/children with dogs in my bedroom.  In the winter, I sleep underneath any of several quilts I purchased at Amvets.

  I found the two little chairs on either end of my (rummage sale) coffee table on two separate shopping trips -  a nice bit of luck to be able to accommodate both of my twin grandchildren.  Plans are to paint them in a clever way some day but I seem to need to think about it some more.  Books were also a bargain at Amvets - I bought the second one down on Tuesday along with quite a few mysteries.

  As I look over the things I've gathered in my home, I realize how much I enjoy "the hunt" as well as acquiring older pieces with histories of their own. Amvets was "one-stop" hunting where I could find a comfortable outfit, a good book, or the perfect decorator piece for my home in one location.  Yes, I miss Amvets already but maybe the new thrift store will be full of surprises, too.