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Trash vs. treasures…

August 26, 2011

A recent posting titled White Elephants on Larry’s Blog got me to thinking…we have often heard the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  There are family treasures…and there are treasures…or then there is just trash. 

I must confess that I come from a family that thrives on treasure hunting and treasure keeping…which may, or may not, be a curse…but that’s a whole different story.  Like so many others, we have always been drawn to flea markets, yard sales, even what is called ‘dumpster-diving’ in some circles.

My father would be happy as a clam to find something as simple as jars of odd nuts and bolts or reams of old typing paper which his grandchildren could use as drawing paper.  I have been guilty of ‘restocking’ my fabric stash with a several dozen (yes, I said dozen) yards of fabric when my quilting neighbor had her yard sale prior to moving.

In our family, my sister Teacher has taken this art of treasure-finding/hunting to a much higher level.  Years ago, she once pulled an old treadle sewing-machine cabinet (minus the machine) from someone’s curbside trash and jammed it into her Volkswagen bug, just so I could use the base for a table and she could use the drawers for her hippie garden decor. 

Another time we were driving past a yard sale on a country road when she excitedly called out, “STOP…pull over!”  There was a 3′ plywood butt-board which was to be her contribution to the $5 white elephant gift exchange at a Christmas party that year.  She was so happy to find it that she laughed all the way home. 

And to this day, everyone tries to avoid her gifts at these exchanges.

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