Source: Pinterest

So is the turkey finally gone from the fridge? Did your family have to threaten sustained Dominos deliveries until you finally stopped with the leftover creations?

Leftovers are rarely popular after 2-3 days.

But today I’m actually referring to a different type of leftover. I’m speaking of those treasures which sit in thrift and resale shops. You know the ones: Salvation Army, Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, but also local ones whose purpose is to act as a financial support to  charities such as shelters, hospices, etc. The latter kind sits a few doors down from our gym. It acts as my wife’s motivating force on gym mornings when she’d rather stay under the blanket on the couch with her iPad and cup of coffee.

Normally that type of motivation is supposed to be the person who actually joins you in going on that venture. However, in this nearly daily moment, I always take second banana to that resale shop. Whatever works right?

After our workouts, we usually go our separate ways for a bit. I go to either the gas station and/or the wine store in the same shopping center, Gorgeous goes directly to the charity resale shop. I meet her there afterwards, constantly with a tinge of worry and apprehension at what “treasure” (her term always, never mine) she might find and want. The most frequent ones are small “nicknacks” (my term always, never hers) such as small tea cups, vases, or what my tribe calls tchotchkes. But every now and again I’ll find her with a large item in her basket such as a mirror. Or worse, she’ll be standing next to a large piece of furniture with a determined look on her face, waiting for me to arrive.

We own a small Toyota hatchback. Not everything can fit into a compact hatchback. Sometimes things have to be taken apart to fit, which means that everything has to be put back together again later. If it can’t be taken apart, then you have to arrange for someone with a truck to come and deliver it to your home. These are the complicated transactions. I prefer she just look at the tchotchkes. 

I wasn’t raised with visiting resale shops and thrift stores. My mother, bless her soul, used to infer that they were places solely for people who struggle to get by in life. True to her training as a social worker, she never came right out and actually said those words, mind you. But my sibs and I were led to believe that those who shopped there needed privacy because there was an element of shame for them to be there.

Yeah, I had a hard time swallowing that one too, even at the time.

I knew it was no doubt more about my mother’s absolute fear of her children touching anything out in public. Germs were everywhere, she said. Except probably in a Bonwit Teller, Hudson’s, or Jacobson’s store; all of which she thought were a providential gift to humanity. Funny thing, though: none of those stores are even operating any longer. I bet it was germs. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

But thrift stores and resale shops are like a magnet for my lovely bride. She likes them as much as regular antique stores, though I think it’s that idea that at the less expensive establishment, you’ll find that one certifiable gem that by a stroke of either laziness or total sincerity on the part of the donator, it’s not instead currently sitting at some overpriced boutique. After a hard workout, this place is her reward before heading home again. Besides, no one looks down at you for coming in looking like, well, you might need be in serious need of a shower.

I have occasional trepidation about some of these treasures. I worry about how they’ll grace our living areas. Over the last several months, Gorgeous bought wall mirrors on the cheap that at least to me saw their better days sometime back during the Eisenhower administration. I often struggle in seeing the forest through the trees.

“All it needs is a fresh coat of paint,” I’m told each time with a measure of confidence that will overpower any lack of faith my facial expression is telegraphing. And sure enough, she later does surprise me with a marvelous job of surface repair and repainting.

Even the larger items that required taking apart and reassembled after we got home seemed to fit for the purpose intended in her mind. Behold the working table in her office that I insisted was no good. 

And while not all of the following treasures were bought at resale or thrift shops, many of them were. I suspect even Gorgeous might have a hard time remembering.

Lest I come across as a hypocrite, I’ll admit to having my own habit of buying leftovers. These I got from a record fair a few weeks ago…

One of the challenges second marriages can face is with what to keep from your prior life. Is it time to let it go, or do you keep and blend it somehow with your new partner? I’ve noticed other retirement bloggers face this same issue, such as Linda at Retired Introvert. In our own case, however, we moved cross-country from Oregon to Florida. So that pretty much forced us to start from scratch. And as one of us is still in full-time work mode, while the other is only working part time slightly and drawing just 1/3 of his future benefits for a handful of years yet, everything we do and buy needs to be done with budgetary calculations in mind. Outfitting our home in a tasteful and occasionally a thrifty way helps accomplish that.

Of course, Gorgeous, I’ve noticed, does also have an affinity for a man or woman in uniform. I’m speaking of those visitors who knock on our front doors and then scurry back down the stairs after leaving a package. Or two packages. What sits in those boxes are often not leftovers by any definition. They are brand spanking new, usually kitchen-oriented, and I have no earthly idea what they are or what they do. But we are doing our best to keep that cyber economy stimulated.

So, do toss the leftover holiday turkey from your fridge’s middle shelf if you haven’t already. And do consider either dropping off any material-possession “leftovers” you might not need at a neighborhood charity resale shop, or possibly even buy an item from them. You’re bound to make someone’s life better for doing so, including yourself. I’m now a believer.

Until next time…

29 thoughts on “Leftovers

  1. We dropped off some really nice Christmas decorations that we didn’t have room for and I have another bag to go. If you want, I can send them directly down to you saving you the chore of carting them home! Fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, the turkey leftovers are gone – most consumed and a little gone because of age. 🙂 I think your Mom had a point back in the day about the clientele at a thrift store, but I think that changed dramatically after 2008. A lot of people lost a lot of money, and they came to realize reusing and repurposing really is a good thing. We made a cross country move about sixteen years ago and got rid of all those tchotchkes and lost the urge to bulk up again. But, my lack of interest results in Gorgeous having a better selection. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect you’re right about that alleged stigma about thrift stores back in the day. But absolutely the recession changed that dynamic, including no doubt the rise of the Dollar Store and its brethren. Good on you for lessening your own load. If ours can pretty much be contained to the trinkets, we’ll be fine. Thanks for stepping back though on our account. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like Gorgeous. She has a great eye for design and for a bargain!

    The one thing we miss in our new home in Northern Ontario is thrift stores. Back in the south we had a regular circuit of shops within an hour’s reach – mostly it was the excursion, we rarely bought, but every now and again, we’d find a “treasure.”

    Oh, and I love leftover turkey. Though, I call it planned overs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up in Detroit, Maggie. So I was once nearly a neighbor, if we one eye and didn’t look too close at map. 😀.

      I just was never interested in these kinds of stores, but I do admit now to enjoying rifling through the books and vinyl. So for all my faux nervous bluster about Gorgeous walking into one, I actually don’t mind them. They can be fun sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t need to tell you, Marty, how Gorgeous is truly a special woman. Finding reasonably priced “treasures” can be a win/win situation. And I know her resourceful husband will find a way to bring them home.😊

    I think the reputation of Thrift stores has changed over the years. My daughters with their young families find almost new and even new clothing for their young children. We often use the term “recycling.”

    I did read Linda’s post. Christmas is coming, so I might consider my china “cool” again.

    Great post, Marty! I am also a believer. Oooh, “Genesis.” Good find. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Erica! I think you’re right that these stores have a different kind of vibe and outreach now. The clothes are probably a big thing for many people, but they also bring a bit of collectible and hobbyist items along with the trinkets. Fun for at least 20 minutes or so. 😉

      If I could, I’d sneak a Genesis mention into every post!

      FYI, because I always seem to unload my regular updates for you on Gutenberg vs. Classic editor, for this post I had to use the classic because I knew I wanted to use the “gallery” option for the photos. Gutenberg doesn’t offer gallery for pics unless you have the html know-how (which I don’t). BIG SIGH.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I looked up the term “gallery” in WP help sites just now and many different options for dealing with photos. A lot of good general info and you are right. For now, Classic has more options. Your post looks great, Marty! The theme and the message is very timely. Enjoy the festive season and I look forward to reading and connecting in the New Year!🙂


  5. This blog really resonated with me. I’m a huge believer in repurposing and even volunteer in a local charity shop. I find it really rewarding, but working there means I find lots of treasures that I don’t need. Your wife has done a nice job with her finds!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How great that you volunteer, Tracey. The one near our gym supports a hospice, and it’s staffed by some really nice people. Fortunately the majority of what my wife brings home are the small stuff that fits nicely into a bag. 🙂


  6. I’ve never been a Thrift Store shopper and can’t really understand why! My mom regularly shops at her local Goodwill. She’s always pointing out to me her “great finds”. I am however, a regular giver to GoodWill. At least 3-4 times a year I pull up with a trunkful of recycles.

    Personally, I am trying to reduce the knick-knacks. Not totally successfully as so many have high sentimental value. Our next move will prove interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand, Pat. When we moved here, it was a relief to get rid of so many things I had hung onto for years and years. I only kept important documents (many of which are now shredded anyway) and sentimentals. So starting over wasn’t too hard because all we had was what could fit into a small U-Haul trailer.

      What I didn’t really go into here is the number of antique stores and boutiques my wife does still patronize. So the money gets thrown around town. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t speak of left-overs. I think I had a can of tomato soup for Thanksgiving. HOWEVER…I love thrift stores. I collect chamber pots. (Go ahead and laugh.) I have girl ones and boy ones. The other day, I found a lovely delicately painted porcelain one…obviously came from a wealthy person. I paid 2 dollars for it. I, too, like mirrors. I paint them white. I have found so many old pictures of…somebody. I pretend some of them are distant relatives. I found a folding screen and paid 10 dollars for it. It was covered with this tacky wall-paper. I stripped it and decoupaged replicas of old pictures, ticket stubs, French themed things, and whatever I thought would look good. I don’t know how many people have asked to buy it, but I say…”nope. Make your own.” LOLOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t screens really cool? I used to have one in an apartment I had in Washington, DC for many years. I don’t remember how I got it — probably at some second-hand store too now that I think about it — and I talked a neighbor who was really good with crafts to fix it up for me. She painted it gold and added all these thin black designs on it. I had that screen for years until first wife jettisoned it. 🙂 “Make your own,” I love it! 🙂


  8. How have I lived life this long without a milk frother?

    My mother-in-law is a big fan of thrift stores and she’s taught me a few pointers over the years. Her big thing is clothes (she is an amazing dresser), and mine is books. I have slowly transitioned to the getting rid of things stage of my life and it kind of makes me sad. Although I appreciate a less-cluttered home, I miss the thrill of the hunt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is curious to be accumulating at our age, Janis. But I like to think we’re doing it in a controlled way at least. I’ve picked up the occasional apparel item at these places, but then usually drop it off at the dry cleaners to wear later. Mom would approve. 😌

      Liked by 1 person

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