When The Going Gets Tough, Go Shopping for Used Stuff

I’m telling you, it works every time.

If you’re tired of reading about gun control, homophobia, or anything political, this post is for you.

It has been a busy few days for me, and a good deal of my time has been spent in used stuff stores – not the Columbus Antique Mall, but three out of the six St. Vincent de Paul thrift shops in town (Dig-N-Save, Willy Street, Odana; might go to the Stoughton one later this week). What I found, though, was some really great crap for sale. Here’s some of what I saw.

  • A Berta Hummel-themed glass service set. Because the world just needs more Berta Hummel. Or something like that.
  • An antique baby carriage. My first thought? You could plant some flowers in it.
  • A hobby horse. Who wouldn’t love a conversation piece like that?
  • A set of four floral drinking glasses. Upon further examination, they were actually just weirdly shaped candle holders, I think.
  • A wooden tiki mask with a crooked smile. Nightmare fuel, pure and unleaded.
  • A coffee mug from the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas saying “Kathy” on it. It would be very interesting to have a set of coffee mugs from different places with random peoples’ names on them. I already have my Las Vegas “Bernie” cup, which I wrote a post about awhile back when I found it, but I already have a cabinet full of coffee mugs and don’t need one more.

And the piece de resistance…

  • A teddy bear stuck inside a lemon costume. I just couldn’t walk by it without smiling or laughing, so guess who’s now sitting with all his cousins on my windowsill.

Oh, and yay for my 35,000th new flag visitor, from Papua New Guinea. Here’s to 35,000 more!

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16 thoughts on “When The Going Gets Tough, Go Shopping for Used Stuff

  1. Some interesting finds and yeah, shopping does fix things. In my case I buy books or shoes 🙂 Congrats on your 35,000 flag visitor. You even have Somalia in your list. I am in Kenya but yet to get a visitor from Somali which is my neighbor here. Great post 🙂

    • I usually buy books too, but I was with a friend and we were looking for some specific stuff. Thank you; I don’t know anyone in Somalia, it just sort of happened, same thing with Tonga, Algeria, Moldova, and several others. Hope you come back soon!

  2. I love antique shops. I have often pulled off the interstate in haste (safely though) just to follow the billboard for yet another antique store. I also love small quaint towns for their antique store selections. I usually do a lot more than look though. I do what’s called Reminiscence Coaching with people who have dementia. I have a whole closet donated to this activity, which I fill with antique treasures that help to prompt them remember their fondest years. I love what I do, and enjoy scouring the shops. In a way, it is a nice respite from the rigors of life, but that’s not why I do it. For me, it’s part of the change I wish to see in the world, one person at a time. I help to quiet the noise even people with dementia can hear.

      • I use children’s toys to help prompt my groups, but we don’t play with them as they are still adults. Dolls and stuffed animals always work, especially those popular during their generation. Trucks for men work if they are suggestive of past employment, or farming. Trains are cool too. Otherwise, most of my items are vintage this or that. A pipe for instance. A linen hanky, a broach. Pictures work well, and so I get old magazines and laminate the ones they will most likely remember. Music is always a winner, and so my iPad is well stocked. One of my personal favorites are pop-up books. I get those from Amazon. Use your imagination, and I probably have it in my closet.

      • I saw an AMAZING documentary several years ago about a woman just like you, who gave her dementia-affected grandmother a black marker and white paper, and she began drawing random shapes…and after awhile, it turned out that she was drawing different views of various items she used to sell when she owned a hardware store, things like a socket set, wrenches of various sizes (measured from her memory), different types of nails and screws from varying angles, and after a while she would start to tell stories as she drew. I would love to know the name of this documentary if you’ve heard of it. I saw some clips of it at an art exhibition at the Anna Teako House in Jerusalem.

      • No, I’ve never heard tell of it until you are kindly alerting me. I’ll have to look it up. What a great resource for others to learn from; like the activity directors in some of the facilities I frequent. Will do some research and get back to you if I succeed in locating it, maybe on You Tube. Thanks!

      • …aaand of course I found it in two minutes with some keyword googling. It’s in Czech, and it’s called “Je To Jedno (It Doesn’t Matter),” by Czech conceptual artist Katerina Seda (and her grandmother, Jana). Getting ahold of this film, not so sure, but this is definitely it.

      • Fascinating! She seems to understand that she is being filmed, so waits until the camera is set, then she takes off. I love it! Thank you so much. The URL is now on one of my desktop posties. And I will look for more of this film. Much appreciated Jacob.

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