Thursday, March 20, 2014


“Value” – The topic fascinates me: what we treasure – what we pay for new items – what those same items are actually worth as rummage or thrift store goods.

The P.E.O. chapter to which I belong held its annual rummage sale last weekend. I donated rummage, contributed seven dozen of my home-baked cookies, worked the open hours for two days, made a monetary contribution, and brought home more than I took. It happens every year.

Sometimes I find things I've been seeking, such as this lovely KitchenAid roasting pan, perfect for making Chex mix (or even roasting a turkey) but a size that seems elusive. It was on my Christmas list but didn’t come my way, so I was delighted to find this one.

And then, there’s the Rowenta power steamer. The donor said it works beautifully but she no longer needed it. She said thought of me, knowing that I sew, and wouldn’t I like her to set it aside for me. Of course, I said yes. So, I carried it home and Mike immediately asked if I didn’t have an adequate iron and where on earth would I store it. Yes, a valid question. Well, I’ll find a spot for it. Maybe I’ll discover it replaces my iron nicely.

This year we had donated items from several who were downsizing and that always makes for an interesting sale. In fact, one of my very own sisters is moving from her big country home to a smaller house in town, and she donated things I recognized from Mother’s house. I had already said good-by to these things, but I found my interest re-kindled. A case in point is a set of three glass ashtrays, originally found at the farmhouse and which I’ll return there. No, we don’t need them, but somehow they remind me of days gone by, of a place that still exists but isn’t the same.

Amongst the knick-knacks at the sale, we had many votive candleholders and candle plates. I’m always short on these and I immediately took interest. However, I guess not everyone feels that way. As the sale was ending, they were left, and so they came home with me.

As we work at the sale, the subject of china and crystal inevitably comes up. We don’t use it; our children don’t want it; no one wants it; how to use or dispose of it, etc. Such items are left behind – or go for a pittance. One member purchased a set of beautiful crystal wine goblets at $2.00 a piece rather than see them given away. KW


Chris said...

Looks like you scored some great things! Let me know how you like the steamer. My faithful old Rowenta can still power out the steam, but I'm sure your new one can blast even more and for much longer since it has that tank.

Did Joni and Pat sell their house?

Kathy said...

I tried it this afternoon, and I think I love it. My iron is a fairly new Rowenta, but this power steamer is a cut above. I put my iron away and will use the power steamer for now.

For one thing, the cord isn't in the way. And it doesn't have the automatic shot-off.

Joni and Pat are in the process of moving and intend to put their country house on the market this spring. They'll be living close to their daughter Mary.

Hallie said...

That roasting pan is really nice! Good win!

Ash trays: there is something indefinably special about a tangible object that someone gone but loved once used. THOSE very ash trays were probably used by my grandpa. The same wonder occurs when I think about the farmhouse, walking the same floors as my ancestors and looking out the windows at the same views enjoyed a hundred years ago. Isn't it something?!

Chris said...

Kathy, glad you are liking the iron. My iron is so old, it doesn't have the auto shutoff, which is one reason I love it so.

Hallie, I often think the same things when I look at items "of old" or go places I know other generations have frequented. It *is* something!

Kathy said...

Ashtrays -- Not only were they used by my dad and his sisters, Myrtle and Ethel, but they were visible in the house. It's too bad that they are associated with smoking, but they are pretty.

I'll tell you an embarrassing incident. I found one of the ashtrays in a box of Joni's rummage I was taking to the sale. I knew there was another but couldn't find it so decided to look for it as I unpacked the stuff at the sale. Someone beat me to that box, and the next thing I knew, another chapter member was showing it off. "Now here's a collectible item," she called out. "THAT'S MINE!" I screeched unthinkingly. About six people witnessed my brazen outburst. Of course, they laughed and let me have the ashtray.

The ashtrays turned out to be a set of three and quite nice. My dad liked glass.